So, now we're back home again. -- Five days after our return from Vietnam, we had to pack up the whole family for a quick trip to Wisconsin, where J. was scheduled to teach an Elderhostel class for a week. Normally, this trip is an excellent (and free) five-day vacation for the whole family. J. teaches his class for a couple of hours each day, and the rest of the time, we are free to swim, boat, take walks, hang out, play games... with room and board provided as part of the remuneration for teaching. (And our eldest son loves the fact that the dining is all buffet-style, so that he can eat as much as he likes.) We really enjoy it.
But this year, coming on the heels of our return from Vietnam, it was a little overwhelming. Poor Minh was baffled by yet another round of travel to yet another inexplicable place. Seeing suitcases makes him a bit jumpy. It's hard to develop a stable sense of home when one is moved from place to place so rapidly. -- Nevertheless, he did well this week, and we all survived.
We were given adjoining rooms, and so the kids were all in one room, so that little ones could go to bed, while older ones could stay up and read in our room. Once everyone was in bed, we kept the door between the rooms open so that we could hear any cries or rustlings. -- Late one night, at about 2am, I woke up and thought I heard some noises. I lay in bed for a while, trying to decide if the noises were from our rooms, or from elsewhere. Finally, I got up to check. At first, I thought everyone was asleep in bed, since it was pitch dark, but then I discovered Minh coming out of the bathroom of the kids' room. He's pretty darn self-sufficient when it comes to the toilet, so he must have taken himself to the bathroom... but he occasionally misses, so I thought I'd check both him and the bathroom floor before tucking him back in. His pajamas felt a bit damp, and when I turned on the bathroom light, I discovered that he had apparently filled the entire toilet bowl with approximately two rolls of toilet paper. The floor was also damp. -- My best guess is that the toilet may have backed up on him during his first flush (perhaps an overuse of toilet paper), and he then diligently mopped the floor with the rest of the toilet paper. (He is extremely careful about cleaning, and eager to help wash, put things away, etc. He has a strong antipathy for messes.) -- In any case, the poor little guy tried to take care of it all on his own in the middle of the night... not yet understanding that he has a mother and father to whom he can come... or for whom he can call.
So as not to leave you in suspense... the next morning, I was able to clear out the bulk of the toilet paper, and the toilet was returned to operation.
There was a moment this past week when I realized that much of the stress we are currently facing is not necessarily related to adoption and attachment/adjustment.... The problem is that we now have two three-year-old boys. Two three-year-old boys! What were we thinking?! -- However, there is a real benefit to having both D. and Minh be so close in age. D. can serve as our control group... our benchmark... to provide a reality-check when we begin to worry excessively about Minh's behavior. Sometimes, we have to be reminded, a three-year-old is just a three-year-old.
(Note: We're finally adding some more pictures to the Photobucket album.)