Machiavelli has nothing on this girl

Today I needed to be taught a lesson.  It’s very clear to me now that Genius kiddo had an agenda from the very start.  I came in and she was asleep.  When she woke up she smiled at me in a pitying kind of way and promptly started to wail.  Well, the caregiver popped in with a bottle…..



Oh, before I continue the story of my training let me talk about…well, my training.  But this is the “how to feed your child” training.  The cottage people (kind of like the village people) told me that it is important to get the baby adjusted to our bottles before we bring them home.  So I am supposed to take the milk out of the hospital bottle and pour it into my new fangled Avent bottle.  Now the first day I tried this I brought a fast flow bottle top.  I had read in other people’s adoption journals that the kids are fed really fast in the babyhouses and that they get upset with food coming too slowly.  Hence, the fast flow top.   Well, that was not a success.  Poor Annabelle had milk coming out her ears practically and certainly more was overflowing from her mouth than making it into her belly.  It soaked her footed sleeper too.  All in all, not a success.  So today I took a slow flow top.  It didn’t work much better.  She doesn’t drool at all with the babyhouse bottle, but with these newfangled things, it’s coming out everywhere.  But I guess that’s why I’m trying to get her to adjust, right? 


But let us return to the main story….


…. So I stuck the bottle in her mouth (after transferring it to the avent bottle). Anyway, she was fine. She’s getting what she wants which is food and attention at the same time.  Oh, how sweet I think as her little fingers grab my little finger.


* note all the violations of proper baby set up according to US standards. We aren’t supposed to use a quilt, we aren’t supposed to use pillows…. Somehow these kids survive just fine!










What I didn’t realize is that she was preparing me to be wrapped around HER little finger, not the other way around. 


The middle part of the visit was fine, except, note to self: don’t fly until child has been burped. Particularly don’t do the kind of flying where the baby is directly on top of the mama looking downward before burping the child. All kinds of grossness can happen.  Particularly pay attention to this note when water in mama’s apartment has been out for 24 hours therefore allowing no showers to be taken or laundry done.


Anyway, towards the end of the visit, she was getting very sleepy as I danced around with her on my hip.  So I went to lay her down in her crib.  The minute I laid her down, the lesson began.  This quiet, meek little girl started to fuss, squirm and her face turned red and you could practically see the explosion working its way up from her toes til it reached her mouth and then burst free, like a water from a main…. WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! SCEEEECCCHHHH!  WAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!


* It’s hard to tell actually but this is the very beginning of the wailing and gnashing of teeth.











I got worried. This kid has never cried with me.  She must be sick. She must need burping, she must have something wrong.    Wrong.  I bend down and pick her up and a smile is on her face before she clears the crib bars and she wraps her chubby little arm around my neck and settles down.  Hmmm. I think.  Well, I guess the stomachache passed.  So I lay her down again.   And the steam engine explosion happens again.  WAAAAAAAHHHHHH.   I pick her up. Smiles galore, even a bit of a happy laugh.  Put down.  WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.


And of course, after the third or fourth time, it finally sinks in that she’s realized the crib has become second best to the funny lady in motion.  Why should I be surprised – she’s a genius kid after all. It took her exactly 8 days to figure out that she doesn’t need to speak to rule her world.  Kings and queens will bow before her crying.  


And of course, I don’t want the caregivers to think that I’m a bad mother with a crying child so I lean down and pick her up.  Which is exactly what my little Machiavellian child counted on.  Dare I admit that she giggled.  Gleefully.  Evilly. 


It was with a bowed head that I slunk out of Room#4 today.  I am a changed woman. I am no longer free.  My will is no longer my own.  I have become a slave to an impatient, intolerant, and very loud human being.  I exist only for her pleasure and hers alone.


(*set scene:  woman looking like Macbeth witches with unkempt hair and grizzled demeanor sounds the following words, with a background deep gong sounding here to emphasize dramatic effect*)


“Let this serve as a warning for all who hope to follow in my footsteps…”


Okay, so much for the drama.  However, I’m still without water after a day and a half.  It’s starting to get scary.  But I have electricity.  All in all, if I had a choice though I’d take water over electricity.  You can always use candles instead of lights, but what do you do when the toilet cistern is empty, I ask?  But fear not for me, Gentle readers.  With lack of essential services, I’m on familiar ground.  I’ve done Sierra Leone, I’ve survived a 3 week camel trek through Mauritania, I laugh at Angola, and Somalia is mere child’s play. So don’t try to scare me off with a little drought here in Kazakhstan. What do you think, I’m an amateur?  I may come out smelly, I may come out with bad hair, but I will win this penultimate battle with the water authority!


Hmmm, maybe I’m watching a little too much Buffy the Vampire slayer in the afternoons……