Saturday, June 9, 2012

One Week Post Asia

It's been the first week of many adjustments at the Gates Home. Jenn is working her tail off keeping up with the kids all day. Then when I get home, the bedtime/bathtime routine is taking about 90 minutes, and then we're whipped and everyone is asleep.
It's become clear that Henry is quite delayed in the emotional development department. Eighteen months in a poor Chinese orphanage will do that to you. Going from...
  • a year and a half of simply having his basic needs met to...

  • spending two weeks with our undivided attention in either small, under-whelming hotel rooms or attached to one or the other of us to...

  • learning how to adapt to an overwhelming house with other kids, and parents that can't pay 100% attention to him all of the time, and a routine with which he's not familiar.
Because of these events, this week has predictably been a challenge for Henry, and by extension, for Jenn and me. Lincoln and Lydia are doing pretty well. It didn't surprise us to see some behavioral setbacks with them given the circumstances of the past month. Lydia simply obeys when she wants to and lives in her own little princess world most of the time. Lincoln has been very good, very gentle, and very loving with Henry. He wants to be the boss most of the time, but what four-year-old doesn't?
Interestingly, Gretel has been amazingly good lately, too. It's no secret that Jenn regretted getting Gretel early on in her time with us, but she's matured into a wonderful Boxer and a very good family dog. Henry was deathly, irrationally afraid of the dogs at first, and Gretel seemed to be very bothered by that. She'd go sit in the corner when Henry cried, nay screamed, around her. Now he's been less afraid of her in the past couple of days, but she's doing a wonderful job of letting him get comfortable with her. Betty, with her bouncing, snorting behavior is another story. Who'd have thought he'd warm up to Gretel before Betty?

After I was away from the clinic for three weeks, Dad was ready for a vacation, so he and Jeremy took off on the annual June fishing trip to Stony Lake. Thankfully I was able to get away around the kids naptime on Friday and help Jenn out with that. Until all three kids get used to the New Way, it's a lot of work brushing the teeth of a four year old and two year-and-a-half-year-olds, reading them their stories and getting them down for a nap.

Pretty sure a skunk was spraying at Gretel the other evening. I was playing a game with Lincoln when I smelled skunk, and then I saw Gretel on the deck licking profusely and foaming a lot around her mouth. Her muzzle smelled a bit like skunk. She was probably licking something that had just been sprayed. The house smelled of skunk for about 18 hours, but with the windows open and a good breeze, it passed before a day. With all that's been going on here, we didn't need to add a skunked dog to the mix over the next couple of weeks until the smell got off of here!

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