After much wandering we finally found the section where the children's clothing stores were clustered. In the first one we walked into, we were able to find a pair of sneakers that work for Y. and that she likes. We weren't done, though. I also knew that neither girl had dress shoes and I knew it would be less expensive to buy them here than wait to do so at home. (And I was right. I think we spent less than half what I would have spent at home.) After much searching, we found a store that sold girls' Mary Jane-style shoes. Well, Mary Janes with a definite Chinese vibe, but they're cute. See?
These are R.'s. She went first as Y. had just had a new pair of shoes bought for her. R. was cooperative and tried on the shoes and walked around the store. Then it was Y.'s turn. I don't think this child is a shopper. We had come, we had found a pair of shoes, and in her mind, we were done. All the while we were looking for a store which sold dress shoes, she kept pulling on J.'s hand and pointing towards the exit. It was an unhappy child that had new dress shoes shoved on her feet. Yes, I am afraid to admit it, but we mistreat our children by buying them new shoes. The horror. Here is a photo of the ill-begotten things.
I know you are all pitying the poor child now. I figure once we are in a warmer place and I get out the dressy socks and we are not dragging her around endlessly looking in stores, she will be more amenable to the idea of pretty shoes. If not, the foot ware mavens, G. and L., can do their job of teaching the young grasshopper the joys of shoes once we get home.
We spent most of the afternoon just relaxing in the room... watching television, coloring, watching television, washing laundry in the sink, watching television. Eventually, after a quick stop at Walmart for some needed supplies, we ended up at Pizza Hut because I get to a point every few days where I just cannot look another noodle in the face.
Now, Pizza Hut in China is not Pizza Hut in the US. It is pretty fancy and of the multi-page menu, only two of those pages are actually pizza. We came for pizza, though, and that is what we had. It was pretty good. (P. was relieved that it was better than some of the mystery topping pizza we had last week in Urumqi.) R., earlier, had told one of our guides that she did NOT like pizza, so we ordered her some soup that she liked the looks of. Just for kicks, J. put a piece of pizza on her plate as well. Turns out she likes pizza... a lot. Surprisingly, no one wanted the "warm corn juice" as their drink of choice.
We were seated next to another adopting family. The mother and I were chatting and I asked how many children she had. I got a first hand look at what my face must look like when people ask me that question. I could tell by her expression that it was going to be a big number and that she was deciding if it was worth it to say the number outright and deal with the reaction, or to hedge and see if she could get out of it. Her relief was palpable when she answered, "16," and I laughed, saying it made me so happy to be the smaller family for a change.
I've decided there is a secret club of mothers who have large adoptive families. Once we discover that we are members of it, it is like we speak the same language. Plus, we don't have to worry about hearing the comments of, "Wow, how do you do that?" or "You are amazing!" or just open-mouthed astonishment. Instead we talk about the joys our children bring, other adoption trips, or the special needs we are currently up on.
Children are settling down, we feel more rested, and life looks a wee bit more manageable. Tomorrow morning we head to the aquarium, which is sure to be filled with fish and oddness. While J. and I could probably make due with missing it, we also think the girls will enjoy it a lot.
Here are a couple of pictures of the Barbie-loving girls... or Bobbie loving as R. tends to say, having a bit of trouble with the 'r' sound. Both J. and I have had to stop and think about who the heck Bobbie is and why does R. love him so much.