We are getting ready to have our 26-month-old daughter come home! We've been to the travel clinic -- and somehow, I was the only one who required vaccinations. (How did that happen?) The booster chair is in place at our kitchen table, bins of girl clothes are being sorted in the family room, and there is a suitcase for Kavya in the living room. We've put the child-proof locks on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and I bought diapers and wipes for the first time in years. Kavya, you are one joyfully anticipated little girl!
We also did a family game/experiment on Saturday to help our older kids understand a little bit how confusing things will seem for Kavya when she first arrives. This is something I thought up in the early morning hours. I don't know about other soon-to-travel moms, but I have woken up at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. a few times in the past week, thinking of many trip-related, daughter-related things.
So here is the game I dreamed up: we had the kids do a chore, but all of the parental instructions/talking was in gibberish. When I told Peter about it, he was a great sport, but I could tell he kind of thought I was losing my mind! :)
We have talked a lot with the kids about how confusing and scary everything will likely seem to Kavya, but we wanted to bring the discussions a little closer to home. We wanted them to feel confused, and be able to empathize with how strange it would be to not understand anything we were saying. We also wanted them to see how much our tone of voice will speak to Kavya -- that how we sound can really help her feel safer.
The chore we did was taking the old felt chair pads off our kitchen chairs, and replacing them with new ones. Then we filled a bucket and scrubbed the floor (full disclosure -- the chair pads took a while, and so Peter ended up doing the scrubbing to save time, and to save my back).
It was HILARIOUS. Peter was awesome at improvising and speaking gibberish, and I ended up using lots of (very bad) French because I'm not quite as silly and creative on the fly as Peter is. We explained the basic idea to our kids, but they didn't know what the chore would be -- so they really had to work hard at first to understand what we were asking them to do. And when the kids banged a knee or scraped a finger, they could see how our consoling tone and kind touches conveyed love and concern . . . mission accomplished!
After the game was over, we debriefed a little with them, and talked about how they felt throughout the game. It was a fun way to make all the discussion about Kavya's first days with us much more tangible for our kids.
In other travel preparations, I'm going to the chiropractor again today. Although I continue to have painful days, I am on a slow but steady path toward healing. I continue to have trouble sitting in chairs -- unless it's in my straight-back wooden chairs at home, or on the edge of a firm chair. Thank you, everyone, for praying for me . . . and please keep on praying for continued healing.