More random updates on how things are going...
Pottytrained or Not?
Ben is not potty trained. I did not expect that as he was still in diapers during our first trip. We know, from the schedule we were given, that the kids spent a lot of time sitting on little potties at the orphanage throughout the day at specific times. So he is familiar with it and should be easy to train once we begin, I think. For now I am waiting until we are sure the little bug is out of his system completely before we start that specific training session. Currently, I have three boys from 10m to 6yo all in size 4 diapers :)
Interesting tidbit, after I picked him up and he had his first dirty diaper, he expected to be washed off in the bath vs with wipes like we normal change diapers. Guess that is what they are used to?
Ben is wearing size 3T clothing, though pants are a little long and he can easily fit into 2T shirts as well. He has a tiny waist! He is in size 10 shoe but a size smaller would have been ok.
It took me a week to realize he could completely dress himself on his own from head to toe (only issue is zippers on coats). He was perfectly content to let me do it for him during that week we were together in BG. Guess it was good bonding, lol. (BTW, he wanted me to feed him most of the time when we were there as well, but now that we are home, he has to do it himself...guess the peer pressure of siblings had some impact on that?)
We honestly thought the lanuage adjustment would be a bigger issue that it has been. Ben barely spoke during our first trip, even in Bulgarian. I noticed more speech right away this time around and within a couple days after picking him up, I had taught Ben to say in English and sign (and he correctly used them) 'more' 'please' and 'eat'. Now after a week home, he can correctly name everyone in the family, parts of the face, and he repeats, like a parot, anything you say or tell him to say.
He went up to big sister and said/signed 'please'. She asked him 'What do you want?' and he replied 'what do you want?' Haha! He knows to go to her with his palm up and she will do 'around, around a garden and then tickle him. He can take the music box to her and ask/sign 'please' and 'help' and she will crank it for him.
Now he signs: eat, help, water, more, up, down, I love you, come, please, thank you...
I am no longer concerned about his ability to talk. He may need some help down the road with pronunciation due to an accent when he talks but he is completely understandable.
He keeps repeating the phrase that sounds like he is saying something between "finding the car" and "Lightning McQueen". How he says it sounds very similiar to both, but it says it any time he sees something with wheels. (Tractor, wheelchair, bus, van, car or train....).
He knows what 'be nice' means. He knows what 'do not throw', 'no thumb', 'put your hand down', and put your shoes on means. He really is understanding so many directions and words than he is actually saying.
He knows if he counts 1, 2, 3....that daddy will tickle him. Oh, the tickles! He has the quietest laugh and absolutely eats up the fun time with daddy spent wrestling and rough housing. He never tires of it, even when daddy is worn out :) I guess 6 years of not having that will take a while to catch up on. He is all boy for sure!
We are still trying to draw Ben out and teach him how to play. He was a bit of a loner in the orphanage, playing by himself and doing his own thing most of the time. He does join in when the others look to be doing something fun like chasing each other around the room, playing ring-around-the-rosy, rolling a ball or pushing cars across the room. He enjoys just sitting and spinning the wheels on toy cars or pushing the buttons on music toys. When he is relaxed and happy, he will sing little tunes. At odd times he will sing 'Happy Birthday' and I have heard 'Jingle Bells' a couple times as well.
Cars are the coveted toy. Oddly, all my children have taken an interest in playing with cars since Ben came home so there is a bit of competition for certain onces and lots of opportunities for all involved to practice sharing and taking turns.
Ben loves to play outside. He will wander around the yard, follow the kids around, loves swinging on his belly on the swings, and sitting on the big wheel bike. Getting to ride in the bucket of daddy's tractor around the yard was exciting!
He is a bit fearful of the dog. I am not sure what his prior experience was with them...we know there were a lot of dogs running around the village and one who hung around the orphanage grounds. He tries to go up to it and spit or throw things at it, or even hit it with a toy for no reason at all, poor puppy. Our dog is a 1yo pocket beagle, very friendly but full of puppy exuberance. So now they stay away from each other.
Part 3 coming next, including pictures, as well as a post about all the details of the pickup trip! Again, questions are welcome :)