Friday, September 25, 2009

It is hard to believe that I met Mareshet over a month ago. Time has really flown by, and yet at times it feels like we are still in the early stages of making an introduction. Tomorrow we will have been home three weeks, and I am delighted to say that she is taking more bites of new foods at my urging. Most of these are summarily rejected with a look of total disgust on her face. Sometimes she even adds a dramatic retching, which is most pleasant to observe at the dinner table. Her feelings about American food notwithstanding, Mareshet is sleeping well and can recite our daily routine like a song. She is doing great in kindergarten and comes home every day brimming with news that is most creatively expressed with a combination of her English words and pantomime. This is how I learned that she has been getting into the lunch line on occasion and eating pizza and ice cream. Note to self: talk to the office about lunch bill in arrears. I also hear snippets of the school pride song, and a version of Zippadee Doo Dah which sounds like Dippity ooh Ah. I went to Parent Teacher night last night, which was notable to Mareshet for two reasons. One: I sat in her chair in the classroom! How funny a thought. And Two, the girls were left at home with a bona fide teenage babysitter, which is the ultimate in cool. Thanks to Julie Hehn, I was set up with a fabulous Amharic speaking, experienced babysitter. She was willing to share one of her seventeen year old daughters adopted from Ethiopia, no small favor since Amelework is a big helper in this family of 29.

I think the kids had a great time but even so, I had two big hugs waiting for me when I came home. I think Mareshet is really deepening in her attachment, slowly but surely. Usually, it comes out in frustrating behavior like stalling as we're trying to get out the door for school. But upon later reflection, I recognize separation anxiety in the mix. For instance today, she tearfully refused to walk into the school with "that coat." Granted it is a sunny day, but I reminded her that Mrs P. asks students to bring their coats every day and hang them on the hook. Mareshet shot me a look that was pure rebellion, and I ultimately had to carry her into the school. As I tried again to give her the coat to put away, she took the rag doll approach: "I have no arms and cannot hold anything." Finally, the damn tardy bell ringing, I just tossed the jacket into the room over her head, gave her a hug and kiss and took off. But just before I left, I heard her whine, "Don't go mommy." Sigh. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to finesse the drop off in a nobler way. Much as she loves school I'm beginning to think she loves me more. And until she has a better way of showing it, I'm going to have a lot of these mornings yet.

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