Today was all about crayons, bubbles and balls. Dad and I took a cab ride to a multi-level department store in a fairly nice part of Kathmandu. (side note: I really need to take some photos and attempt to describe the cab experience at some point, yet not now) We found exactly what we were looking for, fun and interactive toys. We had two bags worth of 6 balls of various sizes, 2 large sketch pads, a ring stacker, a box of bubbles, and 14 small boxes of Crayola crayons. Dad wanted to carry both bags...hmm yeah Dad I've got your number, you want to be the Buwa with all the fun stuff. I asked him to throw me a bone, so he tried to give me the smaller bag, but I assumed the bigger bag. Yes, I am still daddy's girl :)
The kids were all sleeping once again like sausages in a bun. Junu was part of the bun since she was on the end. I had to take a little nibble, which she accepted. She let me pick her up and cuddle her as she woke slowly. Already she was different today. She was much more accepting to all my hugs, nurturing kisses and overall touch. Those of you who know me understand I don't hold back on showing affection, so this is a great step. As all the children began to wake, they began to take interest in the balls. We had so much fun, kicking balls, throwing ball, catching balls, popping bubbles and coloring. I think coloring was my favorite part. They all were huddled around the large sketch pad each trading off different colors. Even those that tend to be more active sat for a long period of time and colored. Of course at some point the tide turns to rougher seas as the "I've got to be possessive about these items" kicks in. It's understandable, they have to be aggressive and get/keep what they want. Truly the strong do survive. I, of course, am always trying to develop positive play skills, so we took turns a bit and traded toys. Eventually, however the items (except the balls) where put up. If I lived here I would love to do a play activity with these sweet peas.
Now, today I really started to see my daughter's personality emerge and lets just say, I think she runs a lot of the show. I have noticed that the other kids don't often pick on or grab items from her. If a child does, she is quite tenacious in getting it back or one of her possi will bring it back for her. Really, it's funny. I think she also has quite an influence over the didis as well. For example, her ball rolled down the steps, she went down to get it and then she started to cry/yell a bit. She was speaking in Nepalese to a peer, so I obviously didn't know what it was about. I assumed it was about her ball...but no. It was about the fact that one of her peers had on the orange sneakers that she likes and apparently has claimed for herself. The didi knew this and told me whilst at the same time she took the shoes off the little boy and put them on Junu. She was happy, he was sad. I was enlightened to her power of persuasion. Kimberly, I think we are in for it between Junu and Lilly. Oh and Robin, I think we need to include Fiona in this pack.
Let me just add one more little funny story. One of Junu's friends dropped their ball and she quickly scooped it up. It took some maneuvering as she was holding her own big ball. Of course her friend cried, but she quick like a sly little fox ran off to the far room. Along the way she gave me a mischievous grin. She disappeared for a moment and then strolled back out in the main room without the other ball. She only had her own ball and she thought this was very funny. She intentionally hid the ball on her peer, but it didn't seem mean, it just seemed a bit naughty. I was laughing so hard because it really was funny and her peer was already in retrieving his ball. All was well. She really has a great sense of humor and I think she is going to make me laugh more than I have in a long time.
I guess the last moment I wanted to share tonight is when I felt her really like my kisses. She meandered out to the balcony with her ball. I followed her. The sky was filled with warm sunshine, there was a soft warm breeze and we were alone. I knelt down and pulled her little body close to mine. Her back was to my chest. I gave a multitude of kisses on her neck, first one side then the other. I could see she was smiling and began to move her head to one side then the other to receive more kisses. We played this game for a bit and then we joined our friends back inside. Pure happiness.
As every visit has it, there is a time for us to leave. Today I left Junu with a picture of Dad and I. I hope it stays intact. She held tight. I also had the opportunity to realize the didis thought my father was my husband...YIKES. Man, I made that clear right away. Dad had a major sigh of relief also. All is well now.
We were ushered out to our cab by shoe helping boy and spit fire boy. Shoe helping boy was blowing the sweetest kisses and spit fire boy's flame was slowly becoming an ember. He looked so sad as Dad and I drove away....I cried.
I am so grateful for this blog and my ability to capture the most profound time of my life thus far. Thank you to all of you for reading.