I know some of you are anxious to hear all the details of our Philippine adventure, and I promise you'll get them soon! But let me tell you about today first, our first full day at home together as a family. After being up from about 2:00am until 4:30am, James slept until almost 10:00. Needless to say, we skipped nap time today. The other two were watching a movie when he came downstairs. I got him some Cheerios and he stood and watched it and occasionally ate a Cheerio.
This boy loves his tv!
We let him open his Christmas presents. I'm not sure if he understood they were for Christmas, but they were under the tree, so perhaps. He immediately wanted the Pirate shirt on once Jason told him what it was. (Sorry, I tried to add pictures, but blogger is being as difficult as facebook!) He got two shirts, puzzles, a baseball glove, coloring book, and remote control car (which was by far his favorite!). All three kids have the cars so they played with those for a little while.
We really just hung out all afternoon and tried to keep James entertained. He is very busy and goes from one thing to another very quickly. I'm not sure yet if this is because there are just so many new things that he can't focus, or if it's something else. He did find a few of Aedan's toys that he kept going back to, like a motorcycle and some knight and horse action figures. He knows how to play with toys appropriately, which is good. But he has a harder time playing with other kids. He hits a lot, not really meanly. I think that's just his way of getting their attention, or getting someone out of his way. (His language isn't very good, but I'll talk about that in another post.) He also grabs whatever he wants out of our hands. Again, I think this is more a bad habit than a misbehavior. At the foster home I noticed no one ever made him ask for anything. He can say please and thank you, and we make him, but it's not an automatic thing for him yet. He kept going upstairs by himself, too. And while he's not in any danger in his room, he's not very confident on stairs, and he really needs to be close to us all the time for bonding and attachment to happen. So I had to get him many times and bring him back to the living room, unless one of the other kids was with him. They like him, but they're having a hard time, Aedan especially. He doesn't deal well with change, for starters. And he really gets upset when people don't follow the rules. And James doesn't follow the rules! I keep explaining to him that James doesn't know the rules yet, and he doesn't know he's expected to follow them. No one ever expected him to before. Plus he's still getting used to us and to his new life. But I have to admit, it was hard not get frustrated after about the 10th time of telling him the same thing. Sometimes he does not seem to be at a 4 year old level developmentally, even though the report has him within the normal range for his age in every area except language. But again, more on that another time. It's hard to say if it's just a defense mechanism for him, or if he really just doesn't understand. I guess we'll know in time. In the meantime, we try to be as consistent as possible, firm but gentle. He never fusses at us, at least not yet! Not even when we strapped him in a booster seat at the dinner table. Another habit he has is taking two bites and then leaving the table. He was not made to sit and eat, so we expected a fight. But he didn't! And he ATE. Perhaps it was the super good dinner my sweet friend brought me, but that was definitely the most he's eaten for us. And he gave it a two thumbs up :)
After dinner Jason did his typical wresting match with the kids. James joined right in and figured out what to do pretty fast. He loved it, but didn't complain when we told him wrestling was finished. Then we gave Aedan and Liana the gifts we bought them in the Philippines and then it was time to get ready for bed. After everyone pottied and brushed their teeth, we sat in the boys' room for Bible and prayer. He remembered that we prayed last night, and Jason helped him copy me for his prayer. He did pretty well! He looked at the Bible while Jason read. He doesn't yet have the ability to understand long sentences, so for now he can just look at the pictures. He needs as few words as possible, otherwise he looks away. And sometimes with even a few words, I have to get him to look at me several times before I get all the words across. I'm sure we will get there in time, though.
After goodnights and hugs for everyone, he climbed in bed, fussed for about ten seconds, and fell asleep. I did give him melatonin, so hopefully he sleeps all night tonight. But in the event that he doesn't, I'd better head to bed myself, in case we have another 2am playdate. :)