I was going to actually leave the house without the kids and go waste some time at target or something, but here I am instead! I’ll get to feel like something more than a toddler/preschooler chaser tomorrow when I go to work, no need to rush things…
We did all the holiday things this year; crafts, cookies, santa sightings, a mischievous elf, overdecorating, looking at lights, and playing in the snow. It took me a while to get in the spirit, I definitely had to fake it until I made it, but it ended up being a great week.
Looking back, my grinchyness lifted when my semester of school was over, the nursing program is freaking killing me. I swear I’m going to burn all my school shit and cuss the burning pile out when I’m done with this hell next may. But, anyway, Christmas was pretty fun this year. I hosted a big fancy Christmas Eve dinner, with table linens and napkin holders and expensive cuts of meat and children at their own separate table. It was lovely! There was excellent food and tasty beverages and lots of laughing over dinner, it was really fun. Even my crazy nephews zooming around, tearing up the house and being loud and crazy was mostly ok because I run a pretty tight ship and have no problems with pulling out my mean voice when the kids go too far. I have very few rules, but the rules I have are set in stone and there is zero bending no matter who you are! And you know what the best thing of all was? We actually got to stay home and do Christmas morning on our own with the kids! They had a blast opening everything up and playing with their new stuff all morning. Our big present was a play kitchen for them, but of course the $10 puzzles stole the show.
Aside from the holidays, there has been some good stuff and some not so good stuff happening around here. For the not so good stuff, we had court for the boys the other day, and it didn’t exactly go well. This was a big one, the one where the judge was going to either change the plan from reunification with parents to termination of parental rights. The child welfare department and the guardian ad litem (the kids’ legal advocate) were all recommending changing the plan to termination, which would put our timeline to adopt the boys at about 3ish months from now. Buuuut, the ding dong lawyer for the kids had forgotten to do some paperwork he was supposed to have done at removal, so this whole situation is put on hold for 6 more months! Which puts our timeline for adoption at about a year from now! So, another whole year of dealing with the parents and social workers and all the rest of the stuff that goes along with fostering. Their mom is pregnant again, so I guess maybe the universe is prolonging this so we don’t have to start over when this next baby is removed? Or maybe that lawyer just really sucks at his job…
Don’t worry, I’m not being a shitty baby snatcher by assuming we will get her next baby. The level of neglect and violence these kids experienced is really really bad, not something someone can just have a change of heart and do better with. Click on kwashiorkor and RAD if you want a little taste of what was done to the boys, it’s not pretty.
Now for the good stuff, the kids!
Ali is as silly and charming as ever. More often than not, she goes about her day narrating every detail in song. I’m starting to have little glimpses of the ‘big kid’ days to come, where we can have real conversations and enjoy doing stuff together. Not that we don’t enjoy ourselves now, but Jen and I spend most of our time with the kids managing their behavior/teaching them how to act. It will all pay off in the end, but for now it’s a lot of work and not a lot of relaxing.
(I think unicorn is the only real word in this particular song)
Kurt is having the time of his life lately. First his birthday party, then all the Christmas stuff, he’s in heaven. He’s the one of the three of them that is super sensitive and has a hard time dealing with a lot of stimulation, so we have to build in lots of downtime and/or a space for him to retreat to when things overwhelm him. We seem to have done a good job with that because he’s been happier and better than we were expecting. I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this here before, but I struggle with my relationship with Kurt. Before semi recently when he got the diagnosis of reactive attachment disorder, I always felt kind of crazy trying to explain his behavior and our relationship to the professionals we work with, especially since he reserves his weirdest stuff for me. Telling people your not quite 3 year old is emotionally manipulative, and lies about weird stuff, and sneaks around the house day and night to stand stock still in a corner glaring at you sounds like I’m crazy, right? I was really thinking that I was either exaggerating normal kid stuff or subconsciously trying to sabotage him somehow. It’s really a terrible diagnosis to have, but now I know and can seek help with people who know what they’re doing with this kind of stuff. On a more positive note, he and Ali are two peas in a pod lately! They bug each other like siblings do, but he’s become so kind and affectionate with her, is always concerned with how she’s feeling and what she wants, and even wants to be a gentleman and hold doors open for her or put her coat up for her or whatever. It’s so neat to see.
He is just so very two! He wants what he wants when he wants it, and lord help us all if we either can’t figure out what it is or if its not an option right then. I will say that this is way easier the second time around. With Ali, we would get all worked up along with her, and try all this stuff to calm her down and talk to her about it. With Kasey we are more amused by it all, we are just like oh crap, there he goes again! How much do we care about eating 2 bags of chips at 9a? Enough for this fight? Not really, there you go buddy. Or maybe it’s a yes really, we do care. We can have a hug and read this book, or you can run away and rage it out for awhile, whatever you gotta do to get over it dude. Either way we don’t have this sense of anxiety and urgency about the whole thing, it’s easier to see how short of a time this really is.