Note: Post was largely written yesterday (Saturday) during Miranda’s naptime, but I never got back online in the evening to upload, so it’s just now being posted Sunday evening.
Yesterday I blogged while Miranda was napping and mentioned that I hoped she’d wake from her nap on her own (her body recognizing that this was naptime, not bedtime) and refreshed – that wasn’t so much what happened. I finally woke her after she’d been sleeping for almost 3.5 hours, and she was not especially eager to wake – she kept insisting to me that she was not going back to sleep, just “lounging with my eyes shut.” Matt and my mom came back from their day of touring soon after she woke up, and we debated what to do about dinner. Our generally easygoing child was offering a vehement “no” to everything we asked her to do, cried any time I left her sight, and clearly still felt like it was the middle of the night.
We decided to visit a restaurant across the street and were fairly successful in ordering food on our own. Miranda made it through most of the meal before she broke down, and we made a quick exit. I was exhausted and got ready to turn in for the night and was in bed by 7:30 p.m. I woke up around midnight, and Miranda felt warm…she hadn’t run a fever all day yesterday, but her temperature was back up to 100.0 by that time. I gave her a dose of Tylenol, but she was feeling pretty miserable. She and I sat in the chair in our room, and I held her while she cried and told me every few seconds that she wanted to go home and didn’t want to be in a hotel anymore. It was really heart-breaking. I felt so bad for her. She misses her chocolate milk and her pulp-free orange juice. When we get to Zhengzhou, we’ll visit a Walmart, and I hope to find some chocolate Quik or some sort of chocolate milk we can offer her. She cried for a couple hours before she agreed to get back into bed. Then we slept on and off for another few hours, and finally my mom offered to get up with her, and much to our surprise (she’s been insisting that she wants me and only me to do anything and everything with her), she agreed, and they watched a DVD together while Matt and I got another half hour of sleep. This is the only time I can ever remember feeling like sleeping until 6:00 a.m. would be such a luxury.
Honestly, it’s been much harder than I anticipated having her with us. She really is usually very mild-mannered and easygoing, and she travels well. But the time change and the jet lag have been so hard for her, and she doesn’t have a great understanding of time or appreciation for the experiences she’s having – she is a two-year-old. Normally she just goes with me and does whatever I need to do…but normally I work around her naptimes and bedtimes, and she has familiar foods and drinks and comfort items. If nothing else, these last couple days have been an incredibly visceral reminder of the realities we are about to face with Madeleine CaiQun. We are pulling her away from everything she’s ever known, away from all that is comfortable for her, and we won’t even be able to offer the comfort of her familiarity with us or any verbal reassurance that she understands. My heart hurts for her already. Obviously we believe that it is in her longterm best interest to be with us, or we wouldn’t be here…but that doesn’t change the fact that she will be leaving all that she knows, and she won’t understand what is happening or why, and she will inevitably grieve her losses, which are real and significant. I hope she will let us in quickly to offer comfort and care to her as she grieves.
We discussed the possibility of Miranda and me skipping today’s visit to the Great Wall, but all of her “illness” symptoms really seem to be jet lag related, and the reality is that a day in our hotel room is not the best way to fight jet lag. Plus that would mean one of us would have to skip the tour, as well. We decided to attempt it, so we bundled ourselves up this morning and packed additional layers of clothing to try to stay warm while we were out.
Our first stop was actually to a jade factory, which was fascinating. We got to see some of the craftsmen at work.
Next we were off to the Great Wall! Here’s a view of the drive –
Our guide, George, has stressed throughout our time here how incredibly huge Beijing is – home to 20 million people and over 40,000 square kilometers. The Great Wall is over an hour’s drive (in traffic that is fairly light, due to the Chinese New Year) away from our hotel, but it is still considered to be in Beijing. Here’s a picture of our group, all the families traveling with our agency who opted to come to Beijing before getting their children –
Next we split up to climb the wall – there’s an “easier” path and a more challenging path. We opted for the easier side, but it was definitely still a challenge! Here are a few pictures –
Matt got a lot of “thumbs up” signs from various people as he carried Miranda up and down the Wall.
And here’s a family picture of us on the Great Wall of China – perhaps our last family picture as a family of 3!
After a quick stop back at our hotel for naptime (time for rest for the adults), we went out to see a Chinese acrobatics show – very fun 🙂 Perhaps more info on that to come later, but for tonight, I’m too tired, so I’m going to wrap this up! After the show, we got take-out from Pizza Hut (not ideal, but cheap and fast) for dinner, put Miranda to bed, and packed up to depart Beijing and head to our little girl’s province!