Sunday, September 4, 2011

Just Living Life

This is Ruby, our newest foster kitten. She's one tiny ball of fur and about two weeks younger than Speck. Doesn't she look huge in the first photo with my daughter? It took putting her next to an adult cat to see how small she really is. My little nugget, Jie Jie, is gaining weight and growing and starting to outgrow her first set of clothes, but next to the cats, she still looks small.

Speck is getting bigger and loving his foster sister, Ruby, and all the other cats. He's just like my Sam. He'll be a GREAT pet for whoever decides to adopt him. He's getting neutered next week and then he'll be eligible for adoption.

Jie Jie has been playing "Birthday" a lot lately. She doesn't really know what the celebration is for, but knows there is a pretty cake. Age isn't real to her, probably since birth isn't a familiar concept. Next week's science is going to be about chicks hatching from eggs.

This birthday party set-up was for herself. She was playing that it was her own birthday. She laid out her gifts so neatly. The second party and larger cake was for her doll's birthday. I love the details she added to the cake. She wasn't allowed to eat cake in the orphanage, for very good reasons pertaining to her special need, but she can eat it now. She told me that her PoPo (caregiver) didn't eat cake either. I don't know if PoPo didn't like cake or refrained to make Jie Jie feel better about it. Currently, Jie Jie isn't too fond of cake, though she'll take a few bites sometimes.

It's such a relief and joy to me that Jie Jie can play such elaborate imaginative games, especially ones appropriate to her age level. So many institutionally raised children don't have a clue how to pretend.

I've taken my daycare to the zoo twice this summer on field trips. Jie Jie isn't too thrilled with the zoo because, as she says, "Animals stinky," but she has a good time. She liked the turtles this time and enjoyed being a sleeping turtle.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Our daughter was also full of imaginary play when we brought her home. So much so, that we often worried about her playing alone. But she was contented to do so. Honestly, I think institutionalized children are mor so imaginary thinkers than not. It was the group activities that we had to incorporate into her life, by going to My Gym (mommy and me sessions) and library sessions, and then daycare with kids her age. She was great in groups but not so great with knowing how to wait her turn, etc, until we started doing these things with her. My Gym was the best for parent/child activity and for building muscle tone and coordination.
Our daughter was also very organized when she came home, even though she was only 16 months old. If we gave her a washcloth, she would wash EVERYTHING. And line up things perfectly. But fortunately, her imagination did not fade, and she often mimicked us...if a friend would crouch down to talk to her, she would squat with them. If she watched someone dancing on TV, she would dance like them. In the first week home, she grabbed my purse and waved goodbye, probably as she had seen her A-yi do in the orphanage before.
It's possible that your daughter has seen birthday parties but has never been given her own. She is going to be so happy when she gets hers.