Of babies, testing, cleaning, and various and sundry other things

How's THAT for a title?

I'll start with the baby. Turns out we are NOT going to be getting her, not even as an emergency placement. The caseworker finally called me back and said that they can't do an "emergency" placement for the baby because technically it's not an emergency since they know she is coming. An emergency placement is when kids come initially come into care, and the state can place them somewhere for up to 30 days and then move them to a more permanent place without being penalized. So the caseworker said she would need a firm commitment from us in order to place the baby here initially. And we can not give it at this time. I am really sad about this. I would really love to have a girl in this house full of boys!

When I was talking with the caseworker I expressed my concern that I really wanted to keep the kids together but I wasn't sure if we could handle it. She said "If [bio mom] keeps having children, which she probably will, there will come a time when you can not take any more children" so don't worry about it, basically. I was surprised to hear her say this because normally she is pretty positive about things. Honestly she sounded discouraged. I think it would be really difficult as a caseworker to see the people you have been working with for so long fail.

I asked her about getting the baby placed with our friends even though they aren't licensed yet, and she said that that probably couldn't happen, but if they did get licensed then they could definitely look at placing her with them. We already have it all worked out where I can watch the baby if our friends are at work or on vacation or whatever...so I would at least get to hang out with the baby a lot even if she didn't live here! We're just really hoping that they get licensed in time.

Another thing the caseworker said is that the bio-mom has not been being tested for drugs - not randomly (which she is supposed to be, per the court order) or before visits. When I asked her about the before-visit testing, she said that drug tests are not done before visits because most drugs do not affect behaviour enough to put the children in danger. And she said that since the parents know they are coming they will just not show up to get tested or whatever, so it's kind of pointless to do it. And of course there is another person present at all visits and if anything dangerous were to happen they would end the visit immediately. I have to say that I was a little bit shocked to hear this information. I mean it kind of makes sense but...yikes.

My first go at parent-teacher conferences was...interesting. I went by myself because my husband had to work and D was at his mom's house for a visit. Let me say that wandering around the hallways going to all different class rooms with no clue where you are going is not fun at all! At any rate all of his teachers think he is very smart and is pretty much not trying hard enough in their classes. I am pretty sure he is capable of being a B or even an A student, but his mom only expects Cs and that is mostly what he has. It makes me sad that her expectations are so low.

The boys' visits with their dad went well it seems like. D told us the little boys' dad is about 20 years older than his mom and has about 10 kids. So that is...interesting. Bio dad wants me to potty train the 2 year old because he thinks it's time! I'm kind of like...OK dude I change, I don't know, at least 5 poopy diapers a day for this kid - do you think anybody in the world wants him potty trained more than I do? NO! He doesn't WANT to be potty trained. He'll sit on the potty, sure (sometimes!). But he will NOT go. Half the time I can't even get him to put his own shoes on, how the heck am I going to get him to go pee or poo on command in the potty? It's almost like he doesn't WANT to be independent. I always praise him and give him high fives when he does stuff on his own, like putting on his own shoes or putting his own pants on. But he just doesn't want to be independent. A lot of times he pretends he needs help. Like his cup is 12 inches away from him at the dinner table and he says "I need my cup!" so I say "OK...so get it! It's right there!" It seems strange to me and I can't say that I really understand what's going on. I think he may see me doing things for Y and thinks that I need to do those things for him too, viewing it as a way to get attention. I don't know.

I did a bunch of cleaning on Thursday because the little boys were gone for a total of 6 hours (WOW!) because they had a 2 hour visit with their dad and a 2 hour visit with their mom, plus the travel to and from. Let me just say that I was ashamed of the level of cleanliness (or lack thereof!) of my home. Whew. Also...6 hours is SO LONG! WOW! I moved the dog kennels out of our room in anticipation of the baby coming (this was before I talked with the caseworker) and I rearranged the furniture so I have room for a bassinet next to the bed now. Which obviously I don't need anymore, but the room feels SO huge and it does look a lot better so maybe I'll leave it like that. I had actually been hoping to do a bunch of work in my garden during this time, but it rained. :(

This weekend we have respite so the boys are gone. I was planning on spending the day gardening but guess what - it's RAINING!!! Of course it was beautiful yesterday, but I had the little boys all day and thus could accomplish next to nothing.

So instead I am going to just get our kitchen looking somewhat presentable (because it's totally NOT right now) and then I'm going to do some knitting and some TV watching. And we might be going to a football game tonight if we can get cheap tickets. And I might take the dogs to the dog park depending on the rainy-ness and how much I feel like doing doggie baths afterwards. Plus our dogs have a few fleas (gross, I know) so I need to figure out how the heck to deal with that because we have never had them before. UGH.

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