Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Emily and Her Tribe of Buddies Making Original 2010 Handprint Calendars.

Thank you, Julie. Super job.

$1,000 for car repair, $2,000 for Em's teeth repair....but hey. My ringworm was free.

I wouldn't ordinarily post dollar amounts to note how much repair costs are because after all....things are relative. EVERYone pays for repairs, and like I've said before, "If money can fix it, you MAY not be that bad off!" We're glad to have heat in the car once again, AND Em's underbite will soon be on the "year long" mend with her handy-dandy mouth device -- with keys that turn teeth forward AND outward.

Gotta love a pediatric orthodontist, huh?

Seriously. The prices above are inconsequential. It's the ringworm I'd like to make mention of.

Seems this year nearly everyone in Emily's class has had a ringworm at one time or another. She got her fair share of one back around November.
Where was it located?
Ugh...surrounding her inner eye.
Right close to where the ophthalmic plastic surgeon worked his wonders with a silicone band that allowed her eyelid to work - to repair her ptosis.

I was not amused.

Gasp. WHY would one show up there? Why not on her leg....like her teacher's ringworm?
Bless her heart -- the teacher's heart that is.

Down south we say,"Bless her heart", and it's interpreted as, "Poor, Dear, Sweet Spoken, Darling, Miss-America-Lookin'-Teacher with Super Great Teeth, Thick Hair, and Little Need for Makeup. Even she wasn't immune to the contagious fungus rascal of a ringworm that was making its way around that 1st grade classroom population."

Well, when I finally realized -- after speaking w/several folks -- that Emily DID indeed have a ringworm starting to surround her eyelid area, off we went to the doctor. A small tube of Clotrimazole anti-fungal medicine for 2-3 weeks, 2x a day seemed to do the trick.

UNTIL...he resurrected himself on my arm. I'm such a goober. I even looked at the ringworm spot for a week before it absolutely dawned on me that it was, in fact, just that. A ringworm on the inner fold of my arm.

Back to the regimen of Clotrimazole, but this time it's for moi. Speaking of this over the counter drug...

When Nanny Carol, Emily, and I went to Disney to meet Myah, Rina, Hank, and their homegrown band of brothers, I decided to actually "pack light". What a joke. I took 27 articles of clothing that I never put on my back BUT did pack the small, travel size toothpaste. Works for me.

About Day 4 of the trip I started brushing my teeth and RAPIDLY realized this was NOT the familiar minty Colgate flavor I was anticipating. GAG. It was a flat, warm, concrete tasting paste of some sort that I processed as, "Oh.My.Gosh. I've just put ringworm medicine in my mouth and smeared it all over my teeth." (Like.I.Know.What.Concrete.Tastes.Like???)

I screamed out to mom as if there was ANYthing she could really do to help? Nope. I started spittin', swabbin' my mouth out with washrags, hand-scoopin' water into my mouth, jammin' the hand towel all across my teeth...and finished off with repeated rounds of Diet Pepsi mouth rinsing. It's all I had close by.

Emily was not there at the time. She had spent the night with Myah and her family at the Make-A-Wish compound. (Em's VERY first sleepover away from me - except staying w/Nanny Carol.) It's a good thing a child did not have to witness my freakazoid reaction.

I read the label on the Clotrimazole. "Effective against athlete's foot, ringworms, and jock itch."

Well. Enough said.

The rest of the day was spent with a barrage of tongue-in-cheek jokes about how I was effectively guarded against all sorts of fungal attacks.

Reggie Ringworm is goin' DOWN.
And I'll probably never pick up another travel size toothpaste without triple checking exactly what it says on the label.

Crest. Colgate. Clotrimazole. All C words.

I'm switchin' to Aquafresh!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Livin in the Land of "WHY"?????

That might just be Emily's fave word in the whole wide world?


It's a great word because it allows her to discover and explore the concepts she's exposed to each and every day.

As there have been warnings for icy roads in this area, preparations are being made 'just in case' (water, flashlight & blanket in trunk of car, yadda, yadda from Weather 911 type folks -- namely my mother). As I was explaining icy road conditions to Emily, she just laughed and laughed. She thought of how silly it must look for cars to be slip sliding around on roads. I was constantly interjecting how serious the condition can be.

Anyhoo, after all the "why they (the cars) can't stop, why they slide on ice, why they no stay home, why they no stop at red lights, why they...." I felt like Buzz Lightyear that this conversation/learning experience was lasting "to infinity and beyond". Oh brother.

I could see how she would think it IS funny to see ANYthing sliding around out of control. I let her laugh a while. As she understood the gravity of it all, she calmed down a bit and was respectful of the dangerous conditions it could cause.

All that to say: MORE learning happening each and every day. More questions being asked. More understanding taking place.

When a child comes to a new country at age 7 1/2...NOT having lived in a stable family environment....PHEW. It's a totally different ball game from just working with that age child on any given day of the week, and I've taught school for over 20 years and been around a bunch of kiddos. Even adopting a child as a baby/toddler is different from what has to been done daily with a child who has "come lately" into: a family, an educational setting, a church, relationships, friendships, and so much more. It's only different because: TIME is such a critical factor. Never mind the language barriers.

I do believe the challenges of adopting at babyhood/toddlerhood exist. They're just different. Not less important...just different.

These kids adopted at an older age -- mainly at SCHOOL ages -- they are getting older every day. They've got to assimilate quickly into the world around them.

BUT they must first begin the journey of understanding their lives are safe and they are loved.

Emily's learning how to master the sounds of the English language, how our number system works, how to look people in the eyes when they speak to her, how to say thank you when someone gives her a gift, how to work in small & large groups. Same things as other children. This has been going on since Day One of our meeting, but man-o-man....when a child from another country has lived in an institutional setting & is somewhat thrust into a societal setting with all its quirks and nuances -- daily life can slap wear them out. Heck. It wears ME out managing it, monitoring it, mediating in it. Called parenthood, right?

Emily must have time to be quiet b/c it was likely RARELY quiet where she was living in China.
She must have time to play independently b/c that opportunity was never present in an orphanage of 400 children.
She must have time to learn to sing and hum -- and to hear herself do so.
She must have time to rock her baby dolls, look at her books, and re-arrange her room if she desires.

She must have time to cry when she's tired & question concepts she doesn't fully "get".
For instance: the story her class is reading this week.
It has a great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, & child. It can get really tiring when Emily thinks about her mother has a mother, but that mother is her grandmother, and her mother's grandmother is her own great-grandmother -- but is her mother's grandmother and is her grandmother's mother.

Lots of pronoun-antecedent type errors there, but --YES. I typed that deliberately to show just HOW confusing this could be to a child. I'm not even sure I typed it all correctly, but do me a favor. Overlook it if I did.

As Emily would ask, "Why are you posting all of this?"

Ummm. Maybe to show that Emily's developing, coming along nicely, and growing all the time. It's wonderment. It's enlightening. It's the way of the child.

It's what all parents encounter.

No need for Tylenol PM. I sleep just fine at night.