Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I went ahead and spoke briefly with Mrs. Beach, Dolly's kindergarten teacher, about Dolly and some of her needs this morning. It was oh so brief but she listened. She also seemed very confused. Dolly had performed wonderfully on a project she had the children do yesterday. In fact, from what I could tell, Dolly had done one of the best projects in the class. And she did it all independently. Surely Dolly understands everything that's being said to her?!

However, immediately following this success, Mrs. Beach started to pass out scissors for the next activity. She handed Dolly hers along with two other little boys in the class. Then she stopped herself and gave the rules, "Only cut on paper." She explained how to hold scissors, how to pass scissors to another student safely and she repeated herself multiple times, "Only cut on paper."

Dolly took the scissors in her hand and promptly cut off a hunk of her own hair.
Mrs. Beach saved the hair for me.
 Mrs. Beach was so apologetic. She said in all her years of teaching, this was a first for her.

I didn't really know what to say. This is NOT typical behavior for Dolly. I tried to help Mrs. Beach understand that Dolly might not have understood what she was being told. However, I also told Mrs. Beach that Dolly had been exposed to scissors before and she knew the rules from using them at home.

Things have just been strange for the past couple weeks.

Both children have regressed a great deal. Dolly is difficult to understand when she's talking. Not only is her speech garbled, but her sentence structure is off. Her thinking in general seems mixed up at times. I realize my worries can be blown off. So many parents can say, " kids do the same things." But I know MY kids. And something's "off".

The biggest indicator for me is their inability to play appropriately. They cannot seem to get engaged. I'm trying to not overreact. There could be so many reasons why this is going on. But I'll be honest. It bugs the heck out of me. I'm having a hard time dealing with it because for almost two years, these kids have played so well.

When they came they had never been exposed to toys. They each had one stuffed animal from home. That was it. But, they had pretty much been homeless before coming in to Care (if I know their story right), and it's hard to have toys if you don't have a home (or even a vehicle) to keep them in. When they moved in they had so many things to play with. Both kids did a wonderful job of playing with something and then picking up after themselves when they were done. They loved to pretend with our play kitchen. They enjoyed blocks, Legos, action figures, a doll house and so much more. The cherubs could play for extended periods of time needing almost no redirection.

The past couple weeks though?! They can't seem to play. They spend their time walking around in circles making this incredibly goofy giggle. They wander aimlessly not doing much of anything. They might get toys out but they don't actually play with them. And the dump-and-run....oh the dump-and-run. They're taking toys, dumping them out all over the play room, not really playing with them and then dumping out some more. This is typical behavior for toddlers but I've never experienced it with Dude and Dolly since they moved in.
  • I know that part of it is because Dude started school a week before Dolly did.
    For that first week, Dolly didn't know how to play by herself.
  • The video Minnie made messed Dolly up in the head.
  • The trip to Dallas was difficult for both kids.
  • Just starting school, in and of itself, is difficult.
  • They know court is coming up.
  • And I'm guessing it might be because a year ago is when they came BACK to me after the investigation.
Oh duh. (face palm)
I just figured out that last bullet point as I was typing this up.

Alright -- so I'll leave the entire post even though I just figured it out.

My kids have regressed. It's probably due to all the things mentioned above,
but I can stop worrying about why it's getting worse.

Trauma-versaries are difficult!
Foster Care Sucks.


Thank Him For The Small Things said...

Praying for you guys as they deal with all the things being thrown at them at once.

Foster Mom - R said...

I'm sorry but I laughed and laughed at the picture of Dolly's cut hair! I think she was testing boundaries and exercising some control over the one thing she's finally gained control of, her hair. Yes, yes non-traumatized kids cut their hair. But there was meaning behind it for Dolly. I hope she felt empowered.

CherubMamma said...

You're right Foster Mom R!! I totally see your point. I certainly didn't say anything to her myself. I'm sure the teacher shamed her enough for weeks -- Dolly didn't need any redirection from me at all. I do hope she felt a little empowered cutting her own hair. :)

To be honest, the FIRST thing I thought of was to maybe just leave the two kids alone with a pair of scissors sometime. Maybe Dolly could play barber on Dude's stupid rat tail.

Anonymous said...

I hear you on the play thing. My FS (who we are adopting) does the same thing. The first sign of dysregulation in him is the inability to play. It drive me nuts. He will stare at the toys, wander around the room, constantly call out Mama, and beg to watch TV. Right now I think it is because he starting kindergarten and is worried about it.
I pray your little Cherubs get permanency soon.

Last Mom said...

"Trauma-versaries are difficult!
Foster Care Sucks."


Annie said...

I absolutely understand that your intuition about their behavior is going to be right on (and the wandering and dumping does seem to communicate the feelings they must have inside). I often think you can take behavior as fairly specific communication: I feel like I don't know where I belong of what I should commit to. I feel like I've been dumped out into a chaotic mess.

However, the scissors thing. I am a "really good girl" but there is the odd thing that happens sometimes when someone gives me a direction one too many times, especially if that is obvious. Let's just say, I might have wanted to cut something besides paper, too - just because it somehow seems EXPECTED!