Suma and Topa, coming then going

It’s been a fun several weeks with Suma and Topa visiting. Kaia has loved having extra affectionate family close by every day, especially being able to have extra people to hug, kiss, pick her up, and play hide-and-seek with. Though she is surely becoming a little person with her distinct desires and opinions, she has loved having all the extra attention of her paternal grandparents. She has back and forth conversations with them and shows them things she can do that will “impress” them. I love watching Kaia shriek with delight and giggle endlessly when she successfully finds Topa during their repeat games of hide-and-seek. We’ve also found new cognitive abilities of Kaia during this visit, such as the fact that she’s actually able to understand when we ask her to fake an emotion, whether it’s laughing or crying. Then, she wants each of us to fake cry and asks us, one by one, to cry. It’s the cutest and most hilarious thing. Before these moments over the last couple of days, I wasn’t even sure her brain at this stage had developed enough to understand that, but clearly it has.

In addition to enjoying watching them all interact, it’s also been fun to spend time with Chris’s parents. I always tell my friends and anyone who will listen how lucky and fortunate I am to have a good relationship with my in-laws. They always appreciate the littlest things I do and are always thanking me and expressing gratitude. It’s taken a lot of adjusting to be used to it and accept it, but I do appreciate that they appreciate me.

Here’s something small and funny that happened in the last day: I was organizing some things in our bedroom (they sleep in our bed when they visit, and we sleep on the sofa bed in our living room), and I noticed that the tissue box was empty. So, I promptly replaced it with a new one from our closet. When they returned home for the day, Chris’s dad noticed it had been replaced, and he came up to me and thanked me for replacing the tissue box. I laughed and said that was silly — no need to thank me; I just wish he had told me it was empty sooner so that I could’ve replaced it earlier, as I had no idea it was all done. He said it really wasn’t a big deal; since he had been under the weather, he had just been collecting extra napkins from restaurants they’d been to and been using those!! It was completely ridiculous: replacing the tissue box or toilet paper is just a normal, household maintenance thing to do, guests or no guests. And it would be particularly embarrassing for me, as a host, to not replace tissue boxes for guests and instead expect them to use externally sourced tissues! His dad had expressed worry that he didn’t want to “deplete our supplies,” but I said that was completely crazy; these things were bought to be used!

But that’s what I mean when I say that Chris’s parents are always so appreciative and thankful, even for the smallest (and seemingly most ridiculous) things. They are truly good humans, always trying to do the right thing. It’s refreshing to be around; Chris and his brother have no idea how good they have it. They are leaving us for the next legs of their trip, heading to Malaga, Spain, then Verona, Italy, before heading back home to Melbourne. So we had to explain to Kaia before her nap that Suma and Topa were leaving, and she’d see them in a few months. She kind of/sort of understood they were leaving, as she kept insisting on hugs from them. But then, when she woke up from her nap, she acted as though nothing had happened or changed.

I’m always sad when they leave, especially now that Kaia is here. Because I know that a lot of time will pass before they are all able to enjoy each other again. But I suppose distance can make the heart grow fonder.

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