but just to get it out of the way…the disappointing:
unexpected and mandatory visit at old foster home last week which saw old foster mom spoon-feed our quite capable little roxy, shower her with xmas presents, give her a sippy cup filled with milk, baby cereal, and nes.quik, followed by a cap.ri sun, and then a mini bottle of water that she wasn’t allowed to hold herself. and no, she didn’t ask how she’s been, if she could have beverage after beverage, or even one question at all. we sat there for 3 hours after being advised in advance not to leave by the social worker (coconut) and by roxy’s counselor. leaving that home was difficult in a new way. roxy didn’t say a word the entire time there but when we left she heart-breakingly murmured “mami” the whole drive home – no tantrum, just raw confusion. still, this is what the professionals are calling closure and if we see old foster mom again, it’s going to be in a neutral place that doesn’t spark so much emotion in roxy.
still no word from my mother after the toddler bed incident. two weeks and two days. i’m embarrassed for her as she takes to the internet to insult us on fb. there isn’t anything else to say about that.
now for the AMAZING stuff!
roxy has been eating so many wonderful things. in the last two weeks she’s tried: indian food, homemade guacamole and salsa, onion soup, plain greek yogurt, truffles in pasta, plain avocado, eggplant rollatini, vegetarian chili, toasted raviolis, and mushroom/gruyere tart. she wants whatever we seem to be enjoying and sometimes she’ll take one taste and that’s enough but at least she’s being adventurous.
last week i decided we needed to start buckling down with learning letters. she’s been so relaxed and fun lately and we need more structure to our mornings and afternoons together. after four hair-pulling crazy days of trying JUST “A” and “B” i was ready to lose my mind. after all, i was a montessori teacher for this very age and i taught hundreds of children their letters and numbers successfully. what was i doing wrong? then i realized it was more a matter of roxy’s focus. we sat for one day in front of a puzzle for THREE hours while she’d just stare into space (i seriously thought she might be having absent seizures). finally, i went nuts and packed up all the character coloring books, the dora microphone, the elmo cell phone (all gifts, by the way) and stuffed them in a closet. i said “no more morning television” and didn’t let up. if given the choice between a television character or ANYTHING else, roxy will always choose the television character – her favorite distraction. i’d had enough. red heard earfuls about my frustrations and worked with roxy in the evenings. it’s been one week and before you think it’s been all work and no play around here, know that we’ve turned a corner and roxy knows thirteen letters and their sounds as of this morning. and best of all, she’s excited! red will tell you everything excites roxy and that’s pretty much true. she just loves adventure.
why this is so important right now? i think knowing that this case could change at any moment terrifies me and i want to be sure we’ve given her the best foundation we can. i would not have initiated this at this time if we hadn’t gotten to a comfortable place with her emotionally, and if she showed any interest in self-directed anything. roxy still makes no initiative to play but we’re getting better at providing opportunities for engagement. she loves her new sensory box and we’re getting used to lentils constantly on the kitchen floor (her effort to sweep is wonderful but ultimately needs work). we’re also happy that she takes our suggestion to look at books and will sit for a considerable time flipping through her many stories.
we took roxy to a 5-star restaurant friday night because we knew she’d been groomed in the restaurant world enough (starting with the louder pub-type venues and working our way up). no surprises, she was fantastic. we then took her to the childr.en’s museum where they were hosting a dance battle for kids and we couldn’t have stopped her from participating if we’d tried. we know we have a responsibility to foster her love of music and dance and are exploring the offerings. this morning we’re casually listening to the entire suzuki violin repertoire (i suspect ‘twinkle twinkle’ will remain her favorite for many months) and i’m constructing her a cereal box violin while she dances around me in circles.
remember when she came to us and we were warned she hated water? red took her to the pool yesterday where she spent two hours kicking her feet and putting her face in. later they went on their weekly hike.
on attachement: roxy was meeting some new people recently and didn’t hug them like she usually does when meeting strangers. she instead hung onto red’s leg and smiled from there. next we’ll work on the handshake. this weekend we went to some hard-to-explain ridiculous performance that happens hourly at a local furniture store. red was filming roxy dancing with other kids when all-of-a-sudden these bigger-than-life mechanical figures came towards her and she came running to us and wouldn’t let go. it was adorable and while we consoled her we couldn’t hide our joy that she knew we’d protect her (and then we bought her an ice cream).
roxy’s birthday is in two weeks and we still don’t know what will happen or if we’ll have the good fortune to celebrate #3 with her but in this moment, life is full.