His foster mother was not at the home today, because she had a meeting. But I wonder if it was just going to be too hard for her to say goodbye. The foster father, and their older son (who's in his 20's) was there, along with his wife, and the grandmother.
We weren't there very long before they asked for the clothes I'd brought him to change into. The brother's wife dressed him, all the while trying not to cry. Axel was very proud of his new clothes, though they are big on him! (Dean, go back and get size 6's, the 8's are huge!!!) The shoes are only slightly too big, but wearable for him, and I'm sure he'll grow into them quickly.
All of the adults managed to hold themselves together until it was time to get in the car. Axel was very excited to be going in the car, and was just a happy boy. The adults? Not so much! The older brother and his wife had a very hard time, but they tried their best to say goodbye without loosing control completely. I wish I spoke their language, and could tell them I will take the best care possible of him. The father gave a very quick hug and walked away quickly.
We came to the hotel and unpacked all of his things. Then we played for a bit before he started getting bored, so we, along with the facilitator, took a walk into the city center.
Or a lesson learned, one of the two!!!
We walked for a few blocks and he was great, and then suddenly his mischeivious side came out. We decided to get him a snack, of which he liked 2 or 3 bites of. We were headed the direction back to the hotel, and the walk back was......well...."difficult" would be an understatement. Kicking, hittin, hair pulling, both at me, the facilitator, and whoever walked by...all done with the biggest grin while he laughed in my face. He was not mad, or angry, or sad, he was TESTING EVERY LIMIT THERE IS TO TEST.
Finally back in the hotel room he was behaving a little bit. We played "straw hockey" (blowing with straws at a cotton ball across a small table. Thanks Abby for the suggestion!) which evolved into a game of catch across the room. That was fun! Before I would throw it to him I had him sign "Axel" (using the name sign I've given him) and I had to sign "Mama" before he would throw it to me.
Somehow this fun game evolved into throwing the pillows at Mama, so those were locked away in the wardrobe. Then it was time to pull out handfuls of Mama's hair, and throw my glasses across the room! When I went to grab his hands he tried to bite. That was the straw! I cannot have them broken only to be stuck here without my eyes!!! (and during this time I was wearing a shirt with some embellishments on it, that are now scattered on the floor because threads got caught on something. I changed to my only other t-shirt which had different embellishments, and they're on the floor now too. LOL I have several sweaters with me, but with the constant wrestling matches I was dripping sweat as it was. The last thing I wanted to put on was a sweater.)
I finally, when my glasses were thrown, I sat him in front of me on the bed, facing away from me with his head on my chest, wrapped my legs over his, and my arms around his chest (holding his arms down so he could not pull hair, glasses, or bite!) He struggled for only a few seconds before calming down and his breathing became relaxed. I slowly let his arms go and started softly playing with the palms of his hands, massaging his palms and fingers. He really liked this!!! Very softly, I sang "Jesus Loves Me" in his ear, and he would lean his head into my if I stopped. He stayed very relaxed for about 15 minutes and I let him go, but he pulled my arms back around him and put his hand back in mine for more of the massaging.
Because he was being very calm, and because it was only about 4:00 and 6 more hours until he's used to going to bed, I decided to try a SHORT walk. Besides, he's learning to do the stairs too! (that's another post, soon to come. Probably after Little Boy Blue is in bed. LOL)
I wanted to keep it VERY short, so I could praise him for being good. We only went about 1 1/2 blocks, then back to the hotel. Lots of "Bravo!!! Bravo!" for good behavior, with a hug and a kiss at the same time. He has been great since then. But, tomorrow is another day, and it's still 4 hours to bedtime.
So far he has learned the signs for "mama", 'drink', 'more', "lights on", "lights off", and "Axel". The sign for "Axel" has no meaning to him yet, but the others DO!!!