written while out of the country finalizing the adoption of our son...
When we first moved into this hotel room, on May 2nd, I did I what always do if we are planning to spend more than one night. I hung up our clothes, put our toothbrushes and moisturizer in the bathroom and put water in the fridge to get cold. I have to have cold water. Too much time without cold drinks and I become totally unbearable to everyone around me. This trip I also took out all of the small toys we had brought for our new son. In between the small kitchen and one of the beds is a baker's/wine rack. For the pie maker with a drinking problem, I suppose. It seems somewhat out of place in this room. There really is no need for it, just sitting there, empty. I laid the toys out on the first shelf on this rack, like little treasures, waiting for our new baby to burst through the door and begin to play.
When our new baby arrived he didn't so much burst through the door as he toddled, slowly. Back at the orphanage I had been handed a naked baby, so he was now wearing the outfit I had chosen to "bring him home". I chose this outfit not so much for the looks of it as I did for the warmth factor. I just had a feeling that the caregivers would not be pleased with me if I didn't continue the tradition and wrap this child in layers and layers of clothing. So he was wearing a diaper, a long sleeved onesie, soft pants, heavy socks, hiking boots and a cable knit fisherman's sweater. On top of all that he was wearing a winter coat and hat. Everything, including the diaper, was too big for him. So he truly waddled, trying to hold up his pants and keep his shoes on as he walked, gingerly, over to the toys. He pushed his little hand up out of the coat sleeve, where it had gotten lost, and reached up for the toys. And he reached and reached. But he couldn't quite reach them. So I handed him a toy one by one, and he carried them to the bed and checked each one out. When he was finished inspecting the toy he would hand it back to me and reach out for another one.
This continued for a few days, maybe a week. Then one day he realized that if he stood on the bottom rung of the rack he could use his free hand, the one not clinging to the rack for dear life, and sweep the toys off the shelf and onto the floor. And sometimes onto his head. So that continued for a while too.
Today, just a mere two and a half days before we pack up our lives here and head for home, he realized that the top two racks, way up high and out of his reach, are holding much more interesting stuff. Stuff like my camera, the web cam, the headset for calling home, my kindle and DVDs. these two shelves have become an obsession to my new little guy. He really wants what is up there. So far he has tried standing on the beach ball, which, of course, did nothing but toss him onto the floor. (side note- if you are ever traveling with little ones inflatable beach toys are the BEST for hotel rooms- with the air let out they fit great into your suitcase and then you can amaze and impress your children with your magical powers of blowing them up.)
After the ball thing fizzled he went for the trash can. This was an effort because the trash can was across the room and had a trash bag in it. As I watched him he carefully removed the trash bag and looked around. He then took a moment out of his quest to see if he could see through the black plastic bag. After I removed the bag from his face, (scary!), he picked up the trash can and headed back to the baker's rack. Standing on the can did raise him pretty high, but not quite high enough to reach the loot. He then went for the dinette chair. At this point I decided it was nap time and put an end to his little fun. This was not met enthusiastically.
I picked up my baby and put him into his approved calming down position (over my shoulder, thumb in his mouth, other hand rubbing my hair, head down on my shoulder.) He calmed right down and I could hear him softly singing along with me as I sang him a quiet lullaby. I could hear the sucking noise his mouth was making with his thumb. I thought, wow. he gave that quest up pretty easily. He must be very tired. Or I must be an awesome mom! I turned to lay my peaceful little one down in his crib and his head popped up, his mouth opened, a huge scream emerged and his little pudgy finger pointed at the baker's/wine rack.
Suddenly it was like I was at Chuck E. Cheese. "No, son. You can't have anything off the top two racks, Those require many more tickets than you have. You can only earn those tickets through living your life, son. You haven't had nearly enough disappointment, lost loves, terrifying moments, money crisis or a health scare to earn anything off those shelves. Look down here, at this shelf. You can have all the diapers, wipes, language cards, and musical giraffes you want." He wasn't buying it.
He is now asleep in his crib holding my kindle and I am sitting here wishing that baker's/wine rack came stocked with a few bottles of wine.