Friday, August 12, 2005

Diminished Language Skills

Yesterday Tenley had her first appointment with her pediatrician. One of the items that came up was the middle of the night feeding and how we need to get her off of that. Another thing that came up was delayed language skills. This was totally expected since all she heard for 9 months was Chinese. Her language skills are behind as is her understanding of English. Then this happened…

Tenley went to bed last night a little later than her normal time and had eaten quite a bit throughout the evening. She didn’t even finish her before bed bottle. So it wasn’t surprising that she woke up at 1:30am and was crying. It was definitely earlier than she has been waking up and Michelle suggested that maybe she just woke up with a jolt and needed a little comforting and she would go back to sleep. In my very asleep state I agreed and went in to see what the little monkey wanted.

When I got into the room she was standing up in her crib looking at me and when she saw me she smiled really big because she knew that I had a bottle for her. As I approached the crib she looked me up and down and looked at both hands. Nothing. Then the look of total disappointment came across her face and the wailing began. There was no comfort needed here, what she wanted was the bottle and she wanted it now. What was I thinking entering her room without the food that was ordered? Surely she had made her intentions known by the crying that had stirred me from my deep sleep.

Needless to say, I ran from that room to the kitchen, leaping over sleeping cats on the way. As I was making the bottle the real wailing began. This is the kind of screaming that wakes the dead 50 miles away. Being 1:30 in the morning I’m sure the neighbors were not our biggest fans! While I was making the bottle, Michelle got up and tried to calm Tenley down. By the time she got in there Tenley had resigned herself to the fact that she would have to settle for her thumb and began sucking it and crying. I got the bottle made and brought it in to Michelle and the feeding began. After a quick diaper change everyone was back in bed and asleep in no time.

Four hours later, it started again. This time I was armed and ready to go. No comfort needed, just a bottle. She saw me come in the room and smiled real big then her smile grew as she saw that this time I had read the signals correctly and brought a bottle.

I think Tenley understood everything that the doctor was saying in the office yesterday and when she heard her tell us to get Tenley off of the middle of the night feeding. She understood completely and had other ideas. “I’ll show them…I’ll wake up every four hours and see how they like it.” Diminished understanding of language, I don’t think so!


Barbara Park said...

Hey Jeff,

Babies are smarter than we think. I know because I had two. Give Tenley time. She has actually only been with you for a little over six weeks. Anytime you get discouraged, look at her pictures from the day you got her. Her eyes had a vacant stare to them. Then look at the pictures you have taken recently. She looks like an active, happy baby with sparkling, almost black eyes. Good food and good company (her Mommy and Daddy) have brought this about. So keep up the good work (even if it means getting up in the middle of the night). My Granddaughter is beautiful and so are her parents. I love you all.

Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...That was a great message from Grandma!
Might be good to also remember what Attatch Parenting experts say is a good rule of thumb to follow (no pun intended) when you bring a baby home from an institutional setting:
Baby the baby. Treat their emotional age as if you were starting right from the beginning with them (you are). Tenley's only "2months old". Night feedings are part of that territory....If you think of it that way, Tenley's night time needs aren't so "needy".
And watch out for those cats!!!