Our first free day
Once again our morning started off with our precious girl waking up all by herself at just the right time. I quickly scooped her up, so her whimpering lasted but a few seconds. Since bedtime has been tramatic for her, we decided we would try to do some version of a bath in the morning. Patrick first poured the bath for Caleb. We decided to let Madeline Bei watch Caleb having fun in the tub first. He managed to get her to smile. But that was about the end of the bath time fun. I wanted to try standing her next to the tub and just give her a bird bath. But the tears began to flow. As usual, she let me undress her and didn't protest. But the crying continued. I quickly cleaned her neck, arms, legs, and feet but she still had her pj bottoms and diaper on. So that was as good as it was going to get.
Breakfast was improvement over the previous day. We didn't even bother asking for a high chair. She sat in my lap and ate well. She LOVED the watermelon and bacon and fried egg. When she was finished eating, she actually got down off my lap and walked around our table a bit. We're happy to see this little bit of progress.
We met our guide, Eric, and the Drewes crew in the lobby at 9am to head out to the Provincial Museum. I put Madeline in the carrier. So of course, Caleb wanted to be in the carrier too. Poor Patrick's back is going to break. Wearing 47 lbs on your chest for long periods is the stuff military men are made of, not civilians. We knew Caleb would be jealous of Madeline being in the carrier. But there is only so much Patrick can take.
Our guide, Eric, did a great job explaining the exhibits to us. It all was really quite impressive. But twice I had to excuse myself from the group because of "potty emergencies" for Madeline Bei. First time her diaper was wet. Second time, she told me she had to go "pa pa" but when I put her on the squatty, she just went #1 again. That was our first time doing the squatty potty for Madeline. And she did great. She clapped for herself, as she's seen us do for her. It was precious. While walking through some of the exhibits, she actually let me put her down and walk. So again, we felt like we were making progress. At one point, Madeline and I got separated from the group as we got in line for one of the exhibits. And as we waited for the rest of the group to catch up, several Ch*inese ladies walked by us and stroked Madeline's cheek. Patrick even told me that he saw several people staring at Madeline's arm and then look Caleb over to see if he was missing part of his arm too. We clearly got a ton of staring. Nothing bad...just curious.
We decided to have lunch at one of the restaurants in the hotel. Shortly after we ordered, Caleb had to go potty. So he and Patrick excused themselves. Well, Madeline was bound and determine to find them. I pointed to Caleb's backpack to help her understand that Caleb was coming back. But she decided she was going to bring it to him. Thankfully there was only one other patron on the restaurant because she dragged his backpack everywhere calling, "Ge ge (big brother), Ba Ba" over and over and over. It was so cute, except she kept tripping in her shoes. While Caleb and Patrick were still away, Caleb's giant bowl of noodle wonton soup was brought out. Madeline quickly climbed into his chair, picked up a fork and tried eating his bok choy! When that proved to be too difficult, she just lifted them out and proceeded to just grap it with her hand and shovel it in her mouth. I tried to tell her it was too hot and blew on it. So she quickly blew on it and shoved it right in anyway. No sooner did Patrick and Caleb return. And since Caleb is not a big fan of greens, we took them out of his bowl and gave them to Madeline. She ate the whole thing! I'm happy to see she's not just a fry and bacon kinda gal. After eating she hopped down and walked around our table. In fact, twice she did somersaults on the floor and thought it was hilarious. It was a good lunch for everyone.
We continued to get stared at as a little later we all ventured to the Carrefour for a bib (somehow we managed to forget Madeline's bib at home) and a pair of shoes. (Melissa, I was surprised the Madeline was wearing different shoes than Iris. But these shoes were clearly brand new, just like her clothes.) Anyway, Patrick convinced Caleb to be a big boy and walk the 10-15 minutes to the store instead of being carried. Although there was a breeze from the rainstorm that had past through earlier, it was easy to get sweaty quickly. It was actually hotter inside the store than outside because of that breeze. Caleb had several workers approach him and just start talking in Ch*inese. He would just turn around and look at us and say, "What'd she say?" One lady even walked over to him and tapped his head. It was clear she thought his two crowns on the top of his head were cute. Much to our surprise, the shoe shopping experience went well. In hindsight, I think it's because Madeline was in the carrier. But anyway, one of the workers just undid the velcro on Madeline's shoe and tried on a new one. It fit, so we bought it and got out of there.
Once back to the room, Caleb began to play with his new toy contruction tools we bought him at Carrefour, like 10 pieces for $1.50! At one point, Madeline scooped a whole bunch of them up. But she eventually gave them back to her brother. With no nap, we knew she was tired and cranky and thought it would be best to keep her in the carrier until she fell asleep. And it worked! I slowly transitioned her to the bed, as we've been doing. It was the first night without a bedtime meltdown. Caleb was thrilled, as were mommy and daddy.
Rain or shine, we will head out to the Yellow Crane Tower today. I have really been wanting to go here since we first accepted Madeline's referral. So I really hope the rain will hold off. Please continue to pray for our little Madeline Bei, as she gradually lets more and more of her guard down.