Amazingly, Miles has been home for four weeks already. We are not at the stage where we feel like he has always been here, but we are certainly settling into life as a family of 6 (for the time being, that is.)
So here's a four week State of the Union for all of you out there :)
Miles Wanna Cracker?
Language and communication have been the most challenging aspects of this entire adjustment. Maybe it is easier with older children, because they can communicate a bit better in their native tongue than a 4-year old, but we are not having an easy go with this.
A major development in language acquisition for Miles is that he is now comfortable enough to parrot everything we say. EVERYTHING. One dinner he parroted, ver batim, the entire conversation. Which drove Paloma and Atticus nearly to tears. I thought it was hysterical, myself.
Miles says "Oui" to everything. It took me about 2 weeks to figure this out. He will say Oui even when he has no idea what we are saying. He'll contradict himself by saying Oui to polar opposite situations. Oui. Are you hot? Oui. Are you cold? Oui. Sad? Oui. Happy? Oui. Worried? Oui. Joyful? Oui.
Wait, he says Oui to everything except: Do you have to go poo poo? and Are you tired?
Those questions guarantee a loud resounding "NO!"
Paloma, our darling who was a late talker, earned the nickname Pentecostal Paloma at the age of 14 months because she would carry on long, intent conversations with us in her own special babble, much like talking in tongues. Hence the nickname.
We' ve passed this nomenclature onto Miles. He's at an interesting state of language development where he won't try to explain anything to us in Kreyol, but he doens't have the English skills. So he babbles to us. Very earnestly and intently, just like Paloma.
Miles has a highly developed sense of right and wrong. When he feels an injustice has been done to someone in our family by another member, he will seek me out. He will begin his special babble, pointing at the involved parties, his voice escalating, until he usually tries to right the wrong (he once removed a ball from Atticus' hands, walked it back to Paloma's room, ceremoniously placed her ball in a box, put the box in her closet and closed the closet door with a grand flourish.)
I Can't Believe Our Marriage Has Come to This
The Mister and I have spent more time talking about fecal matter in the past 4 weeks than we had in our previous 9 years (and 2 babies) of marriage. Miles has major performance anxiety regarding home elimination, much preferring any public restroom he can find (where he knows we won't be carrying one of those little medical bowls.) Throughout each day, the Mister will call me: Did he go? will be the first thing he asks.
And throughout each day, I'll call the Mister. "No package has been delivered yet," I'll say.
Yup. Never thought our marriage would come to that.
But that's okay :)
Lila Said It Best
"Ain't no pout like a Haitian pout."
And that is the truth. Miles could win a contest. His pout is super endearing and super cute in photos, especially when he was in Haiti, and I was here. But now that he's here, it ain't so cute (well, it is, but just not endearing.) Pouting doesn't work with me. My kids aren't pouters. Except for Miles. I'm working on it.
I don't know how to handle a pout, other than to cheerfully pat him on the head, saying "Tout baghay byen" (it's okay) and walking away, ignorning him until he's done pouting. He still pouts, but I will say that the frequency is lessening.
The moment I go into the kitchen to make dinner, Miles becomes my instant shadow. He'll try any little morsel of ingredients that I'll offer him. Even those that he won't eat on his plate. At dinner, he won't touch a carrot. But if I'm chopping them up for a stir fry, he'll eat 2 full carrots if I'm willing to "sneak" them to him.
I love this time with him each day. We crank up my favorite station on Pandora and cook. I teach him the names of foods and colors. He helps gather ingredients and throws away the garbage or will run potato peels out to the compost bin. No matter how hectic, crazy or frazzled our earlier day may have been, things become great at this hour.
Realizing the Wait is Over
The saying that once they come home, you forget the wait, is very true. You do. We've had him home for only four weeks, but the wait seems like eons ago.
This morning at Church I was staring at the smooth, dark, perfect little hand I was holding. How many prayers had I said for that moment to someday happen? Too many for me to ever hope to estimate. While some moments are really difficult and some entire days are absolutely trying, I felt such peace in that moment. God delivered my little boy home. Miles is a miracle, and whether he's home 4 weeks or 4 years, that is one thing I will never, ever forget.