Don't hate me. But I now have what every foster family needs and wants more than anything right across the street from my house!
About a month ago we got some new neighbors. In a very old-fashioned sort of way they came over with their kids to introduce themselves. (I always tell myself that I should do this when we move somewhere but I never really do.)
Anyway, the mom and I bonded almost immediately over our disdain for this part of the country. (Which is doubly hilarious because she's Hispanic and so everyone would just assume she's lived here forever and loves it.) Almost immediately her kids and my kids started playing together. She's got a boy in fifth grade. He falls smack dab in between my Cherub 1 and Cherubs 2 & 3. All of the neighborhood boys like to play street football so he hangs out with the crowd of testosterone that lives around here.
Their other three kids are girls -- a 10 year old and 4 year old twins. The oldest girl likes coming over because we have so many art supplies. The twins think it's fun to do whatever their older sister is doing. They also like to play with Dolly.
Well, one day a few weeks ago I had to drop Dolly and Dude off at the daycare so I could go to the doctor. Dude NEVER handles this well. He screams and yells his fool head off. It's positively horrible for me but my hands are tied. I didn't have anywhere else to take the cherubs when I have "adult" appointments and this particular daycare is located very close to our home. While I was there that morning, I saw my neighbor (let's call her Daphne). We chatted for just a bit and then I went on my way.
I saw Daphne later that afternoon. She was interviewing the daycare as a possible option for her twins (after she finds a job in the area that is). I expressed my dislike for the daycare. She told me that Dude cried (and practically tried to escape) for over an hour. Then she looked at me and said, "Why didn't you ask me to watch them?"
I smiled and told Daphne that I appreciated her offer, but in order for her to watch Dolly and Dude she'd have to fill out a ton of paperwork, go through a background check and have a home visit. She laughed and said, "no problem".
I don't turn down help so I got her the paperwork.
Well, not only did she fill it out, but she went through the entire process to become a babysitter. Then, all on her own, she and her husband went through a thorough home visit and a training session so they could do respite for us.
Now, when I have a dentist appointment or something that is otherwise difficult to bring cherubs along to, I can work something out with my neighbor across the street!! And let's just say that this situation makes Dolly and Dude much, much happier!!!
As for me, I can actually schedule a date with my husband sometime in the near future. I miss hanging out with JUST my husband!!
Even better, no money is exchanging hands. She has agreed to let me watch her cherubs periodically so I can return the favor. I had fun yesterday with a houseful of preschoolers for a few hours while she went to the bank and got groceries..
I'm blown away by their outpouring of generosity. My neighbors certainly didn't have to open their home up to that kind of scrutiny just for some people they barely know. But I'm grateful beyond measure that they did! Now all I have to do is not abuse the privilege. :)