Monday, January 19, 2009

Cabbage Patch or Cop Shop? Meh. Same-Same.

Saturday we went to my company holiday party to collect a nice free dinner and a door prize. As the prize-giving was winding down, we got a call about an emergency placement. We are apparently the only baby-ready foster home they could find on short notice anywhere in the area.

Needless to say, we stopped off at the cop shop on our way home and picked up a brand spanking new foster daughter, 7 months old. She and Amanda have already hit it off, and I'm pretty sure they've agreed to be in each others' wedding parties by now. Women bond quickly, you know. Especially when they're sharing tummy time and stuff. They'd be going to the bathroom together if they could...maybe The Wife and I should be changing their diapers next to each other at the same time to foster a lifelong friendship.

This little girl is in trouble, though. Bad, bad, BAD situation with the mom. Not sure about the dad, but it doesn't sound good. Based just on getting to know the little girl and examine her, it's not good. She's WAY overweight, with no detectable muscle tone. Her legs could just be so much spaghetti, and her favorite thing to chew on is her foot. When we took her into our laps and started playing with her, it was like she had no idea what we thought we were doing (but it did look kind of fun).

Our impression has been that mom hasn't done much besides sit her in the corner in her carrier or crib and prop a bottle once in awhile. This was reinforced in my own head when The Wife told me she had fed her at night and she downed an entire bottle pretty much without even waking up. She seems starved for affection and attention, and isn't really sure what to do with it when she gets it.

On the other front, we've been having trouble getting Amanda to eat. Since the new child is on a different formula, we thought it would be a good time to begin switching Amanda, so we started that on Saturday. The change has been instantaneous and miraculous. This child who acted so hungry and then stopped eating and started crying almost immediately now starts eating and then takes the whole bottle nearly in one breath. She's probably eating close to twice what she was eating. I have a feeling she'll be putting on quite a few pounds over the next couple of months. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, we're enjoying the interaction of these two. At 5 and 7 months, they have no idea about race or differences between them. Amanda has not the slightest worry that this girl is overweight, and what being seen with her will do to her image. They only know "hey, there's another little person in this land of giants. Maybe she wants to play!"

Ah, to be an infant again. No, scratch that. I had a hard enough time figuring out the whole toilet thing the first time around. And I'd REALLY rather not go through the whole kindergarten thing again if I don't have to. My kindergarten teacher taught me what it was to have the little hairs on the back of your neck jerked when you misbehaved.

Today, that would likely get her crucified by the ACLU, but in the early 70s it was a very effective and widely used technique to get early control of the troublemakers and thin their numbers (I was more or less a thinnee I guess)...and MUCH more effective than "time out", no matter WHAT the "child experts" say. Holy crap, but that woman was effective. I'm still scared of her a little bit, and I think she died several years ago.

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