Let me back up a bit: a couple weeks ago, I walked into a children's store in my neighborhood. I had spotted a small plastic slide on the sidewalk outside, and finally worked up enough courage to go inside and ask about. In Chinese, of course. Ok, I also practiced ahead of time what to say. The cashier received me graciously; we talked in circles, me asking questions, her answering, then me confirming what she said. I finally figured out that I could order it that day and they would have it delivered to my apartment the next day. I signed the papers and paid. The next day, I get a call from an unknown number (that's always a little nerve wracking, as I don't know whether to answer in English or Chinese)... It was the delivery guy. I actually understood him and he me, as we made a plan for me to receive the delivery at 2:00. Sure enough, he arrived on the dot. Much to my surprise, the box was HUGE. Taller than the guy, and definitely taller than me. Not only that, but the picture on the outside of the box is not just a slide. It is a slide and swing and basketball hoop. Score. So here I am, in my living room by myself, staring at an unassembled playset in a box, that I am supposed to somehow get all the way to the orphanage, not to mention simply out of my 13th floor apartment.
The line for that slide and swing was continuous throughout the afternoon. I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself finding a "toy" that I am able to leave there without worrying that it will be hidden, eaten, thrown out a window, or otherwise ruined before returning on Saturday.
When I returned to the orph after lunch, I had an activity in mind for developing everyone's fine motor skills: bendy straw necklaces! The night before, I had cut up 150 bendy straws into 1 inch pieces, to use as beads in making necklaces. I may have mentioned before, craft stores don't exist here; so I've had to get creative with craft supplies, using recyclables and household items.
The kids were thrilled about the idea and jumped right in. Surprisingly, there were no fights over materials or colors or space... and they all worked so intently on getting each straw piece onto the string by themselves! I was so proud. Mission Fine Motor Skills Development was a success.
A few other precious moments from Tuesday:
Charlotte, our little one who loves to go on walks but rarely gets the chance because she spends most of her time on the toilet, was walking with another guest and walked directly over to me, smiled, and plopped down on my lap. Never before has she done something like that before. It was like she knew me. I melted.
Anthony and Peter got in some good tummy time in their cribs! They were happy as clams, holding up their own heads and looking at everyone around them as they lay on their stomachs. So good.