I swear though, The System is messed up. And I seem to be knee deep in System drama all the time. This week has been chock full of school issues, doctor appointments, dentist appointments, neighbor drama (that could end up being official System drama) and family visit drama. It's hard to write happy things when there's so much drama.
Dude and Dolly got picked up this morning and driven an hour away to their "home town" so that their social worker could better facilitate a visit between them and their mother. Mom must be a real piece of work. I was told this morning by CPS that while Mom has blown off every visit with her own kids... she has been showing up at visits with a friend of her's to see those kids. (What?!)
CPS had to call Mom this morning to get her to come to today's visit with her own kids otherwise even this one, right in her home town, would have been blown off too. I guess the visit was full of drama as well and many, many conversations had to be redirected by the worker. Mom was trying to get the kids to tell her where they are living. She was also trying to tell them that no one else loves them – only her. If I understood correctly, I think Dude told his mom otherwise in no uncertain terms. This too was not appreciated by Mom and resulted in more drama.
Thankfully the kids transitioned home well. Dolly had one meltdown when she caught me throwing away a package of fake fingernails. I'm sorry, but a three year old that chews her nails is not going to be allowed to wear fake nails in my home. Just not safe. But other than that, we were able to process things as best as a 2yo and 3yo can.
Pumpkin has regressed horribly since we got back from vacation. No language at all. No playing -- she simply sits on the couch and stares. And no eating. Literally. I've had to force feed her. As always, the origin of the regression is unknown. Though, she was diagnosed with an infection in her mouth so that could be the culprit this time. (I'm sure it's what's behind the food issues anyway.) Thankfully she's starting to feel better and is responding to her environment a little bit. I'm still having to feed her but it's being met with less resistance.
The first week of online high school has gone well for Herman. He's been able to fully learn how to navigate the website. He's attended many different virtual classes where he can hear the teacher and chat along with the class. He seems to really enjoy the flexibility. I do know that he loves rolling out of bed seconds before having to sign on for class. He also thinks it's fun to stand up, walk around, get something to eat and more all during his virtual classes. The actual online work has been very easy for him this week and he's been able to finish his studies quite quickly.
TT's anxiety is in full swing now that school has started. We're seeing a huge increase in crazy lying and wild stories. But, he's keeping it mainly verbal for the freak outs. This is nice...I guess. :) In comparison...I spent his first year of school having to restrain him almost daily when he got home. I feel so bad for the kid. And I think part of his big feelings are jealousy that Herman is home with me all day. But honestly, I'm not called to homeschool all my kids! I will only do it if I feel the public system is not going to do a quality job. But I sure do wish I knew how to help him better manage his overwhelming anxiety.
Bart is his usual bouncing off the walls happy self. He loves school. (Though he says he's bored because they aren't teaching anything yet.) He's my social butterfly. As long as his teachers don't crush his spirit, he will be just fine. And I pity anyone that ever tries to crush him. I will Mamma Bear the situation and make sure they understand how to treat my baby!! Bart has the happiest spirit of anyone I've ever met and I never want anyone to take that away from him. (Even if that means he literally bounces off the walls when he gets home from school.)
My happy thoughts for the week though...
- I love watching Herman play with the little ones during the day. He's not preoccupied with his iPod or a gaggle of friends...so he'll turn to Dude and Dolly in between lessons and play with them. It's awesome!
- Herman and I haven't argued all week! This is a very good thing as Herman and I are entirely too much alike. For us to have spent an entire week together and not argue is a very good thing.
- I watched a neighbor girl for three days this week and Dolly was in heaven. More than anything Dolly loves babies! She absolutely loved having a real honest to goodness baby in the house.
- As for me, I'm glad that I'm done watching said baby. Taking care of a 1yo, 2yo and a 3yo all day long is a bit exhausting.
- Pumpkin giggled tonight when I tucked her in. She has been so unresponsive that it's been troubling. I was happy to see her smile.
- I'm not too horribly worn out and it's Friday night. In fact, I think I'm going to go grocery shopping right now.
- If all goes well and it's not too blasted hot, we might go to the beach this weekend. I'm happy that I live close to a beach. We haven't been all summer because of the new little ones. But I think I've got this "6 kid" thing pretty much under control. I also now own 5 life jackets (Herman doesn't need one). I'm ready to tackle the beach with our brood of cherubs.
There will be more drama next week. It never goes away. The visit schedule changes. Pumpkin has court. And I'm sure there will be more. But I'm in it with a smile right now.