We walked back, did bath time and put Caleb to bed. The first few days, he was letting me rock him to sleep. Although we know at some point he needs to get used to falling asleep on his own, I have been so happy to let him fall asleep in my arms! He may likely have never been rocked to sleep before! What a privilege! The last few times he's gone to sleep though, Caleb has been more difficult. He doesn't want to stop playing and settle down and the fact that he won't take a bottle from us makes it that much harder to get him to quiet down and be still. He is very active and he fights sleep with a vengeance!! The nannies told us that he doesn't like to sleep! Also, as he is getting more comfortable with us, we've noticed he has begun testing us more. This is the hard part of toddler adoption!! We need to make him comfortable and foster strong attachment in these early days, but we also have to lovingly let him know we are in charge! This is hard with a biological toddler from the best of circumstances, so I'm sure you can imagine the challenge of parenting an almost two year old from a "hard place." Although I tried to hold him and sing to him, he fought me and kicked and fussed and cried, despite being very tired. The crib here in our room has a drop side, so I dropped the side down, laid him in the crib and pulled the crib over so it was up against our bed and laid down facing him and sang to him. He calmed right down! He even reached over and held my hand for awhile! Last night he became playful and kept wanting to play peek-a-boo with his blanket. I told him goodnight and got up and went out to the living room leaving the door cracked open and he didn't cry! He just talked to himself for a few minutes and then went to sleep. We did the same thing today for nap. He rubs his hands together when he is going to sleep. It seems to be a self soothing mechanism and it is so precious!!
This morning it was still rainy so instead of the zoo, we went to Shamian Island. It is a beautiful tourist area that all American families love to visit while they are here in Guangzhou. We ran into some other families here that were not with our agency but that we had connected with through Facebook, which was very fun! We also bought a lot of great gifts...but I can't discuss that on the blog because I'm pretty sure all the recipients of those gifts read this blog!
While we were there, we found a barbershop that cut Caleb's hair for us!! His hair was so long and he would get so sweaty and it just looked uncomfortable (not to mention unkempt!). We were somehow able to communicate with the lady cutting hair even though she spoke no English and she trimmed up his hair for us for just 20 RMB (about $3.50)!! May not be the best haircut he gets in his life, but its a heck of a lot better and for so cheap, we certainly can't complain!! He did great. He was scared and started freaking out in the chair so Steve ended up holding him and he actually held pretty still the whole time!!
It is tradition for adopting families to take a picture of their new child with this statue on Shamian Island.
We shopped for awhile and then had lunch at an American style diner on the Island. After we ate, we headed back to the hotel for naptime. We sat in the back of the van and Caleb loves to stand between us and look out the back window of the van. (He is going to have major culture shock with our American car seats, but personally I can't wait. I hate driving around with him loose and unrestrained!!) We were just riding along and Caleb was between us and my arm was around him as an anchor when all of the sudden, he turned his head, looked at me for a second and then planted a big kiss on my cheek!!! BE STILL MY HEART!!! A totally unsolicited first kiss from this sweet little boy! I got tears in my eyes and squealed with delight and all of the families with us got to share my joy in that moment. That single moment made every painful and difficult thing about this journey completely worth it.
Tonight, we walked around some more and went to dinner with another family at Pizza Hut. Caleb ate two pieces of pizza and a baby food pouch and some puffs. The kid can eat like a Porter!
There was a Bentley parked out in front of our hotel. I had to take a picture.
Here are some more pics from our afternoon. He loves to wrestle. He and I are wrestling and he is laughing hysterically!
Going for a stroll with Daddy. He loves to walk between us holding both our hands, but there was no one around to get a picture of that!
He could ride the escalators all day long.
Tomorrow morning we go to the American Consulate bright and early to take an oath for Caleb's citizenship and to submit his visa paperwork to come to the USA! We hope to do the zoo after if this nasty weather goes away!! Only 3 more sleeps in China!! I cannot WAIT to have all the pieces of my heart in one place. HOME.