I understand that some may have found the below post in bad taste.
However. I was frustrated. I needed to vent. I chose to do so not on facebook or somewhere read largely by non-foster parents but in a forum where people will get where I’m coming from.
Parents say this about their kids all the time. It’s a joke, a way of saying I need a break from my kids! If you take it seriously it’s just as unfunny for a biological child as it is for a foster child. I know that I could ring up cs and say I don’t want my child anymore. But people with biological children can do exactly the same thing. You just wouldn’t. I wouldn’t either. My kids only leave my house if a judge says they have to move. I don’t send them on.
So for the record: I love Buddy. I love him when he’s crying, I love him when he’s happy, I love him when he’s cranky, I love him when he’s sad, I love him when he’s annoying, I love him when he’s excited, I love him when he’s sleepy, I love him when he’s having a screaming tantrum and I love him when he is trying to stuff toys, dirt and leaves down the outside drain for the ten millionth time.
Right now I’m him mum, and I’ll make the same jokes as all the other mum’s do.
Ugg, I hate it. The moving furniture, changing beds and shuffling rooms began today. The boy have new beds which will convert to bunks when they are older. This is Buddy’s first big boy bed although he has been sleeping in the cot with the side off and a safety rail for while. The cot has moved to the new bedroom and will be Prince Charming’s bed. Now I just need to sort out where I put essentially one whole rooms worth of stuff. It will be worth it though to have a room for Prince Charming. Having three of them share a room would just be too much!
Trying new bedtime routines out to be ready for the arrival of Prince Charming (coming to us in an unknown number of days or weeks…). Attempting to find a way to get Champ to bed without having to tell him off for anything, aka setting him up to succeed. Tonight was night three of letting him play while Buddy goes to sleep (so I don’t have to tell him to lie down and be quiet, over and over and over again), reading to him in the loungeroom and having our cuddles out there (so I don’t have to shush him and we can have a little chat), and putting him straight to bed and leaving to room (so he feels in control and has the choice to earn a sticker by staying in bed and going to sleep). It’s a pretty big boy way of doing things, and he wasn’t ready for it before, but I think he is now. And tonight was a total success. Hooray! I know that tomorrow may be a different story, but I’ll celebrate my successes when I get them 🙂
Meanwhile I’m back to rocking Buddy to sleep. I’ll take my cuddles while I can get them and leave it at that. Now all I need to do is get Prince Charming to go to sleep at 6.30 without needing a drawn out routine. Good thing he’s still a baby!
This is actually probably quite a boring post, doubt many of you are interested in the minutiae of my children’s bedtime routines, sorry bout that 😛
I find myself asking that question all the time with Champ. Several of my friends have kids the same age as him and they all assure me that it’s normal. Their three year olds are highly emotional, cry for no logical reason and generally seem to find life just a bit tough to negotiate. Yet when he’s sitting at the table in the morning watching me make breakfast, just as I’ve done every morning since they’ve come, and he suddenly bursts into tears because he wants breakfast, I struggle to see it as ‘normal’. When I give him his weet-bix and he bursts into tears for no reason other than it’s too empty, or too full, or bits are sticking up, or not sticking up, it doesn’t seem ‘normal’. I haven’t had biological children to compare, so I don’t really know. Maybe in the long run it doesn’t make much difference, but I feel that it would be helpful to know if it’s just a normal three year old learning to cope with the disappointments of the world (such as he’s weet-bix sticking up out of the milk!), or if it’s a sign of deeper emotional struggles. Do I need to be super patient, or teach him to to be less of a sook?
And for the record there isn’t really anyone at community services that I can ask. Their caseworker is not exactly an expert on child development. She mentioned that when Prince Charming comes to live with us she reckoned that with my boys to copy he’d be up and walking almost straight away. My response? Umm, he’s eight months old, I really hope not!
Also, re Prince Charming. He’ll still be another week or two, apparently there is some paperwork kerfuffle that they need to work out…
Quite annoying really.
I did call caseworker, but didn’t get through. Her record for returning calls is not stellar…
Meanwhile Champ wanted heaps of cuddles this morning. And we sang songs about how much I love him, how I love him all the time, and how I’ll love him just as much when Prince Charming comes. He definitely responds to songs better than talking, finds them more comforting and less confronting I think.
I’ve also decided to try and break Buddy of needing to be rocked to sleep each night. It has gotten to the point where he fights me when I put him into the ‘go to sleep’ position, yet won’t sleep without it. I think that the attachment side of things is negated by the fighting, so I’d rather just get him settling on his own, which will give me more options for bedtime routines and for who sleeps in which room. It has meant a lot of tantrums at bedtime! Oh well, hopefully we’ll get there. He can do it, he would just rather have it his own way. Wouldn’t we all!
As the boys were heading off to their visit this afternoon I decided to tell them that Prince Charming was going to come and live with us. Ideally I would have liked to wait until I knew the date, but I couldn’t risk that CS had already talked to Mum and that she would tell Champ and he would have no idea what she was talking about. I wanted him to hear it from me so we could have the chance to talk about it and process it together.
When I first told him he basically ignored me and kept doing what he was doing. A few minutes later he started crying over something really little and I asked him what what wrong. He said he didn’t want Prince Charming to come live with us. We talked about it a bit, and I explained that he was coming to live with Buddy and Champ. I explained how we would move the rooms around and that he would always have his little brother to play with. Then we sang a song about it “Prince Charming is coming to live with Champ and Buddy. Prince Charming is coming to live with Champ and Buddy. Prince Charming is coming, Prince Charming is coming, Price Charming is coming to live with Champ and Buddy.” ect ect. Complete with drums and uke (a broken one with only two strings, plucked randomly, don’t go thinking I’m a musical genius here!). He seemed to come around a bit more to the idea then. I think the focus on him coming to live with his brothers was better than him coming to live with us, or to live with mummy, as it gave him more ownership over the idea.
Hopefully we’ll have more talks about it, and I’ll get him to help with moving furniture and setting things up, so that when the time comes he’ll be fully on board. I think he wants it, but it’s a big change and that always makes kids in foster care nervous. Heck, it makes me nervous too!
Now all I need is a time frame. Will it be tomorrow? Or next week? Or next month? Ahh, foster care.