Monday, January 20, 2014

Introducing Rhinoceros

Two things to report:
  1. We're back on the call list for foster placements as of today.  No clue how long that wait might be.
  2. Rhinoceros had his 3rd birthday yesterday!
So without further ado...

5 Things about Rhinoceros
  1. He is a peacemaker.  Maybe that's reading into things a bit at 3 years old, but he is really one of the least aggressive children I've ever met.  He has hit me once, and he upset himself from doing so and started tearing up.  He flees rather than fights.
  2. He is a sweetie.  While Dinosaur has this monotone low little voice and gets the crazy eyes when he gets excited, Rhinoceros is almost always sweetness.  His little high-pitched airy voice, his little walk, sweetness.
  3. He is sneaky.  He is definitely the kid who will not make his presence known and then you suddenly wonder where he is and find him with a half-empty bottle of maple syrup.  He has also put more objects down our vents than I could possibly count.
  4. He loves cupcakes and singing happy birthday.  This has been his main pretend play for the past six months.  It had me stumped for a theme for his actual birthday, since he doesn't really have a favorite animal or character or anything.  He just likes candles on cupcakes.  So, I just put threes on the cupcakes and called it good.  He sat quietly, eyes lit up, as if he'd waited for that moment all his life.
  5. He's generally quiet.  It's not that Rhinoceros can't talk.  It's just that he evades most communication.  He's also in this phase when you give him two choices, and you can't for the life of you figure out which one he is actually choosing.  I think he'll get more talkative as time goes on, but in general I think he'll be a quieter child.  He'll probably continue to use it to his advantage: see #3.

 Rhinoceros and Fostering

Considering Rhinoceros was only 2 years and 4 months when Pterodactyl was placed with us, and that he wasn't the most verbal 2-year-old anyway, there wasn't much we could do to prepare him.  We've talked to him a little bit, but we mainly had to trust God that we were making the right decision.  Even apart from fostering, I braced myself for his adjustment to a baby in the home, replacing him as the youngest.  When Rhinoceros was born, Dinosaur had quite the phase of acting out as he adjusted to his presence.  But when Pterodactyl arrived... nothing.  Rhinoceros went on being his quiet happy toddler self.  He liked to lay down next to her and give her a single kiss (while Dinosaur attacked her with kisses and we had to pry him off of her).  No new behavior issues that we could trace to her presence.  I can't promise this will ever happen again, but it was a big relief.  B and I really had a much harder time adjusting to a new baby than Dinosaur or Rhinoceros did!

Rhinoceros asked about Pterodactyl when she was on visits, wanting to know where she was.  For awhile, he would take attendance at our house:  "Mommy?  Here.  Daddy?  Work.  Dinosaur?  Here.  Rhinoceros?  Here.  Pterodactyl?  Here."  (With real names in toddler dialect, of course.)  This made me concerned that when she left and didn't come back, he would have a hard time processing it.  To my surprise, he didn't ask about her at all for at least two weeks, in spite of me talking about her.  Finally, he saw a part of a bottle and said her name questioningly.  Then he moved on to play with something.  I have no idea how his little mind has actually wrapped around this, but he seems to be doing okay.

I'm sure every child is different, and I have no idea if our transitions in the future will go so easily.  I'm sure it's giving me a false security as we dive into the next adventure, but hey, sometimes I think a little false security can't hurt.  I'm thankful for all of us that the boys have had a pretty easy time with fostering so far.  I hope not to take it for granted.

I like these snow pictures for the blog, because while I can share my bio kids' pictures if I want to, I like that they're not 100% recognizable.  And bundled up kids are cute.

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