Hypothetically speaking, this weekend in the world of foster care was crap.
Friday wasn’t the worst. I mean, I know someone who was sick to their stomach. Let’s be real, the joys of foster care can be way more physically and mentally draining then the stomach flu. So, all in all, it it seemed it was a pretty decent Friday. Apparently the kids came home and someone’s feelings of wanting to be home alone came assaulting them. The bickering, the fighting, the lying was exhausting.
They nearly said a naughty words out loud. At least they knew they were mere hours from the sound of crashing waves.
Fast forward to Saturday and a two hour trip resulted, in thought, no kids going to sleep. All the kids asking for some kind of snack or drink. Multiple potty stops. And a rearranging of the agenda for the day because y’all were supposed to get to your first destination at 9a. But, you know, you left the house at 9a.
Nothing really matters, though. Theoretically, you can feel the salty air and you know you are nearly there. Two poopy diapers, a whiny 4 year old couldn’t stop you from living your best life with the Pacific Ocean in breathing distance. You stopped for lunch and had the best Dungeness Crab Melt that ever kissed your lips.
The rest of the day went on without a hitch, right? You went in and out of candy and toy stores. There was a contemplation of buying a kite. You ventured to stand in the line of Scoopers. You walked the board walk. And you took a not made for sand double stroller onto the beach and soaked in the rays of Mr. Sun. In all probability, It was an incredible family day that helped you recharge.
And then Sunday hit.
Lies. Lots and lots of lies. Hitting, pushing, shoulder blocking. More lies on top of lies. You, in a sense, can feel your body getting heavier. You ask yourself, Where is the little boy that was absolutely content in the water as he kept getting knocked down by waves?
As you cook some awesome Singapore Zoodle Chicken Stir Fry for dinner you hear, “I want to to live in another home.”
You halt. Your breathing stops. Hmmm, okay what did I do? You ask yourself. It’s fine, take a deep breath. Kiddo is in an time in, obviously he’s upset.
“Oh, you do Bubba?” you start. You figure the kid needs to feel like he is being validated, right? “Tell me why.”
“Well,” he begins, “here’s the reasons why…”
- I don’t want to share with the babies.
- I don’t want the babies in my room.
- I don’t like that there are so many baby toys.
Okay, you think, he’s clearly just upset he’s in time out.
- I don’t like Buster’s breath.
- I don’t like that I can’t play on the rocks.
- I don’t like not playing behind the fence on the road.
So, no one like’s the dogs breath. But the other two keeps him safe. You nod your head with understanding as you realize can live with this.
- I don’t like when he pets my head in the car.
- I don’t like when she sticks her feet out.
- I don’t like when they fall on me.
Here is the template of “sibling” fighting. “I’m sorry that they do that,” you tell him.
- I don’t like that I have to eat vegetables.
- I don’t like that there aren’t a lot of super hero things.
- I don’t like I can’t watch what I want to watch.
- I don’t like I can’t listen to the music I like.
It’s getting almost comical. Your pretend summation of your weekend has you thinking you have a full life of adventure in this home.
- I especially don’t like all the rules.
Ding, ding, ding. There it is. You waited to hear this because the list isn’t a list. What kiddo doesn’t like are the rules. He hit it right on the head. He doesn’t like to listen to the rules. He likes to be disrespectful and unkind. Two things that are not aloud in your family.
You realize you nearly blamed yourself because he was unhappy. I mean, it is your job to make him feel welcomed and loved. But, it is not your job to put those kids at risk. So much has happened for you during the weekend. But, now the only question that makes you wonder: how do you stop a four year old from saying, “I have a list of the reasons why I don’t want to live in your home?”
Theoretically this was your weekend. Presumably a possibility? Indubitably someone in the world of fostering – or not- has gone through this? Or, perhaps, I’m just asking for a friend? xoxo