Parenting my cherubs seems normal to me most of the time. But then things will happen. Conversations will take place. And I will realize again how different it really is.
Another mom that parents kids from the hurt places calls them Trauma Pockets.
Holes in the development. Things that just aren't quite right.
Mr. Amazing is back from his three week business trip in Wisconsin. He played bachelor for those three weeks and had to cook for himself. Admittedly, he said he didn't do as good of a job with meal planning as he should have. He asked me specifically to have meals for him when he got back (ya know...complete with fruits and vegetables).
So tonight at supper I asked everyone for suggestions. It's easy for my big kids to tell me some meals that they'd like to eat over the next few days. Of course Mr. Amazing chimed in with his wish list. Normally I wouldn't even ask the little cherubs. Conversations like this seem to fly over their heads. But tonight they were paying attention, so I asked them what they would like to eat for dinner this week.
Deer. In. The. Headlights.
Never mind the fact that other children had been discussing this. Never mind that I tried to simplify things and I asked them, "What food do you like to eat?" They could not answer. Neither one of them.
Dolly tried. I asked her, "What would you like to have to eat this week?" She stammered out a very hesitant, "spaghetti".
We were eating spaghetti right then. She only possessed the ability to say something that was right in front of her.
My kids cannot answer open ended questions. They just simply can't.
It bothers me because "people" cannot see how far behind my kids are. They hear my kids talk. My kids manage to follow the cattle herd at school and do OK. And Dolly especially is really picking up on letters and sounds. All the people that make decisions about these kids think everything is hunky-dory.
But they cannot answer open ended questions. And with something as simple as, "What foods do you like to eat," they really should be able to. Dolly could have told me pizza, McDonalds or potatoes. Dude could have said pancakes or tacos. Shoot...a simple "chicken" would have been nice to hear. But both kids sat there just kind of staring at me. Finally they both said, "I don't know."
I know that much of this is because they are still English language learners. They no longer speak in Spanish and I doubt they actually understand much of it anymore. And they are still learning English. It is still new to them all things considered. Couple this with 2.5 years of neglect PLUS the ongoing trauma of foster care...and it takes a lot for them to just get by. Conversation skills are lacking.
There isn't much I can do to "fix" this. I talk with them. I read to them. Those are the biggies. And I know they are making a HUGE difference because my kids are learning so much!
But it's frustrating to me to watch my kids struggle!!