As I write this the road that my apartment is on is closed to traffic and there is music coming from the Town Hall Square just about a block away. I think there is going to be a festival to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. Christmas isn't celebrated here in Kazakhstan on December 25th, instead it is celebrated on the Russian Orthodox date that we call Little Christmas in January. The big celebration is New Year's. But there is a jolly red dressed man with a pretty lady who are very much visible at this time of year. I'll try to get photos when I'm out tomorrow.
MLM and I had company in the music room where we go for bonding. There was a little girl with her mama from Montreal. MLM was a tease and an observer and learner all in the short time we were in the music room with them.
When I picked MLM up from his section, he was eating a cookie. He brought his cookie downstairs to the music room. The little girl saw the cookie and MLM tried to tease her that he had the cookie and he wasn't going to give it to her. Then he became enamoured with her toys (most of them made noises and moved). I didn't bring too many toys like that because they are aimed at a younger child, this little girl is just 16 months old. But I forgot that MLM may have never seen such toys or played with them. I kept saying there not your toys, your toys are in my knapsack, you can look but you can't touch. He seems to understand me as he then began to pull at my knapsack to get his toys. He pulled out his Leap Frog cell phone and played with it the entire visit. At one point he started saying "Allo" into the phone, just like adults here answer their phones, then he would push my hair away from my ear and hold the phone up to my ear. I would say "Allo and the Da, da da (yes). The toy says Bye bye at one point, and MLM says Bye bye and waves at the screen.
The little girl, however wasn't very interested in the toys her mama had brought instead she was interested in running around the room. MLM found watching the little girl to be very interesting. At one point the director of the baby house came into the room and left the door ajar. The little one went right towards the door to escape, MLM told me and smiled watching her. Excuse me, he is a mature 25 month old child, he can open the door if needs be, and he would never do something as immature as try to escape.
It is amazing to think that for both children the baby house has been their home for most of their lives, and yet they may never have seen each other prior to today. At one point the little girl picked up the facecloth I bring to wipe MLM's face when he's drinking, (or spitting which he thinks is a great game, I'm not to happy with that game). I was afraid that MLM would get upset and try to grab his facecloth back as he is very possessive of his belongings. But instead he was very content to just watch the girl, and he laughed at her attics.
You may wonder where he was during all this action. He was sitting in his FAVOURITE place, on his mama's knee. Whenever I do stand up, he grabs my hand, walks me back to the chair and pats the chair. As soon as I sit down he climbs into my lap. Today he indicated he want to play a game where I try to kiss him and he giggles and tries to avoid the kisses. Such a cute boy.
When the little girl and her mama left the music room, MLM decided to try and play a game he'd seen the little girl play, that of mama chase me. I of course obliged and chased him around the little space we had in the music room. He thought it was a wonderful game.
As we left, one of the staff came up to tell us that there are many babies down with colds, as such we are being restricted to one 20 minute visit a day for the time being. At least I can still visit.
Tomorrow I go with my new translator. I felt so bad today as the old translator was told that we wouldn't be using her services any more. She told me to feel free to call her anyway if I had any concerns. She was a nice lady, I just don't think she had enough conversational English to be comfortable, she struggled to convey the simplest message.
Okay, I'm off to my kitchen window to take part in the street festival. I get the best of all worlds, warmth, safety and the festival.