Happy 12-12-12 y’all.
I’ve decided that it has been far too long since I’ve just written about this wonderful being named Odette that the Lord blessed us with. She is amazing. She is awesome. When people ask about her and how she is doing I usually get tongue-tied (who am I kidding I always get tongue-tied) and sum it up by saying she’s a rock star. Sometimes I have little more to say. Most people don’t really want me to spew the eight hundred and seven million reasons why she is the greatest. The most concise answer I can think of is to call her a rock star. Sure I walk away questioning why I just referred to my three-year old Congolese daughter as a rock star because really she is nothing like one, but I haven’t come up with a better answer yet.
Without further adieu, here are 12 random facts about my daughter (in no particular order)
- Because of her affinity for “princess” skirts, as she calls any skirt, I’ve made a “deal” with a three-year old that she can wear skirt, pants, skirt, pants to school. Thankfully she hasn’t quite figured out that each Monday is a pants day, thus only 2 skirt days a week.
- While we affectionately referred to her as Dettey before she was home, she refuses to acknowledge that name and hears it as Daddy. She does however often refer to herself as Odettey. It is cute, but I do feel strange saying it in public.
- In the last few months she has taken to sleeping with her bear every night. It is the little cream Carter’s bear we took with us to Congo. She didn’t care at all about it between months 2-4, but now he’s back to living the good life in her bed.
- Every.single.night for the last 5 months, or how ever long it has been that she has been sleeping by herself, she softly requests “door little” as me or Jeff walk out of her room at night. Every.single.night I respond with , “Yes, baby I know. I will leave the door open a little.”
- Sadly the little child has lost all of her native language (Lingala). There is one word that remains, por. She uses it in sentences for the words by, at, or for. It is so easy to understand what she is saying that it has been the final one for her to cling to.
- Her favorite foods by far and away are chicken and rice. She loves hamburgers, hotdogs, spaghetti, pizza, french fries and all the other typical kid foods, but none compare to chicken (usually broiled or grilled here) and rice (white, brown, seasoned, quinoa, couscous, etc). Her dream would be to have chicken and rice for breakfast every day. Oh and just yesterday I asked her what soso was and she said she didn’t know.
- In keeping with the topic of food, Odette loves to pretend cook. She uses her play kitchen and food all the time, but will always find whatever is nearby as a substitute. She has used mulch, rocks, sticks, crayons, scraps of paper, anything, as food.
- When she isn’t busy preparing a feast of, you guessed it, chicken and rice, she is lining up her toys. She lines up toys, shoes, playing cards, books, markers, rocks, etc. She just loves stuff and seeing it neatly displayed, I suppose. There are VERY few toys that she plays with in its intended way.
- Odette’s vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds. It is seriously amazing. A few of her most recent words include tiny, long, finish, cool, favorite, and many more that my mom brain is forgetting tonight.
- She has a thing for monsters and ghosts. Whenever she hears an unknown sound she will ask if it is a monster. When Jeff comes home from work, most nights she will run and hide and then pretend to be a monster or ghost by growling or making noises. It started with the book The Monster at the End of this Book and then led to Halloween. Here we are in mid-December and she is keeping the monsters and ghosts strong.
- My three-year old daughter who spoke no English just 7 months ago (we are talking major opportunity for communication barrier) has only had less than one handful of meltdowns since I’ve known her. Really her last one was within the first month of her being home. She is very obedient for her age. She does go to timeout every now and then, and she doesn’t like them, but she is most definitely more well-behaved than many kids her age. She doesn’t like to disappoint and I know that is a big part of it. She also equates discipline as rejection. We smother her with hugs, kisses and reminders that we love her after because we want her to know that it is her behavior and not her that we are unhappy with.
- One of the things that I find to be the sweetest is when Odette will tell a stranger or someone new she is meeting that we are her mom and dad. If the person behind her in the checkout line compliments her (which we get nearly every time we are out *and we have yet to have a negative word or inappropriate question asked*) she will point and say “dat’s my mommy”. I melt into a puddle of goo every time. I am not sure if she is proud of us, if she is aware that maybe people won’t know because of our colors, or what it is. I don’t even need to know why she does it. I find it to be the most rewarding words out of her mouth.
My list of random facts includes a few more, but my bed and the new episode of Parenthood are calling. In keeping with the spirit of 12-12-12 I will leave you with these for now.
P.S. If you’ve emailed me and I haven’t responded yet, I am so sorry. My evenings are very full with being a mom, wife, and teacher. I will respond soon. Please know that I appreciate the notes and will happily answer your questions. Tonight just isn’t the night. Thanks for understanding.