I think we’ll keep them

That’s what a reprieve will do; make you feel like you might just actually make it. Two months into our adventure in parenting, we’ve had no regular childcare (or other) help. Yes we’ve had some brief (fabulous) visits from the grandparents who helped tremendously, but no other scheduled assistance. This week we had an opportunity to send the boys to another FREE Vacation Bible School, this time full days all week. Day one, Melkam just wasn’t comfortable, so he came to my office with me for two hours. Day two, we put him in a different class and his brother’s raving reports helped convince him to try again. They both went from 9am to 3pm and I got to see what it was like to parent ONE child. I actually got to work during her 1.5 hour nap. It was amazing!

I was so happy to see the boys when I picked them up too, which is what you get to feel when you get a break once in a while. All very good! VBS is also great practice for Alex (in particular) for school in September. He is doing great communicating with other kids and with camp counselors, and even is able to tell us pretty clear stories about what he did during the day. Very impressive!

The boys still speak to each other in Amharic, but more than half the time, they speak to each other in English. After only 9 weeks. It’s just amazing to watch this transformation take place.

Here’s some audio of the boys chattering to each other in the car only three days after we got home. They are reciting some game that we don’t know about (anyone who knows what they are saying, please translate!):

ManningBoys5.18.11B

Last week, Charles convinced them to sing a song in Amharic for the camera. Fortunately their glee over seeing themselves on video trumps their wish to avoid being photographed, so here they are!

Despite all this Amaharic, they are speaking English incredibly well. Alex is starting to express complex thoughts and ask fascinating questions. He’s great at recounting things that happened as well…he will be a great storyteller. For example today at VBS after lunch they had quiet time or rest time in the chapel while some of the camp counselors played music on the guitar. One of his friends fell asleep and fell of the padded pew. Alex can hardly tell the story without laughing hysterically! We asked him if he laughed when it happened and he said no, he didn’t. (Ooh, is he learning kindness, too?)

Today Ellie started consistently calling our dog Noah ‘Wawa’ whenever he entered the room or while he was licking her toes during lunch, and she’s been accurately saying ‘DaDa’ for over a week whenever her beloved Daddy is on the scene. I think she’s going to be talking coherently very soon. After all, she’s highly motivated to get what she wants, so talking will come with its own rewards!

But back to the reprieve I mentioned at the beginning of the post; I’m just amazed at how effective a few hours away from my kids is at making me appreciate and miss them. They are really wonderful, funny, dynamic little people and I’m so grateful they are here. When I’m with them for 8 hours without any help, I am not so appreciative.


3 responses to “I think we’ll keep them

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