Over here in Vienna, many kids' first word is "ball," or "auto." Not our V.
Our second daughter, and first foster kid, was with her bio-mom for about nine months. The two of them tried living with V.'s grandmother, but that only lasted a week or so. Then the State arranged for V. to live with a 'crisis' foster mother, Mrs. B. Mrs. B really loved V., and wanted to keep her, but could not. After all of this, she came to live with us, just after her first birthday.
In the last few weeks, she has started babbling up a storm. But her first real word was "Bye-bye."
We're still getting to know her, and she us. Here's what I can say about her: like Adinah and I, she likes to sit in our bay window and watch the streetcars rumble by, close enough for us to see the bleary, early morning faces inside them. She likes apples, bread and butter, figs, mashed potatoes, sausages, grapes, soy beans--hell, she likes food. She also drinks like a fish--sometimes four bottles of tea a day.
If we let her, she would drink the water in the bathtub, which she really likes a lot. She likes clapping her hands and screaming REALLY loud.
V. does not like sleeping in her crib. I suspect she doesn't like sleeping at all. Which could be a problem, eventually. Usually she doesn't mind being changed, but sometimes she really DOESN'T like that either.
You get the idea. We've got a good idea of her loves and hates, but both Anette and I are still wondering who V. really is. Is she an astronaut or an entomologist? Will she be stoic or gabby? With me as her papa, she will no doubt be at least a little goofy, though just how goofy is key.
Is she the thoughtful, sensitive one, or a latent Austrailian? Is she John, Paul, George or Ringo? Handyman or Earth Mother?
We only have the slightest of clues. The one thing I can be reasonably sure of is that V. will not be a delicate creature, a limpid beauty or a pushover. She's already living larger than that.