I'm Julie, otherwise known as Mamita. I'm married to the greatest man on earth. His name is Steve, or Daddy. We have 4 kids, three homegrown and one heartgrown from the beautiful country of Guatemala. This blog is about our family, our faith, adoption, therapeutic parenting, and anything else I feel the need to talk about. It is both a family record and free therapy for my crazy life. Come along for the ride if you want.
One of Cupcake's unusual gifts is the ability to remember locations. When she first came home, we went to visit the pediatrician. The next time we drove past the hospital where his office is located, she yelled out, "Doctoro!" and pointed to the building.
Wow! That's pretty good.
The same with church.
The same with my friends' houses.
The same with the dentist office, Kohl's, and Wal-Mart, and the church where the boys have Scouts.
The week she came home (late May), Sunshine and Sugar had testing at local foundation for homeschoolers. TE began taking classes there in September. She immediately recognized it as the same place - only TE goes in a different door than the other kids went in.
Whenever we go past familiar intersections, she will recite all the things that are to the right, to the left and straight ahead. And she is dead on...even if you come at the intersection from a different direction. The other day, she gave Daddy directions to take TE to school and back when I was caring for Sugar.
When we back out of the driveway, she wants to know which way we are going. When we get somewhere, she wants to know which way is home.
I think this incredible understanding of the local geography is one of her survival skills. I know that she was often moved with no forewarning. I think she wants to be able to get home if anything happens to her.
I think home is a good thing for her. :-)
But there are drawbacks to having a child with this incredible skill...
...A funny thing happened on the way to the hairdresser...
Several weeks ago, we were on our way to get haircuts (the kids and I). We had had a late lunch and were running late. (We are always running late, but I digress....) Cupcake had a chicken strip left to eat when we needed to head out the door, so she brought it in the car.
About two miles from home, she says, "Mommy, I done. Here..." and she hands me the chicken.
We've got at least a 20 minute drive from this point. I can't really drive and hold this greasy chicken and I can't set it in my car. (It's an old car, but I have my standards.)
So, I made an executive decision. I rolled down the window and tossed it into the grass as we were exiting from one highway to another.
Now, don't jump down my throat. We are not litterers. We have made it a point to teach all of our kids that we keep God's earth as clean as possible. But we also have taught them that biodegradable materials are just that...biodegradable... they will turn back into dirt in a pretty short time.
Cupcake gasped when she saw her chicken sailing through the air. So I explained that some raccoon family would have a special treat for dinner that night.
Fast forward a few days....
We are heading to church on a Wednesday night. It's dark. We pass the very same intersection, but instead of exiting, we go straight on. Cupcake starts yelling and jumping and pointing, "DADDY!!! MY CHICKEN'S ON THE FLOOR!!! RIGHT THERE!!!"
"MY CHICKEN! IT'S ON THE FLOOR! MOMMY THREW IT OUT!!! RIGHT THERE, DADDY!!!"
By this time, I'm rolling on the floor with laughter. I have to explain to my baffled husband what in the world she is talking about.
The worst part is...we pass this intersection 20 times a week and, no matter which direction we're coming from, Cupcake makes a point to tell us her chicken is on the floor.
The last three weeks, I've seen a change...a change in her demeanor. She is a secure little girl who is comfortable with our love. She is no longer pushing my buttons and testing the limits 24/7. She accepts correction as correction - not hate. She is beginning to accept the fact that I have 3 other kids to love and she can share my time with them. It's been three weeks since she's had a real knock-down drag-out berinche (tantrum/rage) with me.
I've hesitated to post this for a while now, always expecting to hit a setback as soon as the words were typed. But, in the last few days, I've seen her go to that dark place where she feels unloved, yet she has been able to recover and come back to security before she falls apart. I'm so proud of her. This is hard work...learning to be loved unconditionally. But she's a quick study and her level of trust is astonishing, considering all the people who have hurt or betrayed her in the past. I still expect setbacks, but I believe she will be able to return to this security after each storm.
God is working miracles in this child's life and it is incredible to see His hand at work.
We went to the Pumpkin Farm Thursday with a friend. Sunshine was an awesome big brother, and took her in and around the whole farm, so I could have a chance to talk with my best friend.
Cupcake had a blast exploring the hay tunnels.
Here is my Mayan Princess and her bodyguard... My other princess and her best friend at the top of the pyramid...Getting ready for her first hay ride.... Zip-Line Fun... Cupcake was exhausted after all that fun...
The homeless guy who lives on my porch... Sugar (I mean Cleopatra) and her friend the cat... A pretty pink princess...