Into the new year

Last week Jackie entered into the “NO” phase, (the stubborn kind). And then the “Why” phase. She is so inquisitive and she actually remembers what I tell her. Like a little hungry bird, opening its beak to information and to knowledge.

Today Jackie played with her cousin Luca all morning and then again, as we came back from the pool, she pleaded to go back to Bunica si Bunicu to play some more with Luca. It is the first time she spent so much time there, without me in the evening. They made confetti and played over and over. In the evening they cooked pretend-food with the confetti. Endless entertainment.

Also, today we had the mid-term home visit from the social worker. She came a little later than anticipated so I tried to put Jackie to bed at an earlier time than usual. (I honestly needed the rest more than her). So I sat next to her for one hour, eyes semi-closed, listening to her whispering. It was very informative. Whoa! One learns so much from paying attention to a kid’s imagination put into play and stories.

The social worker is in constant awe of how well Jackie progresses and how she continues to blossom in our home. We keep sending her pictures and updates every week. Life is busy and adventurous for us, though at times I worried it might be dull for a kid. We have fun, we tell stories, we dance, draw, play imaginative games, go swimming and go to the mountains.

Jaclyn told me last night, as we were getting out of the car, seeing a clear sky and the bright moon : “I don’t want to go to Baisoara”. We used to take her back at night during the matching period, and we often saw the bright moon when getting in and out of the car.

She tells me at times that she misses them. Understandably. I waited once for her to tell me why she misses them. The answers change often, or they don’t come out at all, but one time I had the inclination and courage for a long silence. She eventually said that at the foster parents she could watch cartoons and stay up late. Those are very valid reasons to want to go back. Especially for a three year old. It must be very conflicting still.

We started co-sleeping the night before going to the mountains, after a conversation I had with the social worker. Jaclyn needs physical closeness. She wakes up at night and asks, “mommy, where are you?” I now touch her back and reassure her I am right there. She has been sleeping so well, so soundly, and she hasn’t wet the bed since. If my daughter gets her “bucket” filled in her sleep, just because she feels the warmth of our bed during this very cold winter, and displays great progress emotionally and socially, why not!

A week ago she wanted me to come to bed at the same time, because she didn’t want to be alone. I told her that mommy and daddy need a little time together alone, so we could better care for her. She pondered my words. I could see the wheels turning.

Did you know that the average human brain needs 15 seconds to decide that they will volunteer an answer to a question posed in the class? Most teachers or public speakers who don’t really want to hear questions, though they ask “are there any questions?” and they wait only 2 seconds, they don’t really want to hear from you. The best conversationalists are those who aren’t afraid of silence. Wait for young and old to think of an answer, and muster up the courage to share it with you. Don’t steamroll over them.