I asked the tour guide if he could think of any other time before the last day here that he might have mentioned this. AAAhhh!! Honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered much because we’ve been busy most mornings and it has rained most afternoons, but still—we could have run there, rather than the city streets. It’s just beautiful.
I thought I should give an update on QingBei, since she was so antagonistic toward me earlier this week. She would not come anywhere near me, wouldn’t hold my hand and would not even look at me most of the time. We started off battling this earlier in the week by getting her UN-attached from Reilly. Most of my kids are addicted to screens—TV screens, Nintendo DS screens, computer screens – except for Reilly, who just loves babies and toddlers. The other kids like QingBei, but they don’t have the patience to play four-year-old games for hours on end, so they interact with her for a few minutes, until they get bored and then they ignore her. So, whenever we had free time, it was always Reilly playing with QingBei and the other kids on screens. It was no wonder QingBei became attached to her. I finally told Reilly that she really had to find something else to do and stop spending all her free time with QingBei. Reilly was great about this and has really backed off. Of course, rather than play with me, QingBei drifted toward every other family member besides me over the course of the week. I looked for a chance to move in, but she really wanted nothing to do with me.
This changed a little when ZiXuan arrived on Monday. QingBei started walking over to me, mostly to hand ZiXuan things, but at least she was getting close. She also started playing with me more. She loves to play tickle monster and hide and seek. In fact, she is always playing tickle monster. She greets people by tickling their belly and giving them a playful growl (we’ll work on this later). I would try to tickle her a few times each day, but she always turned her head and pushed my hand away. Over time, she tolerated me more and more, but didn’t really acknowledge my existence until Wednesday at the park. As I wrote, she walked right up to me and held my hand as we were walking to the tower. This was huge. It was also painful, because I was carrying ZiXuan (380 steps total to the top of that stinkin tower), and there was no way I was going to let go of QingBei to switch hands. Luckily, Matt stepped in and carried her so I could finally switch ZiXuan to my other arm. If only there were triathlon –type sporting events involving baby-juggling, I might have a chance to place!
Sometime during that walk in the park on Thursday, something clicked and suddenly, QingBei was on me like white on rice. It would have been wonderful, but rather than just hold my hand, she wanted me to carry her and I was already carrying ZiXuan. The result was that I would end up finding some steps somewhere so I could hold them both on my lap until QingBei was ready to move off again, but on that day, I officially became the mother to two new babies, one that I carry and one who holds my hand as she walks.
We spent the rest of Thursday in the hotel (essentially swimming and bickering) because of the rain and got ready to fly out on Friday.
We had a free morning on Friday, so Bill got up early to work out at the fantastic hotel Health Center and I had the morning with QingBei and ZiXuan. Glory of Glories, QingBei woke up calling, “ma-ma” for the first time. She also let me take her out of the crib and stuck by me for most of the day. When I left about 11am to go running, I had to sneak out and when I came back, she was glad to see me. We left for the airport about 2pm and by then she had develop an almost neurotic obsession with holding my hand. We flew out at 6:30 and landed at 7:30pm. She sat next to me on the plane and stuck by me like glue as we drove to the hotel, checked in, and went to a local McDonalds for dinner.
We are now in Guangzhou (at another five star hotel) for a week to process paperwork for the American Consulate. Now that QingBei has bonded with me, I feel like we are essentially coasting. THANK YOU GOD--and thanks for all of you who were praying for us! At some point, we should probaby get together and discuss the stock market. With results like this, I feel we have a reasonable shot at a cool million.