Everything is still going REALLY well - in fact, it just gets better all the time. Yikealo is such a sweet little boy, and David and I are irrevocably in love with him. It's amazing to both of us how smoothly he has transitioned to his new life - and he is just so OURS! I honestly can't imagine a child more suited to our lifestyle and personalities, and God certainly knew what he was doing when he put Yikealo in our family. My parents visited last Friday, and my Dad made the same comment about Yikealo seeming just perfect for us.
He takes so much delight in the simplest of things. He loves to go grocery shopping and gets so excited about every single thing that we put in the cart. And then there are ice cream cones - the ultimate in pleasure!
He loves to know that things are his, and he's constantly asking about various things around the house. For example, when I fold laundry, he likes to sit on the bed and ask about every single item of his clothing: "Mom, shirt yenna no?" Me: "Yes, Yikealo, it's yours." Yikealo, with a big smile: "Thank you!" Then he generally needs to hug the item in question. My Dad is a farmer, and knowing Yikealo's fascination with vehicles, he brought a stack of farm magazines for the boy last Friday, which pretty much sealed Yikealo's affection for his Papaw! I am no help whatsoever in telling him what the various pieces of machinery in the photos are called, but he loves to look through them, and he continually wants to have it confirmed that they are his.
Of course, he still likes to "borrow" our clothes too. Every Sunday morning after he is dressed, he grabs one of David's ties and keeps himself entertained for at least 15 minutes by tying it intricately around his neck. Last Sunday while he was checking out the results in the full-length mirror in his room, I walked in to do the same with my outfit. When he saw my shoes (pink and white gingham high heels) his eyes lit up, he sucked in an awe-struck breath, and immediately claimed my shoes for himself! Ummmm....I think we might need to work on your sense of style, buddy!
Today, in the back yard, he became enthralled with the texture of the bark on one of our big maple trees, and he wanted to know if the tree was his. When I said that it was, he kissed it.
He no longer minds affection between David and I. In fact, last week when David kissed him goodbye before leaving for work, he told him to "Kiss Amama too." He's also okay with letting me out of his sight for brief periods of time during the day. During the last few weeks, he's begun allowing me to go to the basement by myself to start a load of laundry, and he'll sometimes play outside or in the garage by himself for a bit. He's finally realized that I'm not going to disappear if he's not with me every second.
Last Saturday evening, we had family night at David's parents' house, and for the very first time, Yikealo really engaged in play with his cousins. Every other time he's been with them, he's pretty much ignored them, but this time, he played in the basement with Cole and Quinn and then wrestled around with Clint and Abby and they all chased each other around and around through the living room and dining room. It was loud and wild and fairly obnoxious, and....SO good to see! James and Susan enjoyed it too, because it was the first time that their kids had obviously enjoyed playing at Grandpa and Grandma's house since Mark and Julie's family moved to Atlanta two and a half years ago. Yay! Another cousin their age!
This morning, while Yikealo was splashing around in the bathtub, I heard him start talking, so I peeked around the corner to see him staring his rubber ducky sternly in the eye. Here was the "conversation":
YIKEALO: Listen, ducky! Potty?
DUCKY (in a high-pitched, squeaky voice): No potty.
YIKEALO: Okay, shinte pants, AYDELEM. Shinte pants, Yikealo MAD! Shinte, say "Yikealo, potty!" Okay?
DUCKY: Okay, Yikealo.
YIKEALO: Good job, Ducky!
I cracked up laughing at that point, and he looked up and grinned at me, and then told me, "Ducky good job, Mom!" Then he held out his water-filled duck and wanted me to make the ducky go potty, so I dutifully emptied Ducky into the toilet, while Yikealo praised, "Good boy, Ducky!" Can you tell this is a very familiar topic of conversation around our house? Hey, at least I know he's listening!
Here was his prayer at lunch today: "Dear Jesus, thank you for Amama, for Ababa, for photo (camera), for wetet (milk), for sandwich, for phone, for medicine, for Jesus, AMEN!" Then he wanted to "Pay more" (pray again - specifically his bedtime prayer) so we said "Now I lay me down to sleep" before eating our turkey sandwiches. I guess we will be "laying us down to sleep" for our afternoon nap shortly!
Our Trip to Ethiopia and Dubai, Day 7
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