Up until this year, my daily schedule wasn't too, too crazy. I had one kid at home last year doing school. I had the littlest cherubs at home all day. Pumpkin, TT and Bart went to brick and mortar school. I did drop-off in the morning, but they all rode the bus home. It was really quite do-able.
This year - oh this year - this year is going to be different.
5:30 I will wake up, shower and get ready
6:00 wake up Pumpkin and get her ready, feed her a small breakfast (she'll eat breakfast at school as well - the food is crap though so I usually have her eat something healthy before she leaves)
6:40 Pumpkin will leave on the bus to school
6:45 wake up Dude and Dolly, get them ready for the day (TT and Bart will likely wake at this time as well, but thankfully they can take care of themselves. I will most likely have to drag Herman out of bed myself. If he doesn't wake on his own, he has to pay $5 for my hassle so it's not all bad.)
7:30 take Dude to Head Start
8:00 school will start at home for all of "my" kids
10:30ish Dolly will go on the bus to PreK at the local elementary
12:30 I will pick up Dude from Head Start - they are actually open until 5:30 but I was told that the "learning" portion of the day is only in the morning. I will pick him up after lunch. I don't want him there all day at all! So if they'll let me pick him up I will take them up on it!!
1:00 Dude will take a nap at home
3:40 Dolly and Pumpkin will come home from school on the bus
The only hitch in all this is that I have to figure in a time for each of Pumpkin's therapies. She receives PT, OT and speech each two times a week for 30 minutes each session. (Though I think PT is approved for up to 60 minutes per session.) I don't think it will be feasible for me to work in all these therapies in the afternoon and/or early evening. Bedtime is between 7:30 and 8:00 (shooting for the 7:30 whenever possible). There just aren't enough hours in the day.
I'm not worrying about it yet. As is common in Foster Care Land, I can't think that far ahead. One day at a time is about all I get.
We have court tomorrow. If all goes well, Pumpkin will be moving across the state to her aunt and uncle's sometime in the very near future. I'm praying this is the outcome. Pumpkin deserves some stability! This languishing in foster care for no good reason simply infuriates me!! This aunt and uncle are still interested in raising Pumpkin and caring for her for the rest of Pumpkin's life. (Pumpkin will NEVER live independently!! At best she could end up in a group home for the disabled.)
If Pumpkin stays though, I've got a plan in the back of my head.
Because yeah, I'm going to go ahead and keep Pumpkin. I rescinded my 30 day notice. After my "break" this summer I decided that it would be best for Pumpkin to stay with someone that will continue to fight as hard as I do for her best interests. And my energy was somewhat renewed. I lowered my overall expectations of Pumpkin further and I'm not trying to add new skills to her repertoire. And honestly, having the therapists work with Pumpkin in my home is encouraging to me. I like all of the techs that I've met with this new therapy agency very much! They have realistic goals and want to involve me in them. It makes a difference when I can see progress and have professionals supporting fully what I do and giving me feedback on her abilities.
Here's my plan:
First: I'm going to approach the school and beg and plead for them to let Pumpkin receive her therapies there. If they can spare some space somewhere in the school, Pumpkin will have the least amount of interruption to her day. The therapist would come and work with Pumpkin for 30 minutes and Pumpkin would simply return to class. Granted, this would mean that I wouldn't see the therapist every single day. But I trust that these three techs would do a better job of involving me in Pumpkin's care than the therapists did at her last center.
Second: If the school shoots that down, I'm going to insist that Pumpkin's therapies take place between 8:00-10:00AM or 1:00-3:00PM. I would either bring Pumpkin in to school late or pick her up early. I hate the idea of this as I really would become a taxi!! So much of my day would be spent shuttling kids here and there. But I just don't see how I could fit in 6 different sessions a week and do anything else in the evening.
Court is tomorrow at noon. I'll keep y'all posted.