The boy and I had a bit of an odd occurrence today. I suppose I should start by saying the child has been a little out of sorts lately. Last week he started school. Then he spent the night at his grandparents. He’s not totally sold on the prospect of spending time away from us. In fact whenever we go to pick him up from a night away it is a total “I missed you guys” cry-fest. This we he’s come down with a little cold and last week my MIL told him about an upcoming trip the trusty husband and I are taking that will have us away for 4 nights. Any one of these things isn’t a big deal, but when you pile them all on top of each other it makes like a little punky.
We had finally gotten past most of the scream until my ears bleed portion of our week only to have the child freak out because the roofing guys accidentally knocked one of our downspouts loose* and the trusty husband was walking out the door and couldn’t fix it right! then! He was afraid it was going to leak while he was sleeping. And oh the horror of a leaky gutter. Whatever will we do. Then there was the slug. The slugs have been eating the stuff in the garden so the child naturally thinks the slug is coming straight for him and is going to gnaw his foot off. Let’s just go with the morning wasn’t that great.
I sat down at my desk and called the child to watch the Pickle Speak video. I thought he might find it cute to see himself as a baby. He did. He then wanted to watch a few more of my YouTube videos. I showed him the one of him having a tantrum just so he could hear what it’s like when he screams at me. I followed that up with Getting Around Khabarovsk**. I thought he might like to see the town he is from. As we watched he started asking where he was. Was that our car? Is that were we stayed? I tried to explain to him that this is a video from before we met him. Consequently the video was made while we were waiting for Alexander. There are no photos of Alexander in it and I didn’t tell the boy anything about Alexander, just that it was before we met him.
The video is almost 7 minutes long and about 4 minutes into it he said he was ready to be done. Attention span and all. I put him down and he went off to play. I went into the kitchen to work on a few projects and the child was unusually quiet in his room. I asked what he was doing. “Nothing,” he replied. A few minutes later he was still rather quiet. I asked if everything was ok. “Yes,” he replied. I went about my business of slicing tomatoes. All of a sudden he comes running into the kitchen and begins sobbing. Not as if he’s hurt, but as if he is so horribly sad about something.
“I missed you guys when I was in Russia,” he cried.
We had a bit of a conversation about how Russia is not a bad place and that it is something about him that makes him special. The conversation was a little tangenty, veering off to include washers and dryers***. What I eventually fished out of him was that while watching the video he had a memory of Russia, but couldn’t articulate what it was. I have no clue if this is true or what he was just telling me, but I’m inclined to believe him.
I would like to say that we are at the point that the first two years of his life have been negated by the work we’ve done, but is just isn’t the case. I know he still has some memories. Experts believe that children don’t make concrete memories until age 5, but there are some people who make memories earlier. My child happens to be one of them.
I want to help him understand that his time in Russia was not bad. I tell him over and over that he was in a good place. While the Russian government could have done more for my child and every Russian orphan, his caregivers did the absolute best job they could with the resources they were given. I just wonder how much is in his mind and if it is causing him any pain.
*The child has an overly weird fascination with gutters
**which, holy hell, has over 11,000 views!
***he is also fascinated by washers and dryers