Ok, that might be a bit of an overstatement. ALRIGHT. It is probably a gross exaggeration, but we're getting there. We have been home from China (almost exactly as I type this) for a month. In those 30 days, a lot has changed. Some things are still the same, though.
What has changed? Ethan is starting to bond. Yesterday I got out for the entire day and spent a wonderful afternoon with my niece Jenny. (Thanks Baba!) When I left, Ethan was devastated. Snot bubbles, drooling, sobbing devastated. To be fair, I don't know if it just because he wanted to leave or he wanted me to stay, but we'll chalk it up to the beginnings of bonding. We are still having issues...but that goes under the what's the same category. It's also interesting to see how much Ethan's coordination has improved. When we came home he could already walk down the stairs facing forward, but it was awkward. Now he does so relatively gracefully. Relatively because he is not yet two. He used to have an, shall we say, "interesting" running form. He is now starting to run a bit more naturally. He is also starting to pick up a few words. He says morning, nigh-night, bye bye, Maaaaaah-aaaam (a long, drawn out Mom he got from Aiden), 'mahn 'mahn (which I believe is come on, c'mon), shoe, and will try to mimic a few others, but he relies heavily on signing. He knows poop, potty, please, more, among others. I'm ok with this for the time being, but I have some concerns about his language and speech in general. Aiden and Ethan can now play together somewhat peacefully for extended periods of time. Ethan now knows how to give great hugs, can give a reasonable facsimile of a kiss and knows how to be carried. These are a few of the changes we've seen since we've gotten home.
Now, what hasn't changed. Aiden is still not Ethan's #1 fan. He doesn't like it when we upset Ethan, but he's more than happy to throw him to the ground or take away his toys. Aiden is still really struggling, poor kid. If we hold Ethan, we have to hold Aiden. Ethan gets a kiss? Aiden has to have two. You get the idea. On the whole it doesn't appear to be getting a whole lot better, but as I said, they do play outside pretty well together. We've said it before: he was just getting his world figured out, and we went and turned it upside down again. I also said, we're starting to see some evidence of, at least, attachment. Ethan will happily run into our neighbor's house, but when he sees I'm not going in with him and am turning to leave, he will panic a bit and run out after me. I need to temper this, though. There are still some, females usually, who he would gladly go to the car, get in, and drive away with, probably never to look back. And, although he was sad and cried when I left yesterday, when Dad went in to get him out of bed this a.m., I wasn't around, and he never said Mama or looked for me. He was happy when he saw me at 9:00, but it was almost like he'd forgotten about me already. Sigh. It's a work in progress. Another thing that hasn't changed, and it makes this Mama happier than you can know, is that Ethan sleeps like a champ. We rock for a song or two, put him in his crib, and if he doesn't fall asleep right away, he will happily "sing" to himself until he does doze off. He sleeps on average of about 11 hours a night, and even if he gets up before I am ready for him to, he will lie in bed contentedly or go back to sleep until it IS time to get up. Oh yeah. Did I mention that he takes about 2 1/2 hour naps in the afternoon? It's outstanding!
I can't believe we have been back in the States for a month and have had Ethan for about 6 weeks. Time flies. Clichéd but true. Aiden is getting to be such a big boy and Ethan is changing so fast. Happily, though, he is still a laid-back, happy little guy. I pray this never changes! I also pray time slows down. I don't want this all to go by too quickly!