Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Visiting the Dentist/Language

Today Abby and Billy were scheduled to see the Dentist. Billy had to get a cavity filled; Abby was going for an initial check-up. I had promised her "no ouch" so I told the dental assistant that I wanted to make the visit as low-stress as possible. You know, for some kids, all they can do on an initial visit is have them open their mouth and ride up and down on the chair. Abby, however, was so cooperative they were able to do x-rays, clean, floss, polish and apply fluoride! The dentist says her teeth look very good--just has a stain on one of her molars and a couple loose teeth. Sure enough, tonight she lost a tooth!! Anyway, we found a tooth on the living room carpet after she'd already gone to bed. So hmmm?? Whose pillow does the Tooth Fairy need to visit????

It's kind of fun that Abby and I are increasing our ability to communicate using the few words we know. For instance, at the dentist's office, kids can choose a prize after they are done. So I spoke Abby's name, gently took her arm, motioned her to come with me, showed her the prize drawers and said, "Abby. One." (and lifted one finger) while indicating all of the toys. She caught right on and boy, was she a shopper! She finally chose a bracelet (and said, "Mommy-no. Abby-yes." to show that it belongs to her.) While she was still making her selection I was able to get her attention and point to myself saying "Mommy. Toilet." and then point at her and say, "Abby. OK" to let her know she could continue looking over her choices while I used the restroom. A few times we have also been able to share humor.

Abby has started saying, "I love you" to me (which I love) but honestly I'm not sure she actually understands what it means. For instance, when I say it at bedtime, I wonder if she just thinks I am saying "good night." Another cute thing is I'm pretty sure Abby thinks our house is "America!" The first night she was here, Kevin asked her if she likes America and she gave a definite "yes!"--she had spent hours that day (obviously at our house) singing and dancing with the Wii, playing with our other kids, getting her hair fixed, generally being the center of attention. One night when we were approaching the turn to our house she said, "America, no. Grandma and Poppy, yes." So I stopped over at my parents' house briefly so she could see them. Again today when we were driving down Main Street toward our home, she said, "America?" I replied that we were going to Abby's house. When people say, "Hi" to her, she says, "Hi" in return but when they ask "How are you?" she tries very hard to say, "how are you?" in reply. So today I was play-acting a conversation with the little toy lizard that happened to be in the car with us, showing the correct response. I was doing it in a silly voice so I have no idea if she caught on to what I was doing.

Today Abby was asking if we could go swimming (by moving her arms in a swimming motion) She was jumping up and down and kissing me when I said "yes." I know she was a bit disappointed when the venue turned out to be just the pool in our back yard (because she was making steering wheel/driving motions with her hands) but she still had fun. The water is not even waist high but still deeper than the 15 inch water she was in at the motel. She, Caleb and Steven were all wearing their life jackets. She still is glued pretty much to holding on to the side but was doing that both on her back and putting her face into the water-even got down on her knee. She wants so much to just let herself go like Caleb does. Not yet. But I was very proud of how far she has progressed since her first time in the water. She made sure I kept watching her and cheering for her. At one point I must have fallen down on my job because she put her thumbs up and said "good?" I finally had to go inside to get ready for Ladies' Night Out (an annual Women's Ministries event of our church) leaving her in the care of James.

By the time I left, she was back in the house and I went up to her and said, "Mommy, bye-bye." She put her thumb and finger about two inches apart and said "malko?" which means something like "little." She was asking if I were going to be gone for just a little while.


  1. Lol :))) Malko indeed means a little, so you got it correct. It is so nice you've found a way to communicate without her being able to speak english. That would take a while I guess. If she uses other bulgarian words and you're not sure what they mean, I'll be always happy to translate :)

    It also looks like she's getting comfortable, and I can say she is already attached to you. She is a sweet girl and attaches easily, I know. Your updates to your blog make me smile, I check it every morning from work and I am so happy for her. Thank God you found her! :)

  2. Thanks, Raia, for your comments. They make me smile. I too thank God that we found her.