It is funny how people's first impression when you tell them that you are adopting children from an impoverished country, is that they think they are lifeless, thumb-sucking, blobs that have no personality or unique qualities. I can't tell you how many times I have had people ask me if they know how to talk (hello! they are 5 years old), if they can feed themselves, if they are potty trained, etc. So after our visit to the creche last month I enjoy telling people just how "normal" the kids are.
It was during the preschool class morning break when I really grasped the fact that kids are just kids, no matter where. The little girls were in a corner, pretending to be mommies. They were cuddling dolls, rocking them, changing diapers and seemed to have the whole mom gig down pat! Darline, in particular, patted her babydoll on the back and then very carefully placed the doll on a blanket and patted its back, I am assuming as it slept. Now for as nice and gentle as the little girls were playing the boys were outside in stark contrast being boys.......third world or not...they were boys.
The playground has a LittleTykes jungle gym that has a tube to crawl thru and two little slides. Well those sweet, angelic boys were taking it apart, kick by kick, chasing each other with the pieces and cracking each othe over the head. They had a blast doing this and Marc and I sat and watched this laughing the whole time. Yeah, I know, other people probably would have intervened and stopped the fun, but our take on it was that they were boys doing boy stuff. No one was hurt during this play, but it was amusing to watch these boys doing the things that, well, Thomas and his friends have done here.
Sometimes I find that the best punishment for Madison and Thomas is public humiliation in the form of motherly affection. For instance, the kids were fighting and just being pains all the way thru my shopping at Target one day, so I grabbed Thomas, pulled him into my arms and kissed him LOUDLY alll the while saying, "I love you!" He was so embarrassed that he walked quietly about 10 paces behind me all the way to the car. SCORE one for mom. So along this same line of thinking, a similar incident happend at the creche last month.
The boys were just getting up for the day. Some were getting their showers and others were waiting quietly until I came into the room. I saw Jerome and he was dripping wet with just a towel around him when I scooped him up and smothered him with kisses. One little boy, who shall remain nameless, cough, Lucio, cough, ran up to Jerome and me and proceeded to say, "jerome mama, oooh, smooch smooch smooch ." I thought it was so darn cute, but man, Jerome was fighting mad. Lucio made a kissy face and smoochy sounds that mortified Jerome just cause I was being, well, motherly. The other boys laughed loudly and so did I. Boys will be boys!!
I have so many stories to share of normal things our boys and girls do while living in a creche in a third world country. I sometimes fear how difficult life will be when Richnightder and Jerome finally come home and add to the normalcy of boys being boys. I am sure Thomas has a lot of new tricks to teach them.