Monday, October 26, 2009
You see, I've had the Booger Bear since May and Angel since June. Although they are mother and son, because they came into care at different times, it's opened up a whole new can of worms as far as people involved in their case(s) and the number of monthly appointments that we have and strange people coming into our home. On any given day, we have AT LEAST two CPS-related appointments (ex. therapy, medication monitoring, visitations, parenting classes, training classes, home visits with case workers, CASAs for each child, attorneys, court dates, etc.). We try to cram in all of the mandatory doctor and dental visits as well as our routine visits that we would have regardless of CPS on the two days a week that we don't have standing appointments. My 13-month-old has his own dayplanner, for crying out loud!!! AND IT'S FULL!!!
It's bad enough that these kids are living in foster care. Why on earth does the system make it WORSE by forcing them to have no life outside of CPS?!? One case worker even had the nerve to ask why Angel isn't involved in any extra-curricular activities! Another asked when she was going to start job-hunting! SERIOUSLY!??! I asked them when, exactly, they proposed we schedule something seeing as how Angel has appointments EVERY FREAKING DAY for those people! You expect her to WORK too?!? You're all freaking crazy.
As you can tell, I'm a wee bit fed up. I put my foot down as far as scheduling things during the school day. Angel IS NOT missing school unless absolutely necessary for her HEALTH. PERIOD. Fortunately, she has a fairly short school day, so we have been able to schedule things later in the afternoon. UNfortunately, I am a single parent trying to work full-time, and having to take off work constantly is going to get really old for my boss and co-workers. I try to make everyone schedule evening visits, but it doesn't usually work out that way. The CASAs have been great about coming in the evenings, and luckily we have case aids who are able to transport the kids to and from their weekly visitations. Everyone else though, is making it rather difficult.
At what point (if ever) is it okay for me to say, "No, I CAN'T take off work to do a home visit at 2:00!" or "I'm sorry, but Angel is going to take gymnastics and her classes are every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:30-7. We're busy. You can come at 7:30 or on Friday night at 6."? Can I ask a therapist who can't work around our schedule for a referral to another therapist who CAN, or do we just have to suck it up, miss work, and potentially get fired all because she was "really busy this month."? I'LL SHOW YOU "REALLY BUSY" LADY!!!"
I think I need better meds, or maybe MY OWN therapist. But I don't DARE schedule an appointment for MYSELF! I'd end up having to miss it anyway due to a surprise visit from a case worker or a last minute mandatory training session. Fun times! How on earth do people do this with FIVE foster kids?!? It's definitely a full-time job and seems to require a lot more patience than I have at the moment. Fortunately, I'm a wee bit OCD and an organizational freak, so I'm getting a pretty good system going as far as all of the paperwork goes. UGH!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I answer hestitantly, "Hello?"
The voice at the other end says, "Hi Tammy. It's ******* (the principal). I just wanted to call and let you know that your child got bitten again."
Me, "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? That's the second day in a row!"
Principal, "I know... Well, apparently your child is a little bit of a bully, and it seems the other kids are retaliating."
My 16-year-old you might assume? Nope! The 1-year-old!!! It seems we'll be having more lessons on the importance of sharing and keeping our hands to ourselves.
The Booger Bear is the "baby" in his class, and has "Little Man's Syndrome." What he lacks in age, size, and motor skills he makes up for in attitude. He wants WHAT he wants WHEN he wants it, whether another child is playing with it or not. His teacher said that he's been known to spot a toy that another child is playing with from across the room, go into his "Super-Aerodynamic Baby Crawler Mode," race across the room with his head low to the ground in order to pick up speed (I do believe TACKLING was involved on more than one occassion), and rip the toy out of the hands of the unsuspecting child.
The morning after the latest "biting incident," I was saying goodbye to the Booger and told him sternly, "Now I don't want to see another incident report today, Buddy. You need to SHARE and BE NICE." One of the other mom's overheard me and lamented, "Oh no!!! It was J?!?" Apparently, it was HER son who's been biting him every day. I assured her not to worry about it because the Booger started it and needs to learn to share. If he gets bitten enough, he'll learn eventually.
We ended up finding the "good" in the situation. At least the kids seem to be best friends because they're always together. Hitting and biting and toy-stealing aside... :-)
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I found this quote the year after Bipolar Girl became medicated and started to turn things around. It seems like I had spent most of my adult life chasing things that I thought would make me happy, but everything always seemed just out of reach.
It wasn't until my year of getting myself together that I finally realized that I needed to stop focusing on what I didn't have, and start focusing on all of the good things in my life. Amazingly, within a year of me deciding to stop chasing butterflies, they found me! Their names are "Angel" and "Booger Bear", and I've never been happier.