Things I love about being a foster parent (so far … in my vast week and a half of experience):
- smooshing my face up against Monica’s chubby cheeks (okay that’s just a thing I love about Monica)
- having an awesome reason to wake up in the morning, leave work on time, have the house clean, and have generally good vibes all the time.
- trying my hand at parenting, and liking it
- doting on a little one day and night
- taking care of Monica and the very concrete feeling I get that I am doing something good for my community – not just giving money or volunteering for an hour, but a real commitment to help in a real and tangible way
There are things I don’t like too – like not knowing what will happen tomorrow, feeling so attached to a beautiful child that I will say goodbye to (at some point – tomorrow or otherwise) and maybe never see again, and not trusting that “the system” will do what’s best for the kids. But today I’m focusing on the things I love.
Switching gears a bit to get back to our daily affairs – turns out it is not easy traveling with an 11 month old! Our car ride home was eventful … but I’m certain it could have been worse. I just never thought I’d be one of those people stopping on the side of the highway to get my kid to stop crying. All told, I shouldn’t have expected an 11 month old to be able to handle a 6 hour car ride without incident – I can barely do it. Sheba didn’t help either – she wanted nothing more than to get into the back seat with Monica and me (and all of our accompanying stuff). She succeeded a couple of times too – I guess there just isn’t enough room in the front seat for her to stretch out like a queen. Monica thought it was hilarious, but I have a bruise on my thigh that illustrates how I felt about it. We eventually got home, and only had to pull over three times (plus a stop for a sit down dinner – which E and I would usually pass up in favor of getting home quickly). And bonus – we got in a couple hours of sleep. So all was not lost. Some highlights of the second half of our long weekend:
Aunt C’s flip flops are apparently hilarious. (By the way, all of these pajama shots happened about 45 minutes after we put her down – she had serious FOMO (fear of missing out) and (not-so) gently asked to rejoin the party).
And finally – a moment of relative calm in the car. We let Sheba have her way for about a half hour before Monica told us that wasn’t a good idea. As you can see, they’ve decided to put aside their differences and be best friends. I am fairly certain that this picture depicts Monica trying to grab Sheba’s whiskers (with her perfect little pincer grasp), a practice that Sheba endured without flinching I might add. What a pair.
Little developmental updates – we have an Early Intervention evaluation scheduled for next week, if the chunk-a-monk is still with us then. She seems to be liking standing (while holding onto us) more than she did a week ago. She was really working on those leg muscles in the pool this weekend! She is trying to crawl – I keep thinking she’s almost there. I really think it is the sheer weight of her hind quarters that’s holding her back. She gets in the position and I think she’s about to do it … and then she does the lunge and roll. I’m sure she’ll get there soon. In the speech realm, it seems like she is repeating some words here and there – hi, bye bye, all done, she waves hi and bye, and she has a DEFINITE word for Sheba – “dada.” It’s one of her favorite things to babble so it may not seem like a word, but she pairs it with this specific tone of voice (high pitched and sing-songy) while gesturing or waving at the dog – and it is so consistent that it is clearly not just babbling. I’m not sure if maybe she’s saying “dog?” Or if “dada” is what she decided Sheba’s name is. Either way, it’s adorable. Oh, also, her hair is totally growing. I’m certain you can’t tell in the pictures and that you all think I’m insane but there is definitely more there than there was. And we’re not even using Rogaine.
Court is tomorrow morning, and we will certainly know more about the plan by tomorrow afternoon. We are preparing ourselves for Monica to leave as early as tomorrow, and hoping only that the judge makes the decision that is best for her and her happiness and well-being. Selfishly we might hope that that means staying with us a while longer, but we truly hope at the very least for a solid plan with good intentions and reasoning behind it. Famous last words?