Thursday, August 16, 2012

Figuring This Dude Out...

I admit that when we got Griffin home, those first few days were tense, simply because I just didn't know him.  I have had the privilege and honor of doing so for the past 2 1/2 months.  It's amazing what I have discovered in this short amount of time.

I push him to express exactly what he wants.  So I hesitate a lot just to see if he will step it up and express himself in some way.  Here are some things that I have discovered about him. 

He is always the first to rise out of my 3 children.  He calls out for me.  Just an "ugh!  ugh!" sound.  When I go to get him, I make no motion to scoop him up.  I place my hands on the crib rail and he will pick my hands up and place them on his ribs so that I will pick him up. 

We make our way down stairs and I will put him on the changing table to change his diaper.  I usually have to untwist all of his clothes and free his arms from the tangled madness he's made of his clothing overnight.  Once he's free, he will start patting his diaper.  That one kind of started out of the blue, then I realized that I pat his diaper where the tabs stick once I have strapped them into place.  He's just doing what I do! 

During meal time (our biggest struggle), he has finally started expressing his likes and dislikes.  He was actually doing this from the beginning but I just didn't know what to watch for.  If he doesn't like a food, but will tolerate it, he will take one hand and brush it down from nose to chin when he eats.  If he absolutely hates it, he will throw it off the high chair, if he loves or likes it, he will sign 'more'.  If he doesn't sign 'more' for anything, I can safely assume that he is sick and not feeling well. 

After the meal is over, he knows that I will get a wet paper towel to clean him up.  If I start with his hands and wipe them clean first, then move to his mouth, he's fine.  If I wipe his mouth first, he will cry.  Hands first, mouth last, and I will get a smile most of the time! 
He HATES to have his temp taken.  I can use the forehead thermometer with no problems.  But if I take out the under arm thermometer, he will start fussing the second it gets into sight.  Makes me think that he had his temp taken regularly this way in the orphanage.

If I need to check on him during the night, I have used a flashlight in the past.  Every single time that we have used a flash light to check on him, he will literally wake up from a dead sleep and jump out of his skin.  (we don't directly shine it on him either).  Makes me think that he was checked regularly in the orphanage during the night with a flashlight... Makes me wonder what happened if he was awake when he was checked on... So now, I will use the light of my phone because it is much softer and doesn't disturb him like a flashlight does.

With brushing his teeth, he was fine with that when he first came home.  Now he will put up quite a fuss.  Trial and error, I learned that if his toothbrush is blue, he will let me brush his teeth with little to no fussing.  If it's a different color, good luck!

He loves music, just like Little G.  They both have music in them and respond so well to it.  I made a song up for Griffin while he was in the orphanage.  It goes to the tune of Zippity Do Da-except I changed it to Griff-ity Dut-ka (one of his bio names).  Well, we were singing it yesterday and I made up some hand motions right on the spot for him to learn.  I was showing him how to do the motions (just clapping and waving hands over and over), and with my hands on his, I felt him guiding ME into the next motions.  He picked up the motions after being shown one time!  He's crazy smart!

Another orphanage thing that Chris use to do, he would point to Griffin's nose and say 'NOSEEEEEE!' in a crazy voice, from the very beginning.  I had asked him why he did that and he said that when he returned on the 10 day wait to get him, he wanted to do something that may trigger a memory for Griffin, just in case he couldn't make the connection.  Well, we still do that to him, and yesterday, I said "NOSEEEEEE!" and started to touch my finger to his nose, and he met me half way by bringing his nose to my finger.  Crazy, I know, but he has learned a body part in English!  I think it's great. :-)

I have always kissed him on his forehead.  A few days ago, I was making my kissy fish lips at him and he leaned his face in until his forehead was on my lips.  Precious.

I gave him my big hug arms but never brought them in to squeeze him.  I left them in an open circle around him.  He leaned to the side until he was touching one of my arms, trying to complete the hug.  Love it.

I have figured out his crazy looking 'play more' mischievous look.  If he gives this certain look, it is his ultimate 'I'm having a blast, more, more, more!' look.  It is absolutely adorable and it cracks me up.  He also gives that look when he wants one of us to start rough-housing with him. 

I thought that he was starting to protest nap time and bed time by buckling his back when I was putting him in the crib.  I learned that he wasn't protesting, but that he wants me to drop him into the crib because he likes the bounce of it.  He giggles when I drop him and throws his hands up in that crazy way that he does... so I give him a few bounces and then leave.  He may or may not nap, but he's content to have his quiet time and play with his giraffe rattle. 

Some things that I still haven't figured out yet-
How to help him learn to feed himself by taking bites of a banana or piece of bread, without stuffing the entire thing in his mouth.  He will literally stuff an entire piece of bread in his mouth within a few seconds.  I have to pinch it up and spread the pieces all over his high chair.

The chomping and grinding of his teeth... he doesn't want to use chew tubes or teething rings or anything that may relieve the need for him to do that.  He will chew on GM but not enough to remove that need to chomp and grind.

And of course, the food frustration... all I can do is help him to learn that food is always available.  He never wants to stop eating and I believe that he would eat until he exploded if I gave him the chance.  He has never expressed that he has had enough food or shown me any sign that he is full.  If I tip a bowl up, it triggers tears because he knows that the food is almost gone.  If he hears a spoon scrape a plate, he cries out.  If a dish is removed from the table, tears.  There is such a strong fear in him that he will never get fed again.  I pray every day that God will remove this fear from him.
He's coming a long way in such a short time.  Lots of fun stuff happening here!  Looking forward to our future discoveries with him!

More tomorrow!  :-)


  1. Okay, so now I have Griff-it-y Dut-ka playing in my head over and over. :) It sounds like you have learned a lot about your boy in a short time! What happens if Chris gets him in the morning? Does Griffin adapt to that? Is anyone else allowed (by him) to feed him? Just wondering if he adapts or tells you all, "Nope, that's NOT how I do things!"

  2. Great question! I'll ask Chris to give 'his view' tonight! Catchy song, right? LOL. BTW-'Dut-ka' is why we call him 'dude'. :-)


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