Last night Big bear stayed in his bed until 6:30 in the morning. I let him come in with me at that point, as long as he didn’t wake up his brother. He didn’t sleep at all, but he cuddled and had some mommy time. Around 7:30, he said, “Mama, time get up!” and I begrudgingly obliged.
Big bear and I made his lunch together, read some books, and watched TV while Little bear continued to sleep. We had some one-on-one time, which has been very important this week. He’s missing his daddy a lot and he’s noticing mommy spending more time and giving more attention to his brother, so he’s starting to act out.
As soon as Little bear woke up, he was a totally different child. Hitting, kicking, attacking his little brother and all Little bear wanted to do was drink his milk and watch Super Why. I tried to sit Big bear on my lap and explain that Mama loves him and we’ll have lots of fun together. He said he wanted his father.
While I dressed Little bear, I narrated what I was doing. Put on pants. Ponte pantalon. Put on shirt. Ponte camisa. Put on shoes. Ponte zapato. A soft whisper “…papo…” I repeated “zapato?” A little bit louder, “Papo.” Little bear was trying to say “zapato.” This is a new word for him.
I broke up a few more fights started by Big bear and put them both in the car. At that moment, my phone rang. Daddy was calling on FaceTime. He talked to the boys for about 10 minutes and it made Big bear feel better. When I said it was time to say goodbye, he started crying uncontrollably and saying, “No Papi bye! No Papi bye! Quiero Papi! I wanna Papi!” So I called my husband back using whatsapp and he was able to sing him his ABCs all the way to school.
Little bear and I had some one-on-one time when we got back to the house. The minute we walked in the door, he did something he’s never done before: He reached in the direction of the kitchen and said, “awa….. aaa…. awa… awa.” He was asking for agua. I praised him profusely and gave him a choice between agua and leche. He chose leche, of course. He didn’t point to the drink he wanted, but he pointed to the room where it was located and for a child who, up until now, has never pointed, that’s a big deal.
We started with a picture book: Happy Baby Palabras. I used his finger to point to each photograph and I labeled in English and Spanish. He flipped ahead to his two favorite pages: toys and food. He tried to use my finger to point, but I corrected him and used his finger to point to his favorite toy: ball. Then he pointed to his favorite food: yogurt. Back and forth he went, studying each page and then pointing to his favorite, occasionally saying, “Baaa” (ball). I was very happy with the progress.
After reading the book a few times, we played bubbles as a reward. Little bear bounced and said, “bubba pop! bubba pop!” when they landed on his clothing.
We followed bubbles with some puzzles, shapes, and play-doh. At that point, he started to climb on my back and bite me, which is his signal that he’s hungry.
He seemed interested in what I was doing as I broke the eggs and beat them, so I pulled out the play food and gave him his own burger and pan. He started poking the burger like I was poking the eggs in the pan. After two or three minutes, he started biting the burger and smiling. I finished my task and took the food to the table, blowing on it to cool it off. I look down and I see Little bear blowing, too. He was imitating mama! He rarely does what I do, so every little bit gives me hope that we’ll be able to get to know our son at least a little one day.
He ate his eggs, followed it up with some apple sauce, and then we went to the bedroom to play tickle monster. He giggled and giggled. He always looks me in the eye when we play tickle monster, so I said, “Hola, Little bear! Hola!” And he repeated, “Hola! Hola! Hola!” over and over again.
He played in his toy car for a bit to calm himself down and he started asking for “leche,” so I made him some milk and put him down to sleep. He’s still awake, but he’s slowly calming down and getting ready for his afternoon nap.
Today has been a very good and very productive day.