Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ye Ye's in Town!

Yesterday, Ye Ye took the train from Zhengzhou to Beijing, for a long visit (at least two months), and since it was due for his check-up since his last operation. He reached our place close to 5pm, and brought with him gifts for Rosabelle when he last went to Xinjiang to visit his parents. We had already psyched Rosabelle up that Ye Ye will come with toys, a hat, and clothes, so when she woke up from her afternoon nap, it did not take her long to warm up and greet Ye Ye resoundingly.

We first put the traditional hat on for her, but guess she found the sequins and beads rather ticklish, and would rather put the miniature version (like a handphone accessory) on her head. However, after some time, vanity took over and she allowed us to let her put on the hat, the top, as well as the skirt and ta-dah! We have a showgirl!
She was admiring herself in the mirror, and posed as she held onto the windchime and handphone accessory.
Since it was time to go down for her evening walk, we thought it would be quite fun for her to show off her new clothes, and asked if she wanted to wear it downstairs, no matter how uncomfortable it looked.

And so I was laughing all the way as she turned heads, and gamely stood around for awhile before deciding that she wanted to take them all off. Haha! Luckily I was well-prepared and brought a change of more practical (i.e. comfortable and can be dirtied without much heartache) clothes for her, and that’s when she spotted the older kids using the platform as a stage to sing.
She decided to go up and do her piece too, putting a hand on her mouth as she saw the older girls pretending to hold a microphone (and she thought they were covering their mouths, haha!). She even tried to do the peace/victory sign like them in a pose, heh!
After that, at one point, she kept turning the corner to run away on her own, not once looking back. I tried to test her and hid in a corner, keeping an eye on her at all times, to see if she would know how to look for me, but no! Once, she went almost out of sight until I got worried that she would go onto the road alone. Another time, she went up a flight of steps behind some bushes. Both times, I called her back and told her off severely that she always has to make sure that I am following her, or that she can see me. I give her the independence to venture away from me (that is why I try not to hold her hand/carry her unless we are on the road), but also expect her to understand that she has to be careful and not get herself lost by wandering too far away.

When it was almost 8pm, I figured we had to quickly make our way home since it was our first meal with Ye Ye, and kept calling for her to leave with me, but she was too distracted/focused on pushing a baby trolley, and did not want to budge. Even after I threatened to leave a few times, she did not even flinch. I then made her look up at another mummy and said that this aunty is going to send her back, and I will head off first, and I really went off… around the corner, to again hide. My goodness… she was unperturbed, and even continued pushing the trolley around the corner, right until the other mummy asked if she wanted to go home and look for me, and Rosabelle replied in the affirmative, but still made no action/plan/intention of heading in the direction of home. Right until I stepped out and asked her to go on back home, she did not once cry or panic… sigh! Maybe she’s too independent for her own good, but at least I can be reassured that with distractions and familiar people around, she is fine on her own, and won’t bawl for me. However, I also reminded her that she can only follow familiar people around, and even if strangers come with toys or food, she is not supposed to follow them.

Speaking of food, some of the other girls were all eating a lollipop each, before they even had their dinner. You know my stand on such unhealthy junk food, and my poor girl could only look on longingly and ask, ‘姐姐吃什么东西?' as I explained to her that it was a lollipop which isn’t good for her teeth. When a mummy whipped out some almond wafers to offer the rest, she knew that she could not have them and did not ask/cry for them even when the other mummy offered and I refused. She was so well-behaved in spite of all the peer pressure around her that I felt quite bad and pinched a bit of the wafer for her. She was so happy and gave me such a bright smile, heh! Such occasional indulgences will make her appreciate the treat more, and not take it as a given/must-have, like how the other girls wail till their mothers succumb and buy them the lollipop. Tsk, tsk…

When we reached home and had dinner, it was already close to 8:30pm, and surprisingly enough, after Ye Ye finished his dinner and offered to feed her, she was most welcoming and polished off the whole plate of food I had prepared for her, much to Ye Ye’s astonishment (‘两岁小孩能够吃这么多?!'). He got so worried at one point that he kept asking Rosabelle not to eat already, and asked Wayne to take over in feeding her soup as he could not bear to stuff her further, haha!

After that, to work off all the late dinner, we all took a short walk to the block opposite where we had rented a one-bedroom apartment for Ye Ye (she kept wanting to hold Ye Ye’s hand on the way there). Once we stepped into the place (very nice, modern, and well-maintained), Rosabelle gave me a very happy grin and started exploring the place – the bar counter, the sofa, the bed, the toilet (she was adamant about wanting to wash her hands there, and even took a pee in the toilet bowl)…

When we were ready to leave, Ye Ye asked if she wanted to stay with him and she nodded, so Nainai, Wayne and I pretended to leave and stood outside the door. We could hear her giggling excitedly as Ye Ye talked to her, haha! After more than 5 minutes, Ye Ye opened the door and said that he had to remind her to look for me before she decided to move from the sofa. Aiyo! Think she would have spent the night there in the new fun place, as she remarked on our walk back, ‘去爷爷家玩会儿!'.

On the topic of play, seeing how she likes jigsaws so much, I took out a 15-piece set last week for her to try (it’s for two years of age and above). She liked the huge pieces and the completed bus picture with its many characters and activities, but wasn’t exactly keen at that point, as maybe it could have been quite daunting since it was a steep graduation from the 8-piece puzzles she is now so good at. However, in the past few days, she has improved greatly and with guidance from us (like asking her to look for the missing nose/elbow/baby etc, and she will now muse to herself ‘Eh? Ayi nose?’ as she sets out to look for the missing piece), she is now successfully completing the puzzle on her own. Very well-done, atta girl!
Last week as well, after going to Mai Dou’s house, she brought back a doll, that I found oh-so-cute!
Mai Dou had thrown the doll on the floor, and Rosabelle immediately went to pick it up and hugged it, and as we left the house, she said, ‘Baby painful’ as she pointed to the lock of fake hair on its head, thinking it was a raised bump. Haha! Back home, she quickly used her medical kit to give baby an injection, feed it medicine, and apply a ‘cold patch’ on its bruise. Girls are just so sweet and nurturing!
Last night, she was really funny as she spied me looking at Wayne’s university photos that he got his dad to bring over from Zhengzhou. As I placed each photo onto the table, she remarked, ‘妈妈打牌了!', haha! That’s because every single day, there will be a bunch of extremely free old men/women downstairs, playing poker, and she had queried me before what they were doing. It’s quite true – my action of throwing down each photo did look like I was playing poker – so hilarious…

And one last miscellaneous thingey before I end this post – I received a notice from a representative of the town council (of sorts) here who was making her grounds in our compound, saying that kids aged 8 months and 5 years old in Beijing needed to get a measles booster, which is a local vaccine and free of charge at the local hospital. Maybe it’s an epidemic or something, but it’s mandatory for all kindergartens. However, I checked my books and she last had MR at 8 months, and MMR at 18 months. I called Amcare, where she usually takes her jabs, and the receptionist (not sure if she’s a nurse) said it’s not mandatory, so I decided to message my brother-in-law this morning. I don’t really want to introduce anything unnecessary into her at so young an age, and true enough, it was reassuring when he replied that she doesn’t need this booster since she already had the two jabs. Hmmm… it’s quite dubious how they word their notice, saying that all the children, regardless of whether they had taken the measles vaccine before, should get the booster. I thought especially for live vaccines, there has to be a buffer period in between? I really don’t wish to take chances by exposing her to something I know I could have prevented, but at the same time, hate to introduce anything else that is not required into her…

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