My Creole is improving. I know just enough to communicate most of what I need, in cryptic directives. I’ve figured out a pretty decent system, between searching for things on google translations, and reading out full phrases from my handbook for adoptive parents. The problem is, Kembe now thinks that I can fully speak Creole. When he first came home, I was impressed with his understanding of the language barrier, and at his attempts to communicate with me through signals and gestures. Now, though, he’s abandoned those efforts and just talks back to me in rapid-fire Creole, and then looks at me with annoyance when I don’t know what the heck he’s saying. It seems like our previous system might have frustrated him less. But, we keep trying. Jafta seems to really enjoy talking in Creole, and also enjoys making up words and then asking me what they mean in Creole. i.e. “Mommy, what does comapekapesa mean in Creole?” Also lost in translation.
I was also made aware of an interesting fact by the good folks at the church nursery. Apparently, a ration of 3:1 (three children to one adult caretaker) is what the government considers to be acceptable standard for the care of children under age 3. Most of my day I spend alone with four children, which is would be an illegal ratio in many settings. I’m not gonna lie. It feels that way. Just yesterday, I looked down at Karis and she was crawling up on all fours. I thought to myself, “Huh. When did she start doing that?” And I realized that Karis made the transition sometime in the past three weeks without me even taking notice of it. Her babyhood is very different from Jafta ‘s, who got so much undivided attention, and actually had this thing called a “baby book” devoted to recording his milestones. But . . . Karis seems to be having a blast with her big siblings, and especially with her new brother. They have forged an interesting bond, where he basically roars like a lion in her face, and she cracks up laughing. I spent the first week asking him to be trankil and janti with the baby, and then realized that she loves it and he loves it, and who am I to keep him from screaming in her face if it makes her so happy?
Our house is loud. We have a baseline of chaos. I am still not sure when I will feel like I am getting in a groove. This morning e realized we were out of groceries and had nothing to serve the kids for breakfast, that we’d forgotten to make valentines for the class party, I can't seem to find the time to return emails (or shower) and that we had skipped our turn to take snacks to preschool. Our house is a mess, our finances are a mess, and we still don’t own a car that can hold all of our children. I'm having doubts that I will ever be on time for anything again. But as I’m typing this, I just heard Kembe scream in Karis’s face, and then say, in perfect English, I love you, baby. And that just makes all this chaos worth it, doesn’t it?