Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Full Day

Two developments today.

First is that "Josie" had court. It's a mixed bag result...she's with us for another 45 days...but we'll not be allowed to be effective for any of it in any way whatsoever. She'll be at her mom's Tuesday nights overnight, Thursday nights until 9, and it sounds like basically every other weekend. She'll be at her dad's most other weekends, by the sound of it. So we're almost officially downgraded to the status of a hotel, only she's not as polite to the help these days as most hotel patrons. On the bright side, they're still paying us. Do you see part of the reason we're not interested in fostering for this county ever again?

The second is the significant increase in our knowledge about "Angel". Some commenters have expressed a cautious outlook based on what I wrote last night, and they're right, I probably need to be very cautious. This little girl has problems, and I don't want to downplay those...but I absolutely refuse to love her less because I might get hurt because of those problems, either.

Some aspects of "Angel's" repertoire are coming clear now. The key points uncovered or clarified today are that she's a huge flirt with me, her weapon of choice is the good old fashioned go-limp-and-scream-bloody-murder tantrum, she has a marked fear of people leaving her at bedtime, and she seemingly can vomit on queue.

Yeah, that last one caught me off guard too, but I swear that's how it looked to me. You see, she gave The Wife fits today when she tried to go anywhere outside the house, because she'd just go limp and The Wife isn't strong enough to carry a little-girl-shaped 60-pound dead weight.

I, on the other hand, am neither intimidated by screaming nor deterred by her weight. You wanna go limp when I'm trying to put you in bed little girl, that's fine, but it won't stop me. It won't even slow me down to speak of.

She absorbed this quickly. Blindingly quickly. Whoever said this girl is "delayed" absolutely HAD to be talking EXCLUSIVELY about her social skills and maybe her speech skills, because The Girl Is Quick. Before her head hit the pillow, she was screaming bloody murder, with a growing hitch in her breathing. Before I could reach high enough to pat myself on the back, her bedtime snack was all over the front of her shirt. Twice.

At this point, I'm fighting for the future. She needs to learn these first few nights no only who's boss, but how it WILL be. Gently but firmly. So I countered her move by lifting her out of bed without missing a beat and bringing her into the bathroom. I hollered for The Wife (we're developing into an impressive tag team) and as I finished stripping off her nightgown and wiping her down with a towel plus letting her rinse her mouth out, The Wife hit the scene with a new nightgown and back into bed I bundled her before there could be too much argument.

She was winding up to blow chow again (I think) when The Wife stepped in and masterfully distracted her. It's weird, because last night I was the golden one who had to be there when she went to bed. The Wife wasn't even in the routine last night. Tonight, she could take me or leave me, but by God mama was going to be with her as she fell asleep or there would be hell to pay.

I've agreed to come home at lunch every day the rest of the week, just until The Wife has a chance to develop her defenses a little further. She'll need them. As I've said, this little girl is smart, dextrous, and never rests except when she's sleeping. She knows how to lock herself into a bedroom or bathroom, she really wants to go outside and into the unfinished basement a lot, and she's trouble looking for opportunity.

My favorite moment of the day? When I walked into the kitchen and was confronted with the spectacle of Mitch basically French-kissing "Angel", and "Angel" kissing him back. With great gusto.

Hey, it could be worse. He could be gnawing her face off of her skull.

2 Comments:

At 5:39 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Cool Dan.
I hope nothing I said sounded like "love her less"! I am very happy she has found someone as loving and determined as you.

No judgment here...just encouragment. I don't even have advice as I forget how to handle the problems of the little ones!

Still love the blog.

 
At 6:48 AM , Blogger Dan said...

Ooh, no, I guess I worded that poorly. It was my bumbling attempt to state my Magnificent Commitment To Seeing It Through, not a snark. Please do judge if you feel it's needed. This is mostly an introspective spewing-place for me, but it's always welcome when I get feedback, especially from those more knowledgeable. Mom is great with kids in general, but she specialized in the teens because it shattered her to see the little ones go. We're flying half blind here.

BTW, if this one ever has to go, I'll know exactly how she feels.

 

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