A world of firsts | VailDaily.com

A world of firsts

When you’ve never had anything, everything is new, everything is an adventure. Watching Yogendra experience all things new is our family’s favorite spectator sport.First trip to a department store … first time someone has ever told him to pick out whatever he wants … first new shoes …First time to flip a light switch: it was fascinating. The floor lamp with the pull cord was the most magical thing this kid had ever seen – to transform darkness to light by pulling a string, that’s a thrill …First flush toilet, he jumped back about six feet. If you’ve never hit that handle, you don’t know what to expect. It was so fascinating that we took about a dozen-and-a-half trips to the bathroom every day. We took what had to be the first International Asian Toilet Tour. It’s incredible how many different way human ingenuity has created to launch the Tydebol Man …First time in the swimming pool. The water was cool and he wasn’t thrilled with it. The Mickey Mouse floaties didn’t help, mostly because he didn’t know who Mickey Mouse is. Still doesn’t … First warm water bath, he didn’t want to get in. Bathtime at Bal Mandir deals with about 300 kids. They stand each kid in a huge bucket and pour cold water over their heads, which also explains why he’s not thrilled with showers. That, and you can’t sail toy boats in a shower. When he hit the warm water, his face lit up with his million-watt smile and he started to sing. He was the Nepalese Wayne Newton by the time bathtime was over … First time to yank his sister’s chain. He pulled a novel she was reading out of her suitcase, put it on his head and danced around the room while she screamed at him to give it back, which he could not understand. All he knew was that we were laughing and he was getting the reaction he wanted. That also answered the question about how long before he’d fit in with the family, and our daughter Morgan’s question about how long it would be until she could hit him with a pillow. It happened about two hours after we returned to the hotel after picking him up at the orphanage …First time, when she bossed him around and got the Nepalese version of “You’re not my boss!” Oh yes she is … First soft drink with ice, in the Bangkok airport when we found a Kentucky Fried Chicken. He didn’t know what ice was, or what it was for, but knew that he liked it … first time he had processed sugar and caffeine was in that soft drink. He bounced off the walls until well past midnight, when he finally collapsed …First cartoons were on the flight home. How do we explain Bugs Bunny? First English language words, besides “daddy,” “mommy” and “sister,” were “motorcycle” and “yes.” I figured that’s all he really needed to know. But then he fell under my wife’s influence, who taught him to say, “daddy,” “motorcycle” and “not a chance!” First cheeseburger, when we landed in Los Angeles after traveling two days with a day to go. Our daughter announced she wanted to eat something American, so we checked into a motel and wandered across the street to dine at the apex of all things American, the Golden Arches. We got Yogendra a Happy Meal. He ignored the cheeseburger, dipped his french fries in the milk and was thrilled with the little red car that came with it. Food AND a toy – what a great country … First time he picked out the U.S. on a map and exclaimed “Yogi’s America!”First present: For three days he ignored a brightly wrapped purple-and-yellow package sitting in the middle of the hotel room. We finally handed it to him and explained that it was his. He didn’t know what to do with it. He’d never seen a present before. That was August. It’s now Christmas, and he has the concept down solid.Sept. 7, 2004: First day of kindergarten. A note from the teacher is written on the white board. “Dear Kindergarten, Today is Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2004. It is Yogi’s first day with us. Love, Mrs. Atkinson.”They sing the morning song, “The More We Get Together.””Say good morning to our new friend, Yogi.” “Good morning, Yogi,” they all say.They play with clay, they learn their letters, colors and numbers. As his new parent, I’m sure he’ll be discussing quantum mechanics by the end of the day.The Mexican kids speak to him in Spanish, the Anglo kids speak to him in English. He answers in Nepalese and they all laugh with each other.The good stuff never changes.Vail, Colorado