I just spent over 21 hours in a car driving South. I am exhausted!
The menfolk unloaded the truck while I sat down to print out directions to the where the littlest cherubs were staying at. (Couldn't find them from when I dropped the kids off. And without directions, I could get lost inside a paper bag!) I wagged my finger at my boys and told them to behave as Mr. Amazing and I dashed back out this afternoon to pick up Pumpkin, Dolly and Dude.
We made it to Dolly and Dude's respite home first.
The only way to describe their response was confusion. They knew who we were. I think they even knew they were leaving the respite home with us (their bags were all packed). But they were confused.
It's really hard to explain foster care to a two year old and a three year old!
Unfortunately, their respite provider kept telling the kids to give us hugs. That made me really uncomfortable. I don't like forced affection. Dolly and Dude needed a chance to warm up to us on their own!! We said our goodbyes though and loaded the kids up. We took off across town to go get Pumpkin.
When I walked into where Pumpkin was staying she immediately started screaming and throwing a fit. She was hollering out, "No! No!" and "Mommy!" The respite provider said that Pumpkin has been throwing A LOT of fits for the past three weeks. Anytime something doesn't go her way, Pumpkin has a hissy.
I'm trying to think positively about this. Perhaps this means that we might have hit on a more "correct" drug cocktail that actually has her seizures under control. Immediately before leaving on vacation Pumpkin's neurologist made a med change. It just might have made a real difference. Maybe Pumpkin will now actually be able to communicate some of the thoughts that run through her head.
Or, on the flip side, Pumpkin might have been working those around her to see what she can get away with. She is a totally different (read that "very bratty") child around her mother. I have a bit more of a no nonsense approach and I won't let Pumpkin talk to me that way.
So tonight at dinner, when Pumpkin started screaming, I very calmly moved her away from the table. She wanted to go over to her toys but I put her in a little chair and faced her to the wall very close to the dining table. I let her sit there for just a bit and then I gave her the option of coming back to the table. She tried screaming several different times but realized she was just going to have to look at a wall so she calmed down and sat at the table for dinner. Pumpkin was mad and wouldn't feed herself. But she did cooperate and let me feed her.
I know it's going to be an adjustment period for all three cherubs. None of them understood why they had to go to respite care. None of them really understand why they are back here now.
Bedtime went well. (Can I have an Amen?!) Hopefully Dolly and Dude won't have too many problems sleeping tonight. I did a late night shopping trip to stock up the kitchen. We needed EVERYTHING and there was no way I was taking the entire crew with me to the store tomorrow. I'm going to go crash in my own bed for a few hours before the craziness of tomorrow is my reality.
My vacation was wonderful. But it does feel good to be home.