Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Notes to Self

We have gone a long way toward settling in with "Celeste" and gaining some of her trust. I've been busy with home improvement, work, fantasy football and so forth, so I've been a bit sidelined on fostering as well as writing, but I've been watching The Wife go to work on her and I've been taking some potshots here and there.

Notes to self regarding "Celeste":

1) She considers herself a goth. Get over it. Teasing her by calling her a "valley girl goth" will not only upset her, but may result in physical retribution one of these times.

2) She's not going to magically turn around and become an "up" person. No matter how many times you come up behind her and tickle her. One of these times, you'll get fingernails in your eyes.

3) She has problems, but she's really one of the most normal kids we've ever had. Accentuate the positive, and try to let the laziness slide.

4) Sometime you've got to learn the differences between behavior that signifies real trouble and behavior that signifies a lazy but normal teen. Sometimes it's hard to tell, but there's got to be some rules of thumb there. Find them.

5) She's started school, and that means a disruptive change in schedule, plus she's starting in a new school where she knows NOBODY. Cut her some slack when you're done cussing about her.

6) She's really cool sometimes. It took a little longer than with "Josie", but you know you're starting to really love her. Face it. You're a hopeless case.

7) Thank GOD "Jill" is gone. We NEVER would have gotten this far with that little troublemaker here.

Needless to say, "Celeste" is still with us, is starting school, is having a tough time after the first day, is receiving what encouragement she'll let us give her, and is worming her way into our hearts. Pretty much a successful placement by all signs, which is a relief. We were seriously starting to wonder if we were really cut out for this stuff after all.

A parting note on "Jill": we're not exactly sure where she ended up so far, if anywhere. She may still be sitting in juvenile detention. She has left a couple of messages on our machine for "Celeste" trashing us and urging her not to "let them get under your skin". Of course, her little love note to me plus other considerations have likely landed her in a psychiatric evaluation program somewhere, and I seriously doubt in any case if things are going as swimmingly as she had pictured them.

Sigh. I guess you can only help the ones that will let you help.


At 6:03 AM , Blogger Yondalla said...

Sometimes all you can do is show them where there water is, and comfort yourself in knowing that now they know that it is there.

I think we think we failed if we do not see the change. But we haven't. We have given them a tool, or a picture, or something that they will be able to us later, if they choose.

They have to be ready to choose.

And if you sneak up behind me a tickle me to make me be more cheerful, you will get an elbow in the kidney. Or worse.

At 2:40 PM , Anonymous Auntie J said...

I am still going to call her Barbie goth but with less of a snide tone than before...a really sweet kid and someone i am looking forward to getting to know...


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