It happens roughly 10 - 20 times each day at our house. It generally is associated with love and saying I love you. And it generally causes Maimie to brush my bangs back with her hands and look at me very seriously. It is a ritual at bedtime, naptime, and lunch time.
It all started months ago when Maimie would start saying "I love you". I always told her that I loved her, too. Then I would tell her the "china story". It sounded like this:" I love you so much...I went all the way to China in a big airplane just to bring you back home with me." Soon Maimie was asking for the China Story several times a day.
Eventually I started to add more information to the story. Now the china story sounds more like this: " Once upon a time, there was a beautiful baby girl named Guo Zhen who lived in China with Fay-Fay and the other little babies. Mommy and Daddy wanted a baby girl, and one day we got a little picture of baby Guo Zhen. We loved baby Guo Zhen so much that we wanted to bring her home to live with us and be part of our family so we could love her and squeeze her and hug her anytime we wanted. So, Mommy and Daddy and Mikaela and Jacob and Joseph all got on an airplane and flew all the way to China. When we got there, we went to a building to meet baby Guo Zhen. Fay-Fay handed baby Guo Zhen to mommy and baby Guo Zhen was so brave. She didn't even cry! And Baby Guo Zhen looked at mommy and mommy looked at baby Guo Zhen. I just loved my baby! Later we took baby Guo Zhen back to our hotel room. Jacob held baby Guo Zhen, Joseph held baby Guo Zhen, Mikaela held baby Guo Zhen, and Daddy held baby Guo Zhen. We gave baby Guo Zhen a bottle to drink and played with her. Then baby Guo Zhen got a bath and put on some little blue sheep pajamas and went night-night. Then when it was time to go home, we all got on an airplane. Baby Guo Zhen spilled noodle soup all over poor Mikaela's lap! The End."
Going out to breakfast with Daddy
Sometimes I'll leave out something and Maimie will tell that part. Sometimes I'll abbreviate the story, but then add in some of the things we did while in China such as the zoo, the park, the temple, shopping.
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened one evening last week while telling the china story. Maimie and I were on the couch with Daddy and she asked me to tell the story just like a million other times. But this time when I got to the part about Fay-Fay, Maimie interrupted to tell me "Fay-Fay ride". I asked her if she said "Fay-Fay ride" and she said yes. Then she said Fay-Fay ride Maimie. I asked if she and Fay-Fay rode in a car. She said yes... Fay-Fay cry. When I asked her if Fay-Fay cried, she said no, baby cry. I asked her if she was the baby that cried. No, baby cry. Then she said Fay-Fay tell Maimie I love you. And that was all she said. But Steve and I think she was filling in part of her China story. I had been telling about Fay-Fay and the building where we met her. That morning Maimie and around 3 or 4 other babies made the 3 hour trip with several nannies by van/car from her orphanage to the capital city of Nanning where we met her. Apparently one of the babies had been crying during the trip. And evidently her caregiver (Fay-Fay) had at some point told Maimie that she loved her. WOW! How amazing that Maimie still holds memories from China and is just now starting to get enough language skills to relay bits of them.
Fun with Gus and Margie