Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Smart kid

Eliana scares me with her brain. I know, all kids are smart. And I don't think Eliana is a genius who will, you know, need to attend a special school in Arizona or skip 3 grades in order to stay challenged in school. But she has a mind that causes me to worry about our future. With increasing frequency, I'm thinking boarding school sounds like a great option. Why parent yourself, when you can outsource it to the pros?

What scares me is her ability to come up with reasons why she should get her way. Her ability to manipulate a situation in her favor is uncanny. Example: She was sleeping over at her friend Emi's house, and was pretty set on sleeping in the inflatable bed she brought along. Emi's mother, however, thought the two girls would just sleep in the guest bed. Eliana said no, so Emi's mom said, "Why don't you give it 10 minutes and then see how it goes. I think you'll find the bed is pretty comfortable." Ten minutes later, Eliana comes strolling out and tells Glenda "the bed is hurting my legs. I need to sleep in the other bed." Now, what is Glenda going to say to that? No, I guess your legs will just have to hurt? Of course not. Eliana wins.

The other night, Eliana and I were reading one of the books in the Olivia series. Earlier that day, we had had some disciplinary issues and Eliana ended up in a time out. But by bedtime, I thought it was all water under the bridge. So as we page through the book, we come upon a picture of Olivia and her mom building a huge skyscraper sand castle. "Can you build a sand castle like that, Mom?" she asks, sweetly and innocently. "No, I can't, sweetheart," I reply, suspecting nothing. "Yeah," she says, "You'd have to be a smart mom, who doesn't get mad at her daughter." What, exactly, does one do with that?

My last story before I go to bed is about feeling old. This past weekend, for reasons I won't go into, I taught Eliana the chorus for the early '80's tune, "Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend," by Loverboy. Again, I won't go into details, but it involved a headband Eliana insisted on wearing that morning. She learned the song, it was hilarious, so I told her I'd take her out for ice cream if she sang it for her preschool teacher. Monday evening, she tells me that, sure enough, she performed it for her teacher. "So," I ask, "what did she say?" "She laughed," replied Eliana, "and then she said that I should show it to her mama because her mama would like it a lot." And there it is. My preschool teacher wasn't even born when the song came out, but her mother would sure appreciate the humor.

On that note, it's after 10pm and my aching back and sore feet need to get into bed. I've taken my Geritol, had my tea, and dang it if my knee isn't telling me we're going to get snow tomorrow.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Merry Christmas season

Well, again, it's been a while. I'd like to start out by saying to all of my friends and family: I'm so sorry you haven't heard much from me lately. I owe many of you thank you cards, emails, and calls, and I've been horrible at all of it. BUt it's not because I don't appreciate all of you. I'm just having trouble finding time for things that don't seem imminent. Horrible excuse, hence my apology. My December resolution is to change all of that.

I'm working now. So far, I love it. I really do. I'm surrounded by smart, ambitious, kind, and supportive people. Because my firm is not hierarchical, there isn't a ton of cut-throat competition. Everyone seems pretty keen on supporting their peers, which is exactly the kind of place I want to be. And I've befriended several women with small children (there are only a few of us, unfortunately), and that has been very helpful as well.

My girls are fantastic. Eliana is sleeping over at a friend's house tonight. She is just so grown up now. I bought a Christmas dress for her last night, and when she tried it on today I got tears in my eyes. She is turning into a beautiful little lady. Smart, too. She's turning into a puzzle fanatic, and is way better at it than I think is normal for someone her age. She has two 100-piece puzzles so well learned, she can do them by herself in about 45 minutes or less. She's learning to read, and is doing quite well. She loves to learn, and I'm pretty sure she is going to LOVE school.

Meron is adorable, and is on the verge of walking. I'll post a few pictures of both of them. She is just so sweet, and such a cuddle-bunny. It's very nice, I must admit, to have a baby who likes to cuddle. Eliana had no time for cuddling, as that took time away from running around, and with her head on my chest she was bound to miss something huge. Meron seems to understand that she can spend a few minutes cuddled up to mama and still manage to catch most of what is going on around her. Thank god, because it's awesome.

There's been quite a lot of debate on the ethics of adoption; ironically enough it's been happening a bunch on an Ethiopian adoption listserv I'm a part of. Most of the people on the message board have already adopted, or are waiting for referrals, but they are debating the ethics of the whole process. I understand the questions - adoption, especially international adoption, is fraught with ethical grey areas and inequalities. That being said, I'm now at the point where I cannot see my adoption of Meron as a bad, or even questionable thing. I can debate and address the enormous societal, global, and racial issues contributing to Ethiopia's poverty, gender inequality, and inability to support millions of their children. And I will continue to seek ways to help Ethiopia become stronger as a nation so that fewer children are forced to leave their families of origin. That being said, I love Meron so much that I cannot see adopting her as the wrong decision. I'm officially blinded to the debate where my daugher is concerned. I can address it on an intellectual level, but please do not question me about my decision to adopt from Ethiopia, because I cannot hold the debate with an open mind, as I will never reconsider the wisdom behind my decision to mother such an amazing, adorable, and beautiful little girl.

Good night everyone. I hope to write again soon. In the meantime, here are a few more pictures.