Monday, April 7th: It’s a holiday here, so Katherine and Ian are both home. Originally, the holiday was supposed to be on the Wednesday, but last week the government decided to move it to Monday. I guess such things are easy enough to do here.
We gave the driver the full day off today, and he went home after bringing us home from church yesterday. It’s odd, not quite knowing what his real hours are, or even his days. I imagine that when we hire someone as a personal driver (this one came with the rental car, how terrible does that sound) we’ll have a better idea. As far as I can see on the rental agreement, he is ours to use every day up to 10 hours a day. But this guy has a family of with 6 kids, all small and 2 of them born Christmas Eve, a year apart. From what I’ve gathered from other Embassy personnel, it’s not uncommon to have drivers work 10 hour days, 6 days a week. Goodness, I think we’ll try to be a bit more humane than that, seeing as they only earn about $150/month.
Last night, Jonathon woke up sometime in the darkness and when Ian got him, said he was trying to open the bathroom door. I figured that he was trying to get out the wrong door, but this morning when I looked over (yes, he slept with us the rest of the night) he had somehow taken his diaper off in the middle of the night. Everything is still dry, but I suppose I should put another on him. Do you suppose he was actually trying to get to the bathroom?
Jonathon has become very huggy lately. He’ll willingly sit on Katherine’s lap and give Rebecca big hugs and when daddy comes into the room he gets a big “Daddy!” and a running knee hug. Just this morning when Katherine woke up he said “Abaf!” and gave her a big welcome hug. What a sweet boy. And while he still nurses several times a day he can be distracted if need be. Even this morning when he woke way too early I knew that if he started nursing that was the end of sleep for me. So while he wasn’t pleased that I said no, he did fall asleep a few minutes later, until 6 a.m. Nicholas’ speech has come a long long way in the past 2 weeks. Last night, he was even understood by other people who’d just met him. That’s a BIG step. Katherine is having some issues, probably extending from the stress of starting a new school and the effort of trying to make new friends. At the beginning of first grade at King she would behave well at school, but be a little bad attitude at home, and that’s what we’re dealing with again. It’ll pass. Rebecca is just thrilled that she has been making friends at the playground.
Wednesday, April 9th: Bits and pieces.
OK, so I tried to make the house a little more homey today. We spent some time changing sheets so there’s a little more color to the kids’ rooms other than the institutional white of the sheets and covers. I think it made a difference. I also finally put away all the clothes that were piling up all clean and folded in the crib.
It’s always a bit breezy outside. You definitely notice when the breeze quits, but when it’s there even the 92 degrees at 9:30 this morning is bearable. Yesterday it was breezy and overcast and we took a walk around some of the neighborhood because it was so nice. Rebecca collected some flowers that had fallen off various trees. They now grace our table as a floating flower bouquet.
You know, I’m getting real tired of people trying to hawk their help onto our shoulders. When I’m ready, I’ll hire a housekeeper. I know they’re only trying to help, but really it seems like they’re done with these people so they’re trying to push them on us. Enough all ready. I don’t want a yaya and I don’t want a live-in and I don’t want to be pushed into hiring anyone.
Sometimes, the kids remind me of why I have them. Besides Jonathon’s new penchant for running up to people, arms outstretched, when they get home to give them a whomping big hug, this evening he did that to his brother as they passed one another, and Nicholas didn’t push him away. The two of them just gave each other a big hug, danced around for a minute, then went their own ways. I’m happy I was there to witness it.
Katherine seems to have made up with a schoolmate. From day one she has said that one little girl was giving her problems. But today they apologized to each other (I asked why Katherine was apologizing and she said she couldn’t remember. Of course I asked if she couldn’t remember or she didn’t want to tell us. Never did get a real answer.) and apparently decided to start over. We’ll see how well it goes.
Nicholas is even more attached to his blanket than ever. For the first time he has expressed himself in terms of emotions. When we were being dropped off for Shoppers Day, we insisted he leave the blanket in the car and he told us quite clearly that he was not happy. As we were leaving the center, he knew what was coming and said “Now Dihdis ‘appy! Abap ‘ar!” Yes, you still need a full-time translator.
Our washer and dryer are outside the back door and thankfully there’s an overhang for when the rains come. Right now, I’m having a great time hanging clothes to dry on the lines and finally have plenty of clothespins. The biggest problem I’m having is with all the leaves that blow into the washing machine even with the lid closed. And the dust and dirt that settle on top of the dryer make it a poor place to pile either wet or clean clothes. I think I need a couple more laundry baskets.
Oh yeah, I think I’ve found our doorbell. Perhaps it’s the pile of metal and wires on the counter in the “dirty” (aka second) kitchen. Hmm.