Saturday, February 04, 2006

Incident Handled

"Josie" had a home visit scheduled today for maybe 8 or 9 hours. I dropped her off at her mother's place this morning, not having any solid idea of what the plan was other than that she was scheduled to be back here around 8 tonight.

Around 6:30 or so, we got a call. They had gone to a local fishing derby on the lake, and "Josie" had gotten sick of her mom after her mom consumed too much booze. No surprise there, and as a drunk I was in enough similar situations to know that people just plain get tired of your stupidity when you've had over a certain amount.

Here was where she made her error: At that point, she should have called us and had us come and get her, from the ice house on the lake if need be. I would have done it gladly. Instead, she left with some friends and headed to her brother's house. After awhile, she went back to her mother's house to see if it was safe to be with her again. As I got it from "Josie" (backed up by her friends' account, 4 of whom came her with her tonight), her mother "went berserk", hitting at the car windows and screaming at them. She proceeded to call the cops, who were looking for "Josie" when she called here.

Yeesh. Of course we spoke with her mother on the phone and got her side, which conflicted not at all in general but completely in tone and details with the account we got from "Josie". At this point, I called "Josie" back, and after a bitter argument that foretold a stormy night, I told her: "I'm tired of this conversation. Get your butt home. NOW." And hung up. Holy crap. That was my mother talking.

And, bless her heart, it worked. She had just been arguing that she couldn't possibly make it home in under a half-hour, but 20 minutes later she showed up. I spent that entire 20 minutes training for the argument event in the olympics, and it turned out not even to be necessary. She didn't handle the thing quite right, But I have to admit that she did as well as any other kid would probably do, foster care or no.

So we called her mom and told her she was here for the night, which seemed to set her mind at ease...and she was most assuredly 3 (or 4 or 5) sheets to the wind, by the way. She was supposed to call the cops and tell them to never mind. We called the PATH call-that-number-when-your-foster-kid-has-a-brush-with-the-law number and let them know what was up, making a point to tell them it was under control and "Josie" didn't do anything really wrong, at least this time.

So now I'm all cranked up because I didn't get the argument I was prepared for, The Wife is all nervous because she doesn't do conflict well in these types of situations, and we've got a foster daughter sitting here with four friends, none of whom are on her restricted list. What to do? That's right. Put food in the mouths of hungry babes. Mac and cheese and weiners all around. And a good time was had by all.

My only problem with how things went is that I wish the kids would have stayed longer. I enjoy their company, and I know that this is a far safer place than riding around on the roads. I really have to get enough cash together to set up a "rec center" in the basement ASAP. "Josie" agreed that if we had a little lounge area down there with a pool table, a bar with soda and some chairs and stuff with a stereo, they probably would have stayed until midnight. But as it stands right now, our house is far too lame a place for a teen to want to spend a Saturday night here willingly. Sigh. Huey Lewis assures us that "It's hip to be square". He's full of s**t.

Lastly, through all this, "Charlie" was the same angel she was last night and all day today. She was cooed over by these tough-looking kids (one of whom had a truly severe case of self-inflicted baldness, several interesting-looking piercings and wore studded leather), we still have yet to hear any fussing of any kind whatsoever, and she got a ride on my shoulders earlier and a pony ride to bed from "Josie".

I love my life.


At 7:45 AM , Anonymous Auntie J said...

You make me want to move in...LOL Maybe you could get Josie to help you redo your basment..give advice on where to place stuff ect..have her paint a few murles or something fun like that...Maybe one wall all your kids could paint their names and the year...

At 7:51 AM , Anonymous Auntie J said...

P.S. I had a freind with a drunk mother and man was that kids life hard for both her and her brother. She spent many nights at our house and although we have not spoken in ten years or more i still wonder what happend to them...

At 11:24 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Looks like you are having fun. I had some ideas to share with you, but I decided to turn them into a post at my might be interested.

Thoughts from a Fostering Family


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