Thursday, November 3, 2011
Grins and Grief
Sorry for the lack of blogging yesterday. We made a brief trip to the Shanghai museum and then were stuck inside our tiny hotel room for the rest of the day as it was raining outside. While we weren't very active yesterday, Sprout's personality definitely started to emerge. She woke with a big smile on her face and it stayed there for most of the day. However, as the hours go by we are starting to see quite a bit of "naughty" behavior from her. (I use the term "naughty" as that is how the orphanage described some of her behavior.) It started with her throwing various toys across the hotel room and then laughing hysterically. While we didn't want to encourage that, it was hard to tell her to stop because she was enjoying it so much. Then came the screaming at the top of her lungs for no reason other than it was funny. It's one thing to do that at home, quite another to do it in the middle of a museum. Then came the pinching and pushing of her big brother. Again, she thought it was hilarious and it was hard to convince Chipmunk not to allow her to do that. He was willing to take one for the team if it would make her happy. The final straw came when she was once again screaming in the museum and a security guard came up and tried to tell her to be quiet. She slapped his hand away and then tried to slap his face. I removed her from the situation and tried to apologize but am having a hard time trying to discipline her at this point. In China, I think they allow their toddlers to get away with most anything. You should see the looks I get from many of the older Chinese people when I try to tell her not to do something she so obviously wants to do. Ugh. Not fun.
Other than that, the day was great. She is such a happy girl and seems equally attached to Chipmunk and me (with Stu coming in a close third). Her favorite activity is being pushed in the hallway by her brother. I think she would sit in the stroller for hours if we let her. Looks like we will definitely be purchasing a triple stroller in the near future.
Today has been a much harder day. She woke up early this morning at 6:00 a.m. and was happy through breakfast. On our way to the Jade Buddha Temple she started to get cranky and it went downhill from there. We couldn't bring the stroller in and she didn't want to be held but we couldn't let her walk because there was such a big crowd. She fought with us the through the whole tour. After a brief visit to the French Quarter (where we randomly ran into a group of people from our small college...what a small world!!) we decided to go to the Shanghai Aquarium. Chipmunk has been such a trooper through many of the activities that we wanted to do an activity that he would love. Sprout had a complete and total meltdown while we were standing in line because I wouldn't give her a third sucker (this girl loves her candy). She screamed and wailed and kicked and fought. We had quite the crowd of concerned adults around us, all giving me dirty looks for not giving in to what she wanted. We made it into the aquarium (which was absolutely fantastic...probably the highlight of Chipmunk's trip) but Sprout just seemed really out of sorts. I know she was tired but it was more than that. We arrived back at the hotel and the boys went out for some sight-seeing while I tried to put her down for a nap. All of a sudden the tears just started pouring down her face. Poor girl was grieving hard. She just sobbed non-stop for about 10 minutes. It breaks my heart to see her like this and know there isn't much I can do to make it better. She did let me rock her and give her a bottle but you could just see the sadness in her eyes. Quite the reminder that adoption isn't always the happily-ever-after fairy tale that it might seem. Adoption is hard and it requires work. We took this little girl away from the only world she has ever known and while she seems to be adjusting and bonding with us, she is still missing the life she had. I so wish I could do more for her. Sigh...
She did wake up in a better mood after a short nap and we are starting to hear a few giggles again. Hoping tonight is a little easier for her. Tomorrow evening we are heading to Guangzhou for our last leg of the trip and I'm a little nervous how Sprout is going to do on the flight.