Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just The Half Of It

The 21st marks the half. The half way point between 1 and 2; eighteen months old; Treya’s half birthday. To celebrate, we let Devi enter ToysRUs (for the first time) to choose a dolly to bring to her sister in India. Surprisingly, she was all business, never pausing or asking for anything for herself. Anticipating that look of overwhelming awe at the rows of floor to ceiling toys, I was shocked that she remained unfazed in her determination. I narrowed the field to three basic squishy bodied dark skinned dollies and Devi made the final decision - the one wearing the pink and purple sleeper —an obvious big sister choice. Once home, we filmed ourselves singing the half-birthday song over a scrumptious cupcake and although there was only one candle to blow out, the three breaths that extinguished the flame were united in our wish. (For fear of it not coming true, I can’t tell you what the wish was, although I believe it to be pretty obvious)

We are three weeks into waiting for our No Objection Certificate which has us landing on the calendar two days into my very unscientifically calculated sliding scale of when I think it might be granted. This is yet another of the ridiculous things adoptive parents do to bide their time. My calendar is loaded with graffiti—marks, checks and stars decorate the days denoting average lengths of time for this or that to be approved in an attempt to put my anal tendencies at ease. It doesn’t work, but makes me feel like we are actually getting closer to having something happen. This past weekend, I actually sat down with a highlighter and our Lonely Planet India travel book and began to research sightseeing possibilities; something that up to this point seemed to be more of a jinx rather than a reality of this adoption journey, in progress for two years on July 29th.

Lately, a new childhood behavior has begun to surface. Tantrum by definition means a violent, willful outburst of annoyance; a fit of bad temper. No where in the dictionary was Devi’s name mentioned, but it probably should have been. Or perhaps “sudden but typical 3 and a half year old behavior” should have been added in parenthesis. It appears that she has an internal toggle switch in her brain that can turn these outbursts off and on at will with a complete and total change in the volume, intonation and inflection in her voice—not to mention real tears that she can start and stop on a dime and a fast as lightning death grip. This comical phenomenon, wailing one second and singing the next, leaves us parents standing firm, but shaking our heads searching for some reasonable explanation while trying not to crack a smile at how hysterical this may look to the average onlooker. The wrong choice of cup or pair of socks, one too many or one to few blueberries, the beginning or end to an activity...and just about any parental statement can send her into one of these so called “hissy fits”. Although they pop up without warning, at least they occur a lot less than half the time, as this blog post might suggest. I pray that this phase of learning to try and control one’s environment ends long before we are 30,000 feet up confined in an airplane or worse yet, in the Delhi airport!

By comparison, the definition of compassionate is possessing a deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. This statement describes our little girl to a tee. Where caring for others is concerned, she has always been mature far beyond her years, always quick with a pat on the back, an offering of comfort or other sincere statement of concern. She reminds me all the time that she wants to be a mom when she grows up. No doubt, with her nurturing soul, she will be a dandy.

Recently I hurt my back trying to move a kiddy pool full of water. I know, I don’t have the brightest bulb burning sometimes, but for the sake of this story, no questions or suggestions for me, please...lets just let that one go :) Over the course of a few weeks, my back has not been healing very well, so last night daddy was solo for the bedtime routine and I went to a massage therapist for some relief. I told Devi that I was going to someone to make my back feel better, kissed her good night and left.

This morning, since I am all ready at work when she and daddy wake up, he was preparing Dev for the day. Today is Pajama day, the third day of Crazy Week at school. As Dev put on her doggy pjs and was rounding up the sleeping bag for nap time, she asked daddy if I was going to pick her up from school. Normally, the answer would be yes, but on this particular day, I will not be arriving home until after her bedtime. Daddy explained that he would pick her up from school and take her to swimming lessons and he would also be putting her to bed. Then she asked daddy, “Can you ask mommy to tiptoe into my room when she comes home, so I can ask her if her back feels better?

All this was reiterated to me in my daily ‘Devi update” phone call from Pat this morning. In an instant, Devi has reduced me to those sappy mommy tears once again...I know my pumpkin pie loves me, but not as much as I love her back! And that is just the half of it :)


Peter and Nancy said...

I love the adoptive parent "timeline" -- we are currently playing mental games about when a referral might happen. :o)

Hmmm. Tantrums? Not your little sweetie! (Or ours either . . . hee hee!) They are sometimes comical, and often inconvenient!! But a fact of life, which you seem to be handling well, as usual.

Hope your back is soon better, and that you get NOC soon!
Hugs to you,

heather_and_nathan said...

What a relief that we have company with the adoption forcast calendar and crazy symbols! I really planned to be much cooler about things the second time around...

It is great to hear how you mark significant points in your family's life and create meaningful rituals. Fingers crossed CARA is working diligently on NOCs these days. I am looking forward to hearing your cheers soon!


Emily said...

Tantrums and cupcakes and dollies with pink and purple sleepers, oh my! Devi keeps you on your toes :) I'm glad you and Pat can remain humorous throughout the many stages of emotional expression.

I always love to hear your rituals for marking important adoption moments. I am hoping and hoping for your NOC very soon!


Karen said...

"Half-a birthday" to Treya! Hooray!! She will love being able to look back on the photos and the blog post, and know that she was so loved & adored even before she was in your arms.

I am relieved to hear that another child can also conjure up real tears at will. It is amazing to me. Hollywood-bound, I guess!

Wishing you a healthy back and a shortened Treya-timeline! NOC, please come soon!

xoxo Karen

The Labontes said...

What a sweet little girl you have (between tantrums, of course). ;)

We are also struggling to not laugh at Max's tantrums, which consist of an amazingly high pitched yell/roar, and lots of feet kicking. Thank the Lord, this too shall pass :)

Anonymous said...

What a smart sweet girlie you have.She is going to make a wonderful big sister.Purple is a favorite color around here also so I am sure that would have been the doll of choice here too.Praying that the NOC comes soon so you can be off to pick up that sweet girlie.

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love this entry. Having just met Devi for the first time makes your dichotomous description of her all the more humorous and real and perfect.

Would love to be a fly on the wall when she reads this entry as a thirty-year-old. :)

You two are picture-perfect parents! Not perfect because you're mistake-free, but perfect because you make mistakes, learn from them, laugh at them and move forward with love and renewed vigor and know-how.

Can't wait to hear stories about Treya in the mix.

Rhonda Owens said...

Didn't mean to make that last comment anonymous. Just want you to know that the old neighbors stopped by the blog to check in. :)

Sandy & Butch said...

Just checking in on how things are going. Every time I click on the link to your blog, while I'm waiting for the page to load my heart speeds up in hopes of new news on the Treya front and anticipation of fresh, fun Devi stories. What a sweet family!