Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Fear I Will Never...

...have a "normal" telephone conversation ever again.

Something happens to intelligent human beings when they have kids.  Add their friends and family having children around the same ages to the mix, and they're all doomed to the following telephone conversations with each other for an as-yet-to-be-determined amount of time:

Scenario Number One:

6:35pm - My sister calls my cell phone.  I know it's her from the ringtone.  I can not answer because I have Bug in my arms feeding him his bottle with one hand, and wiping away at the spit up on my shirt with the other.  I say aloud "I'll call you back!" in the hopes that she will hear me even though I never actually answered the phone.

7:15pm - Bug is in bed, so I call Christy back.  She doesn't answer.  I assume she is putting the Mini Munchkins to bed.  I text her "Call me when you're free."

9:00pm - Text from Christy "Kids are all asleep here.  I know you're putting Monkey to bed, so call me when he's down."

9:30pm - I finally call Christy.  Within the first 30 seconds, we have used the words poopy, spitty uppy, and booger wall.  We forget who called the other first, and totally don't remember what either of us were going to tell the other or why we were calling in the first place.  We end the conversation with "Mama needs to go night-night."

Scenario Number Two:

11:30am - Mom calls me at work to tell me that Monkey is eating his lunch and has been talking about Mommy coming home the entire time.  I ask to talk to him.

Me:  "Hi Monkey!  It's Mommy!  What are you doing?"
Monkey:  (silence)
Me:  "Nana said you wanted to talk to Mama.  Are you eating lunch?"
Monkey:  (heavy breathing)
Me:  "Mama loves you, baby!  I'll be home in a little while.  Do you want to watch Thomas the Train?"
Monkey: (crickets chirping)

Mom: "Well, he was talking about you non-stop."

Monkey (in the background): "Mama on da phone!  Hewoh!!!  Hewoh, Mama!  Thomas.  Kitty Cat.  Cheese.  Bye-bye!"

Scenario Three:

Me (calling Christy):  "Hey!  You answered the phone!"
Christy (whispering):  "Yeah...  I'm hiding in my bedroom.  Hopefully they won't find me!"

We chat for a minute.  Literally one minute, then SCRRREEEAAAMMM!!!

Buddy:  "Moooom!  Pooper took Butterfly's sippy cup and now she's mad!"
Christy:  "Well take it away from him and give it back to Butterfly."

(pause...  "OWWW!!!  That's not nice, Pooper!)

Buddy:  "Moooom!  Pooper bit me when I tried to take away the sippy cup and give it back to Butterfly!"
Christy:  "I'm sorry.  He's a toddler.  He doesn't know any better."
Buddy:  "Will you tell him to stop?"
Christy:  "Is he still biting you?!?"
Buddy:  "No."
Christy:  "Well then I guess everything's okay then, huh?  I'm trying to talk to Aunt Tammy.  Go play."

(one minute later...)

Ka-Diva:  "I want to talk to Aunt Tammy!"
Buddy:  "Me too!  Can we come to your house, Aunt Tammy?!?"
Christy (now resorting to bribery):  "If you two will go keep an eye on your brother and sister so I can talk to Aunt Tammy for ten uninterrupted minutes, you can go to Aunt Tammy's this afternoon!"
Me:  "Uh, really?  Okay."
Buddy and Ka-Diva:  "OKAY!!!  YAY!!!"

(three minutes later...)

Christy:  (mid-sentence):  "...oh man!  They found me!," she exclaimed as she spotted two pairs of toddler eyes staring at her over the mattress.

And that was the end of that phone conversation.  :-)

Scenario Four:

My BFF Katie calls me at work because she knows it's probably the only time she'll be able to reach me.  We talk for about twenty minutes when she says, "I guess I should probably go in."

Me:  "Go in where?"
Katie:  "Oh, I've been in my truck sitting in my driveway.  They don't know I'm home yet."

One day...  in the distant, far-off future...  in a galaxy far, far away...  My sister, mother, friends, and I will be able to have a telephone conversation that doesn't involve little people tugging on our pant legs chanting "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"  We will be able to talk for more than a minute without mention of bodily fluids.  We will be able to talk about ourselves in 1st person, rather than saying "Mommy really needs a nap."  One day, years from now when our children are grown, we will be able to call each other in peace!

Oh, who am I kidding?  Somehow I have a feeling the conversations will be eerily similar, only the "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" will be replaced with the "Mimi! Mimi! Mimi!" of our grandchildren's voices.  I fear the phone conversations of the present are my new "normal."  I suppose I should look for some good hiding places before Bug and Monkey are onto me!  :-)

Friday, January 25, 2013

We're Still Alive and Kickin'

Wow!  I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I last posted here on the actual blog!  I've developed the habit of posting on the FB page every day, but when it comes to sitting down and writing a piece long enough to be "blog worthy," I just haven't had the time.

Bug has been with me for six weeks now, and in that time I have had every illness known to man.  Sinus/ear infection, upper respiratory infection, the flu, a stomach virus, and now bronchitis.  Up until last week, Bug at least had been perfectly healthy.  Then my little guy got RSV, so it's been a rough week for all of us.  Very, very thankful for an awesome Mom who has literally been camped out at my house since last Friday taking care of Bug, me, and Monkey while we've been trying to get over all of the sickness!  At least this time, I learned my lesson about saying "I need a break, already!"  You won't hear those words coming from my mouth this time around!  No sir-ee!!!  :-)

Bug Update - At 4-months-old, Bug has got to be the happiest, most content little guy I have ever met.  I always thought that Monkey was a happy baby, but he had nothing on Bug!  Bug smiles, coos, and babbles away from the moment he opens his eyes until he's asleep for the night.  Even with RSV and having to do breathing treatments every four hours, my little Bugaboo does his best to smile right through the worst of it.

He is constantly talking to his "friends" (aka. anything that has eyes ;-), and the one perk to him having RSV and having to elevate his mattress is that he has a great view of his "friends" on the wall.  Bug wakes up chattering away to Pooh Bear and Piglet until it's time to get up for the day.

He is always on the lookout for Mama, and will crane his neck in order to get to look at me from across the room.  He's trying really hard to roll from his back to his tummy, and will scoot in 360 degree circles in his attempts.  He's laughing out loud, and thinks that Mama is one funny, funny lady.  :-)

I can not get enough of this kid!  :-)

Monkey, on the other hand, isn't quite sure what he thinks of the new kid on the block.  :-)  He seems to be more intrigued than anything...  until Mama makes the grave error of actually picking up the baby.  Then Monkey comes unglued screaming "NOOOOO!!!" as he runs from the room.  :-)  For the most part, he tolerates Bug while he's in his swing.  He'll even go so far as to try to give the baby his bottle or share his cars.  He does not, however, like to share his Mama.  We've had some rough nights and some serious separation anxiety because of it.  Fortunately, Monkey's no longer a foster kiddo, so on one particularly rough night, my little guy just camped out in Mama's bed.

At almost 23-months-old, Monkey is a complete riot.  He talks non-stop, and never fails to crack me up.  His favorite phrases right now are "Come on, guys!" and "There [Mama or whatever] is!"  He is a bottomless pit when it comes to eating, has a total sweet tooth thanks to his daddy, and is constantly asking for chips, cookies, cheese, [gold]fish, chocolate, etc.  And his "terrible twos" come out when Mama says "no."  He loves to sing songs and will repeat everything that he hears.  He is still fascinated with Thomas the Train and has several episodes completely memorized.  Bedtime is still "our" time, where we cuddle and sing and giggle for 20 minutes straight before Monkey goes down for the night.  We sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in rounds and Monkey laughs his "crazy" laugh and tells me "I funny!  I goopy! (goofy)"

Yet another kiddo who I can't get enough of!  :-)

Things are very quiet with Bug's case.  He's had one visit with his maternal grandmother one week into being in care, but no contact with anyone since.  CPS has yet to locate his parents, and no one has bothered to call to ask about him since.  I have to admit, I'm having a difficult time getting into a "reunification" mindset when everything in me knows that my little guy needs so much more than a birth family who refuses to put him on their list of priorities.  This is the first case I've had where I don't think reunification is even remotely a good choice for my baby.  I don't think it will work, and I know my little guy will end up back in care.  The thought of sending him back to a family who chooses crime and other negative things over him terrifies me.

I'm frustrated with myself because I have always been a strong advocate for my kids' families.  I have always tried to give them the benefit of the doubt and do whatever I can to help them heal and make positive choices.  It drives me nuts when I see foster parents immediately stake a claim to their foster children and do everything they can to stand in the way of allowing a family to heal.  And while I would never purposefully stand in the way of reunification when there is even a remote chance of it working, right now, I'm just not willing to bend over backwards to make it happen when it comes to Bug like I have with all of my other kiddos.  Of all of my little ones, I think that Bug is coming from a place that just isn't safe and I don't want to send him back to that.  Not that I have a choice if that's what the State decides to do...  but I'm still (not so) secretly hoping that my little Bug will be my legal "forever."

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