Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Booger"-Sitting & My "Family"

It's so strange to me to think that I first started fostering as a way to add to my family.  I always thought that I would be able to adopt one or more of my little ones.  Little did I know, my "family" would grow by leaps and bounds...  Not through adoption, but through love!  :-)

Over the past six months, my relationship with the Booger Bear's family has developed into one that I absolutely cherish.  I've totally "adopted" them as "mine" (whether they like it or not ;-).  Fortunately, I think the feeling's mutual.  They all seem to have "adopted" me and the rest of my family too.  :-)  Lots of play dates for the kids (Booger, Buddy, and Ka-Diva are still best buds), and the occassional "Want to meet us at so-and-so?"  I love seeing how close Booger still is with his Daddy.  His dad's so good with him...  Very hands-on and interactive because he's like a big kid himself (a fact that embarrasses Heaven to no end when they're in public, but really is pretty endearing to everyone else ;-).  And I've gotten really close to the Booger's Mommy.  We talk every day, and I miss her just as much as I miss the Booger when we go too long without getting together.  I call her my "Mini Me" because she parents the same way I do!  I was worried in the beginning that I'd have a hard time letting go of the "mommy" role, but it's actually been easy.  I LOVE being more of an unofficial "grandma."  All of the glory...  None of the "mean" parenting stuff...  ;-)  The kids know I'm here to offer advice if they ask for it, help when they need it, and lots of moral support.  ("The kids..."  Now that makes me feel old! ;-)

The kids put me to work last month when they went to the hospital to bring the Booger Bear's baby sister into the world.  Booger came to spend four days with me while Heaven was in the hospital!  I loved every second of it, even when the Booger was being...  well...  a booger!  :-) 

NIGHT ONE - The first night was a little rough.  Heaven has been with Booger almost 24/7 since he went to live with them a year ago, so I think they both had a little separation anxiety.  BB was super excited to see me, but when his parents left, he informed me that he wanted me to go to the doctor instead.  :-)  I got his mind off of things by taking him grocery shopping to get his favorite foods and he insisted that we take pictures for Heaven so she wouldn't miss him.

Booger's eyes grew HUGE and I swear he heard the harps and chorus of angels singing when he saw this MEGA-sized box of cheese balls at Target.

Everything went great...  Until bedtime.  I had to remind myself that bedtime was never easy with him, but now that he talks like a 30-year-old, it was a little more vocal.  Lots of crying!  "I not tired, Tammy!  It not bedtime!  I want my Buzz and Woody bed!  I want Daddy and Heaben!  I wanna play wit blocks!  I wanna be a good boy!  I no want a see you, Tammy!  Go in de udder woom!  I NOT HAPPY, TAMMY!!!" 

Finally at around 11:30, he stopped crying and called me in.  "I need a diaper change, Tammy."  After I changed his diaper, he told me his lip hurt, so I told him to hop back in bed while I went to get him some chapstick.  He waited patiently for me to come back.  "You come back, Tammy?!?"  I put some chapstick on him (which then became a nightly routine), he pulled up his blanket, told me he loved me, asked for a kiss, and then told me to go in the other room and go to bed too.  Didn't hear a peep out of him after that!

DAY TWO - BB was a little angel as soon as it was his decision to go to sleep.  He slept all night, and the next morning I had to wake him up myself!  He looked at me and asked, "It morningtime???"  Then smiled and said, "I HAPPY, Tammy!  I happy a see you!!!"  Made me fall even more in love with that kid all over again...  :-) 

My mom watched Booger that day while I was at work.  He still loves going to Nana and Papa's house.  He was so happy to be there that he kicked me out when I started stalling before heading to work.  "Bye!  You go work now, Tammy!"  He was happy to see me by the end of the day though.  :-)  We took some more pictures for Heaven and he had a fun bath before I attempted bedtime again.

Believe it or not, there actually WAS some water under all of the toys and bubbles.

And then it was bedtime...  There was no crying that night.  A little bit of whining, but no crying...  We read every book I had, and then J insisted that I lay down with him so I could sleep and he could talk about all of the fun things that he had planned for us the next day.  For nearly TWO SOLID HOURS!!!  From what I could gather, he planned to play on the playground, play with balloons, take trash to the dumpster, take a bath, watch the "dumpster truck" come, play with Buddy and Ka-Diva, read more books, and drive to Walmart to get fruit.  Busy boy!  He finally closed his eyes and fell asleep within 30 seconds of doing so.  Took forever, but no crying, and he was a happy little thing that night!

DAY THREE - I had to wake up Sleeping Beauty myself again that morning. He jumped up, yelled "It morning time!!! We have fun!!!" and then proceeded to rattle off the list of things that he had come up with the previous night of what he wanted to do that day.  Before we did any of that though, we made a special trip to the hospital so Booger could meet his amazingly beautiful baby sister!  ...and her blog name shall be...  BANANA!!!  (Long story...  There's a logical reason for the name though :-)

Is she not just the prettiest baby ever?!?  :-)

I totally want to post a pic that I have of Heaven holding both of her kiddos, when the Booger got his first look at his new baby sister, but she'd probably strangle me seeing as how she had just recently given birth and all...  ;-)  She was soooo happy to see Booger.  She'd been missing him like crazy.  Too bad he was being a little snot.  They definitely had some jealousy issues the first couple of weeks.  Booger was not used to sharing his "Heaben."  Fortunately, he's over it now and is completely in love with his new baby sister.  :)

After we left the hospital, we started on Booger's "to do" list. 

Somehow, I get the feeling I was suckered...

We're talking something along the lines of 60 balloons...  But he was having a blast, and he kept saying, "I BERRY happy, Tammy!!!  Balloons make me HAPPY!!!"  Seriously, how could I say "no" to that?!?  Guess it was a good thing that I played the clarinet for so long... Especially because his favorite "game" was for me to blow up the balloons and then let them go flying around the room. I tried explaining the concept of "dizzy," but he just kept saying, "But balloons make me HAPPY, Tammy!" ;-)

Yep...  We made a balloon tower...

I had another one of my "Scathingly Brilliant Ideas," and decided to build a balloon pit about 30 minutes before bedtime.  He totally loved it though, so I guess it was worth it.  ;-) 

I love his worried, "It not bedtime!!!"  :-)

Bedtime was easy though!  We read every book in the house again, and he wanted me to lay down next to him again.  We talked about his baby sister (although we changed the subject quickly because I could see the jealousy creeping in...  "Her hands not little!  MY hands little!")...  We talked about the balloon pit...  We talked about his plans for the next day...  He fell asleep in about 30 minutes.  HUGE improvement over the two hours the first couple of nights!

DAY FOUR - Unfortunately, Day Four started out with me hearing the Booger crying, "YOU WENT IN DE UDDER WOOM!!!"  :(  Apparently he thought I had been sleeping with him all week because I had been there when he fell asleep and I was the one who had woken him up in the mornings.  He was all smiles again as soon as he saw me though.

Buddy was sick that day, but Ka-Diva came over to "help me" with the Booger.  Booger kept saying, "Buddy no feel good, but KA-DIVA play wiff me!!!"  :-)  We call Ka-Diva a "little mommy" because she is very into safety and taking care of the little ones.  She was actually a really big help!

Why, yes...  The number of balloons in the balloon pit did double in number!  It really was an awesome idea (if I do say so myself! ;-)

Booger insisted that he was Ironman, and really thought the goggles added to his Ironman persona.

A wee bit of static...

After playing in the balloon pit for a good hour, we decided to go play on the playground.  Booger was all about doing anything that Ka-Diva did.  We also spent the afternoon learning how to "take turns" and "share."  By the end of the day, Booger kept saying over and over, "I'm a nice boy!  I take turns!  I'm a nice boy!  I share!"  I totally got his 2-year-old temper tantrums under control.  Any time he would start to whine or complain or misbehave, I just told him that "I only play with nice boys.  If you don't want to be a nice boy, you can go play over there by yourself until you want to be a nice boy again."  He would go about 5 feet away and sulk for 30 seconds, then come running back up to me all smiles and announcing, "I'm a nice boy again!"  So funny!  :-)

Such a little mommy...  And Booger worshipped her by the end of the day!

Ka-Diva, with the patience of a saint, helping Booger put a puzzle together.

Sidewalk chalk...  Booger kept coloring in Ka-Diva's peace signs.  :-)  She kept asking me, "Why does he want to be right where I am?"  She totally already knew the answer, but she liked to hear it anyway.  "He just really, really likes you.  He thinks you're really cool, and he wants to be with you."

By the end of the day, Booger had worn Ka-Diva out!  I wish I'd taken a picture of her as she was laying exhausted on my couch telling me that Booger needed to take a nap.  :-)

Ka-Diva went home, and Booger and I cuddled and watched some cartoons while we waited on his parents to come pick him up.  (He also seized the moment to tell me that I needed makeup.  Thanks, kid!) Heaven and Banana were getting released from the hospital, and they were finally going to have their first night together as a family of four!  Heaven told me later that they were eternally grateful that I had worn him out that day because they were all in bed by 8:00!  :-)

My house was a mess, and I didn't even want to think about cleaning it, but the mess just proved that I had a "BERRY HAPPY" kid on my hands that week.  :-)

So that was the story of "My Booger-Sitting Adventure" and "My Family That I Chose."  Have I mentioned lately that I wouldn't change my life for anything in the world?  I can't wait to see what the future holds!  :-)

1 comment:

MamaFoster said...

THAT is exactly the relationship I have wanted to have will all my kids when they are returned home. No luck so far, makes me so sad. That is the exact picture of what foster care should look like.

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