As much as it killed us to do so, we finally broke down and entered a McDonald's. You really don't have much choice when your 4 year old starts holding himself doing the "pishka" dance in the middle of Sofia. Inside, the only difference we noticed was the cooler of Heineken's for sale on the counter. Outside was a book market we remembered from our previous trip so we stopped for an ice cream cone.
Today was one of the few days where we had absolutely nothing to do and nowhere to be. So with our Bulgarian phrase book in hand, we decided to venture into the city. Our goal was to make it to Aleksander Nevski Cathedral, barter for some souvenirs, order a meal from one of our favorite restaurants here, and take a trolley home. All without causing an international incident. We made it! Our only close call was when we passed in front of a political march of some sort.
Andrew did amazing. Its about 2 miles from our apartment to the cathedral and he walked the entire way, with only two stops. Not a single complaint or attitude. We walked about halfway back from the cathedral to the restaurant (http://www.magernitsa.com/). For this leg, Aaron carried Andrew most of the way. While in the restaurant, Andrew was also very well behaved. We decided we had worn him out enough, so we took a trolley back to the apartment.
It was quite an adventure for us trying to translate Cyrillic letters on street signs and matching them with Latin letters on our English map. It was also fun trying to speak Bulgarian in order to get around and make purchases. We were told on our first trip that you could get around Sofia pretty well knowing only English; however, we have not found that to be the case.
Bedtime was more of a struggle tonight. Andrew has caught on to our routine that pajamas go on right before bedtime. So tonight he did not want to put on his pajamas. He cried and through his tears informed us "neescom"(don't want). We won that battle, only to have him put on his sweatshirt, thinking that this would somehow prevent going to sleep. We took off his sweatshirt amidst much protest and carried him to bed while he screeched. We brought in a glow-stick and blanky bear in order to negotiate him laying down. It worked except for some sporadic whimpering. We brought in the laptop and lay with him as he fell asleep (only minutes again) to Franklin the Turtle overdubbed in Bulgarian.
One of the challenges we face is the balance between compassion for all the change in Andrew's life with the need for him to know boundaries for behavior. That becomes even more complex when both of us are out of our normal surroundings, not to mention a language barrier. So we ask God,"who gives generously to all without finding fault", for wisdom.