Meet S., our oldest (both oldest girl and oldest child) at the baby house. She's three and a half years old. She arrived back in January before I'd made it back to Bolivia. She and her little brother, Leonardo (one year old), were brought to us after their mother asked for temporary help with her children. Their father had recently passed away, and she was not currently in a position to care for the children on her own. We are taking care of the siblings while she secures a job and steady income, and she will come as much as she can to visit them while they're here. Papers for an adoption will not be processed as she wants to and intends to care for her children. For all of us, this is a temporary situation.
But in the meantime, we are SO glad S. and Leonardo are with us! S. is very smart and talks ALL DAY LONG. Literally, she would talk to you from the time she wakes up in the morning until the time she goes to bed at night if you would let her. She keeps us laughing which is why I wanted to write a post about her…
She is quite the little helper and wants to help with whatever chores we're doing around the house. Her favorite chore is probably folding the cloth diapers. She wants to go on any outing possible. When we're outside, she watches the gate like a hawk to see who is coming or going. Whenever I'm about to leave, she reminds me that she also "needs" to go to the store, girls' house, school, etc.! Her favorite outing, however, is to go to church! She always asks me several times each week when we're going back to church. In the playroom, she can usually be found telling her two baby dolls that they need to get ready for church. We have a blow-up donkey toy, and that's her car. She aguayos up her babies and they head to church! It's too funny to watch!
She loves dresses and dressing up. She is very picky about her clothes for church which makes it difficult when I'm trying to get her dressed and all of us out the door on time! Last week I choose a lime green dress for her, but she did not like it at all. She took one look at it and said, "I don't like it. I want a skirt like Valentina!"
Some of our other recent conversations…
While showing me she knows how to count...
S: I can count to ten. 1, 4, 9, 10, 1, 4, 9, 10
Me: I think we should practice counting to ten together. (I start at 1, she repeats, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9...)
S: 9, but I already have that one!
S: Uhm. I told you. I already have that one too!
Me: Well, if you already have those, maybe we really need to just practice 1-8 so you can have those too!
S: Tía Hannah, WHERE have you gone?!
Me: First I went to Ana Maria’s school to pick her up, and then I took her home and stayed at her house for a little while.
Me: Because I wanted to?! Is that okay?
S: I suppose so.
Me: Oh, you suppose so?
S: Yeah, I suppose it’s okay if you want to go there.
It’s always nice when the 3 year old approves of my leaving the house!
S: This is my skirt, Tía Hannah.
Me: Oh it is? Why is it with the babies’ clothes if it’s yours?
S: I don’t know, but it’s mine. It’s a skirt, Tía. Skirt is what it’s called. Skirt.
Me: I know what it’s called!
S: You do? Well, it’s called a skirt!
S: I have a husband.
Me: Really? How come I didn’t know about that?
S: I don’t know but I do. He’s coming over tonight, and you can meet him if you want.
Me: Great! I’d love to meet him! What’s his name?
S: His name is Valentin.
Me: And how old is Valentin?
S: He’s two years old.
Me: Wow! He’s pretty young!
S: I know! He’s like a baby! Right, Tía Hannah? Isn’t he like a baby?
Me: Yeah, just like a baby!
...and later that morning, she told another tía that Valentin was at home caring for their three children.
Me: In 5 more minutes, you’ll have to share your balloon with Matias. He’s sad because he doesn’t have one too, so we’re going to share with him.
S: But I don’t want to share.
Me: Well, you don’t have a choice. You have to share with him in 5 minutes.
S: Maybe tomorrow I’ll share with him.
Me: No, I told you in 5 minutes you’ll share with him.
S: But really, tomorrow I’ll share with him.
Me: I’m not going to argue with you about this. If you don’t want to share it in 5 minutes, I’m going to give it to Matias.
S: (after thinking for a minute) Or maybe I’ll just share with him in 5 minutes!
Me: Take your shoes off and go put them in the hallway with the other shoes, please.
Me: Oh so you speak English now?!
Someone’s been listening to me a little too much! Just remember that all of these conversations are actually being spoken in Spanish... She threw in the “Okay” and “Uh-huh” all on her own!
Oh, and one more! When she wants something, she has a way of asking me for it in a very sing-song voice. For some reason, all of her requests in the dining room are directed at me. The tías and I joke that I have the keys to the bathroom and the kitchen. I always hear "Pis, Tía, Pis" (pee), "Pan, Tía, Pan" (bread), "Agua, Tía, Agua" (water), and whatever else she wants. The way she asks is kind of funny, and sometimes the tías ask me for things in the same way!