Our first days together were a mixture of great successes and some very difficult moments. Crying and tantrums have been happening multiple times daily, by both of them. Surprisingly, Isabella has turned out to be more difficult to manage during our walks than Isaac. He has been a lot more calm and has been enjoying his walks around Nikopol and observing cars a lot better than Isabella.

Our routine has been established quite nicely. In the morning we wake up around 7 or 8am. Typically Isaac wakes first, starts making some noises, raises his legs up in the air and slams them down and finally comes to tease me and his sister. This is by far the sweetest moment of the day. Both are in a great mood, all hugs and kisses, act quietly and are very affectionate. After using the bathroom and a typical change of diaper/pull-up for Isaac, we head to the kitchen for breakfast. I was lucky in that I successfully got them to listen to me and sit down as I prepare the oatmeal porridge. These kids eat a lot! Usually breakfast even contains a banana or an orange for each of them and perhaps some milk. Isaac can’t make it properly to eat on his own due to the table and chair’s height, so I sit at the head of the table and he sits on me. I have to slow him down a lot or he devours his food in seconds. Making him drink has been quite a challenge.

When I want some quiet moments, I play them the full length video of their performance on children’s day and they sit quietly and watch. Isabella disciplines her brother and doesn’t let him touch the computer. They’re learning that if they stop the video or remove it from full-screen mode, papa doesn’t fix it for them ;) After washing their faces and brushing their teeth, Carol then shows up at 10am and we go out for a walk and a coffee. There were times where I gave them a bath in the morning instead of the evening.

Lunch is pretty much the same: they listen to papa and sit while I prepare. Don’t be fooled into thinking it doesn’t take effort! They always find distractions to use as excuses to get up. Isabella is the master: she finds something on the floor and pretends to come and put it in the trash. Then she needs to clean the floor, then take the drinking cup to her brother, etc. etc. So I have been yelling quite a lot! The neighbors hear it all I’m sure, but they seem to finally know when papa means business. Lunch and dinner are usually a little plateful of 3 to 4 ingredients: a meat (chicken, sausages or fish fingers); and sides: hard boiled eggs, peas, corn, mixed veggies, mashed potatoes or deli-bought cabbage rolls filled with rice. They munch away a lot of food!

At around 4:30pm to 5:00pm, we go for a longer walk. The stroller comes out and Isaac usually rides as Isabella walks. The harnesses have been a great hit and we usually walk to Billa supermarket. Isaac looks forward to riding in the cart as Carol gets her hands full keeping Isabella’s hands off merchandise. Afterwards they trade places and Isaac walks as he says goodbye to everyone, blows kisses and stares at cars. Many times he catches me or Carol by surprise and sets car alarms off as he hits their headlights. He is really quite fast.

In the evening after dinner, I play the video again (it rolls at least 4-5 times a day) and it gives me enough time to eat something myself. Then after a bath and some play, I put them to sleep. It seems Isabella cries everyday. She wants to keep seeing the video. I think she misses the caregivers and her friends. She usually cries herself to sleep. Both of them rock their heads and it seems to do the trick. Isaac sucks his thumbs and hugs his little lion soft toy. Isabella doesn’t seem to like soft toys, which is unusual for little girls I guess. In the afternoon I’ve also been successful at getting them to sleep for a couple of hours too.

Isaac has to take 2 medications, 3 times a day. He seems to like it and takes both the powder and syrup very eagerly. During the day, we have a lot of crying and misbehaving accompanied by irrational tantrums. When they’re in that state (very red in the face), nothing comforts them and you literally have to let them blow off the steam and calm down on their own. I felt helpless during the first few days until I learned the lesson. As to potty training, Isabella is a superstar (now nicknamed “stinky monkey” and she even says it in a very cute way!). Isaac on the other hand, has been more failures than I’d rather discuss in detail out here, but let’s just say that I have cleaned up a LOT lately! Pampers will be getting a fair amount of money from us in the foreseeable future :)

I also experienced Isaac’s first seizure with me. It lasted a lot longer than I expected: over 40 minutes. Lori remembered that Isaac was given a shot last time and thanks to Carol, we discovered he needed a shot of magnesium when having a fit in order to shorten it after talking to the caregivers. It’s really sad that no one told us that. Sometimes I get really frustrated at the level of information we get. You have to know the answer to a question before you can ask it or they won’t tell you the answer! Oh well. We finally got two dozes, one of which will be shot in the butt on his next fit, which will hopefully not happen while we’re travelling back.

2 clicked here to comment!:

adopting2fromUkraine said...

Probably once you get Isaac on a good balanced diet and maybe some supplements from the Dr., he'll probably improve tremendously.

Sounds like you're doing pretty good for a first time daddy on your own:)


Dave Baldacchino said...

Thanks June. I have dioubts, but so far we're surviving just fine :) Hope all is going well over there!