These past ten months dealing with the back and forth and instability of Monkey's mom have been exhausting. The past few weeks, she's been so all over the place that she's kind of giving me whiplash! There are times when I get so aggravated I just want to shake her and scream, "WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!? DO YOU NOT SEE THIS UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING BABY BOY RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU?!? DO YOU NOT SEE WHAT YOU ARE MISSING BECAUSE YOU CAN'T GET YOURSELF TOGETHER?!?" The sad thing is, I know she does see him. I know she does want to get better. She will go for three months and do really, really well. But inevitably, the depression takes hold and she falls right back into the behaviors that made her lose him in the first place.
Since Mom relapsed right after Christmas, she has seen Monkey twice. She disappeared for a month, and her first visit with Monkey happened to be the first week that I began transporting him. She was twenty minutes late, came running in, scooped him out of my arms, and began hugging and kissing all over him. Monkey freaked out because this strange woman who he barely knows (and likely didn't remember at all after a month) came in and stole him from his mama. I ended up having to leave because as long as he knew I was there, things weren't going to go well.
The next week, she was 20 minutes late again, but she was more in control of herself. She brought a ton of new clothes for Monkey like she tends to do after she returns after one of her disappearing acts. She tried to let him warm up to her before taking him from me. She was much calmer and not nearly as desperate as she was the week before. He did end up going to her, but got a little fussy and was looking towards me. I tried to reassure him and told him that he was going to play with toys and have fun with his Mommy, and she just got a sad smile on her face and said, "That's okay. To him, you are Mommy." Monkey did better, but kept trying to crawl into the lobby because he could hear me, so I left again.
Last week, Mom no-showed.
When Monkey's dad got to the office for his visit and saw that his mom wasn't there, he immediately asked, "Is she in treatment?" I could see the hope in his eyes, and that made me like him even more. Even though his parents are no longer together, his dad still wants her to get well. He wants her to be a part of Monkey's life. But he told me that he just can't expose Monkey to the instability.
I wish I could say that "yes" Monkey's mom went to rehab. Unfortunately, we're pretty certain that's not the case. The caseworker who supervises Monkey's visits told me that the week before, when Dad got to the office, Monkey was just finishing up the visit with his mom. He heard his Daddy, speed crawled into the lobby and straight into his daddy's arms, and from that point on wouldn't have anything to do with his mother. I know it really hurt his mom's feelings, but really... What did she expect??? Monkey's dad has made every single visit that he was aware of. The only times he has missed has been when The Invisible One went and changed times on him and didn't clarify when they were going to occur! Monkey knows and loves his dad. He's unsure of his mom.
Monkey's mom had called the caseworker the night before the visit and asked if she could change her visits to another day so she didn't have to see Monkey's dad. He told her "no," because they are going to have to learn to work together for Monkey's sake. Dad will be getting full custody, but as of now, her rights aren't being terminated. She was upset, but assured him that she would be at the CPS office at 8:00 for her regular visit the next day. She never came.
I think what bothers me the most is that I like Monkey's mom! I have so much compassion for her because of everything she has been through. Over the past ten months, I have seen her at her very best as well as at her lowest points. I think the fact that I've seen her try so hard and succeed for months is what gives me hope that eventually she'll be able to conquer this thing and be the kind of mother that Monkey deserves. I know she wants that. She told me herself that she wants to be someone that Monkey can be proud of. But until that happens, at least I know that Monkey will continue to be in good hands with a daddy who he loves and who loves him enough to want to keep the only mama he knows in his life.