Mr. Wonky has invaded our house. It's bad. I'm so incredibly short tempered. I wish I could say I weather these times well. But, honestly, I don't always rock the therapeutic parenting.
For example, Bart just completely FLIPPED OUT because Dolly was coloring in a coloring book that may or may not at one point in time have been "his". This particular coloring book is at least 3-4 years old. For the most part Bart rarely colors in coloring books anymore because he chooses to create his own art. But this morning he got super territorial and thought that Dolly should not color in this particular coloring book. Any calm attempt from me to diffuse the situation was met with extreme yelling and stomping of feet.
I may or may not have just smacked him in the face for screaming at me.
I am NOT proud of my response.
The screaming and yelling for the morning has been off the charts. Bart also thought it necessary to freak out because he was asked to brush the sand off his pants before entering the house to begin school work. I am so mean. I want him to brush off so sand doesn't cover every inch of my house.
I'm 'bout worn out.
It doesn't help that I was up most of the entire night. It started when TT couldn't fall asleep. Typically this is not a problem for TT. Granted, he commonly has me up throughout the night when he's stressed. But the act of actually falling asleep isn't usually an issue for TT.
Last night at bedtime though, TT couldn't fall sleep. I went upstairs with him to cuddle and talk a bit. I asked him what he had been thinking about. He doesn't recognize that he's in a hyper-state of worry. But sometimes, when he can identify what he's been thinking about, we can process and he can relax.
Curled up in his bed, he quietly muttered, "I'm afraid something is going to happen and we aren't going to get to go to Iowa for Christmas."
I didn't want to push him so I asked, "What do you think might happen?"
He answered, "A crash." I nodded and let him continue. Then, with a great amount of fear in his voice he said, "I'm afraid the judge will do something and Dude and Dolly won't be able to go."
That damned investigation this summer really messed with all my kids. I'm totally for CPS following through with concerns. Honestly, I am! But all of my kids (ALL OF THEM) are still having to deal with trauma as a result of the State taking their slow sweet time dealing with things this summer.
And what can I do? Can I promise TT that nothing will happen?
All I could do was try to reassure him with things I do know. I do know that a crash is highly unlikely. I do know that a judge has granted us permission to travel. I do know that we are following all the rules as foster parents and there is no reason to suspect that anything negative will happen. I do know that if something DID happen, we as a core family are not prohibited from traveling to Iowa ever. I did promise him that we WILL be going to Iowa to visit as soon as we possibly can no matter what.
But I can't promise him that nothing bad will happen. I know the way things work in Fostercare Land all too well.
Silly me...I thought our processing worked. TT's eyes grew heavy. He relaxed. He fell asleep. I thought the worst of it was over.
3:00AM: TT came in to my room. He announced to me that he felt sick. I looked at him and said there is nothing I can do. I pointed for him to lay down on the floor next to my bed. He hasn't been sleeping well for weeks so I simply thought this was just that...TT not sleeping.
Thirty seconds later TT raced to the bathroom. Oh...I guess he really was sick.
All. Night. Long.
But if you want to know my honest take on this...I think this is TT's anxiety in full overdrive! At no point in time did TT actually toss the contents of his stomach. He just had the dry heaves all night long. Of course, he could be legitimately sick. And I'm certainly not going to add to any shame or anxiety by telling him I think this is anything less than a stomach bug (at least not yet anyway). But I'm pretty sure this is anxiety. (Sometimes, when TT can recognize that his illness is anxiety-related he can shake it faster. He's been known to get super sick and run a fever simply because of anxiety. But I need to wait until I can tell for sure what the problem is before I say anything to him.)
I'm tired. Here's to hoping I can get through today without losing my cool again.