Friday, February 8, 2008

Good days, bad days

Some days in our house can be good. In fact, before the 3 new kids came, most days were good. Now we measure good times in minutes, sometimes hours, but rarely days. As I was planning a spontaneous event with another family, I said that I would call an hour ahead because that is the most lead time the kids can tolerate. Anticipating good is a fearful thing, one they can not tolerate. Collectively, the behaviors escalate and the words spewing forth become littered with how good things were before they moved in to this house, how much nicer the other foster parents were, etc.

The reinforcement for me is to not plan fun things. The payback is too severe, too many negative consequences. I have been told by H and A that I am not a fun mom. In fact, A was gone from the house and H and I had a little fun. Not much, just enough to give H a taste of how life might be without all the negative talk. She liked it, but spent much of the next day rubbing A's nose in it.

Some day I will realize that the good days have outnumbered the bad. Someday, I will once again be the fun mom. Some day, the new kids will understand that fun is a part of life, not the response of a guilt ridden, ineffective parent. Some day, there will be enough security that genuine laughter will be allowed without the fear of being hurt.

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