Today was another shopping day -- taking the big bus along with the other families! The mall was made up of all kids of Chinese things for sale, and I did have souvenirs that I wanted to buy. This was obviously the best day to get it done. But, not only was it intensely over-stimulating for Emily, the tight aisles between shops and the crowds were difficult for us big people as well. If it had just been one of my teen-aged daughters and me.... well, then, we could have done some serious shopping! But, add a 3 year old who was reacting in fear and then defiance to the big crowds, and it was a recipe for disaster that ended in a great big tantrum. If it hadn't already been so noisy, we might have been embarrassed by her screams. As it was, her screaming was pretty much drowned out by the crowds.
For the second day in a row, we were NOT up to a lunch outing when the bus unloaded everyone at the hotel. The people in the pastry shop downstairs will know us by name if this keeps up!! The pastry didn't fill me up, and I had some milk in one of Emily's little milk boxes (like juice boxes in the US) along with the Cheeri*os I had brought from home. If Emily won't eat them, I will!
After nap time, we played in the room again like yesterday. Emily is definitely starting to relax more in the room and show signs of actually enjoying to play. She definitely likes to play with Dan a lot more than me. In our travel preparation, we were told that it was very common for the child to reject one parent and bond more quickly with the other. Emily will watch Dan play with the Dupl*o blocks that we brought along. She had no idea what to do with them at first..... she didn't see how to make them fit together for a day or two, but now she'll watch Dan build things and start to put them together herself. They'll add a tower onto one large block that has wheels and make it roll. Dan makes truck sounds, and "beep beep" sounds, and she has started imitating them!! Great progress, we think!! Then, she'll take them all apart and put them into a little purse/backpack that the orphanage sent along with her on Gotcha day.
She also loves to climb up in Dan's lap and will sit there unbuttoning his shirt, and then buttoning it back up. It's another one of those "paying attention to detail" type things that makes me happy to see. Her hand-eye coordination is wonderful.
In the evening, we met up with all the other LifeLine families in the lobby to board our big bus again. This time we were off to have a dinner cruise on a riverboat. All of these sight-seeing trips have been previously arranged for us. We enjoyed seeing the night lights, and actually passed by the tall building that we'd seen last week. Its lights were beautiful, as were several of the bridges that were lit up.
After the buffet meal, there was entertainment for the kids--- a clown, juggler, and music.
Back at the hotel, we got ready for bed right away. Emily is finally agreeable about taking off her clothes. She gets really attached to various things-- one of them being this red jacket. Sometimes it's a challenge to get her to take it off! But, now that she's feeling more comfortable in the hotel room, it's become a routine to go right into the room and put her jacket on the chair, and her shoes on the floor under the TV. She definitely takes comfort in the little routines! She still despises bed time, so basically right now, we're just letting her sit in my lap on the bed with the lights off, but with a cartoon on the TV. Usually, she's so exhausted by all the stress of the day that she falls over sound asleep within 10 minutes, and I just ease her down onto the bed and crawl out from under her!!
It's really amazing to think about how overwhelming all of this must be for a kid who basically never left the orphanage..... and here we are going all over Guang Zhou every day. I'd certainly be ready to shut down.... and I doubt I'd be very cooperative with the people making me do all these new things!! It's hard to keep remembering her perspective, because we know much better her life can and will be, but she just has no clue! But, we can see that each day, she is definitely bonding more tightly with Dan, and she's tolerating me!! It's good to see her slowly letting down her guard, and start toward the beginnings of trust.