3:50pm: Captain saw Pirate eating a peanut butter sandwich. He informed me that he did not want one. He proceeded to watch TT and Bart play on the computer for a bit.
4:05pm: TT and Bart put away the electronics. Captain said immediately that he wanted a sandwich. I looked at him and replied, "But Captain, you just told me you DIDN'T want one." I stood up though to go make him one.
Captain started crying.
I calmly explained to Captain that sometimes when you tell a grownup no when they ask if you want a snack, the offer doesn't stand for later. Sometimes you have to wait for supper. I then asked him, "Do you want just peanut butter or do you want peanut butter and jelly?"
I told Captain that it's OK to be mad. It's OK to be sad. It's OK to not want to be here. He told me he wasn't mad or sad.
But Captain kept crying.
I couldn't convince him that I would make him the sandwich. I couldn't convince him to talk. He just sat on the couch staring straight ahead trying as hard as he could to keep the tears from falling.
I told Captain that I would be mad if someone took me from my mommy. I told him it would make me sad. I also told him it's OK to like it here AND miss his mommy at the same time.
Captain wouldn't talk. Finally I got up and went back to work at my computer.
Captain came to the kitchen table. He still said he didn't want that sandwich. I told him again that he's got a lot of big feelings and that he can talk to me about them. (He was still very visibly upset.) Captain then opened up. He told me he doesn't like it here because of vegetables.
It was hard to hold back my smile.
Instead I shook my head and told him it's my job to serve healthy food. I told him that I don't make him eat a lot of vegetables but that I am still going to keep serving them. I then asked Captain what foods he likes.
Captain just sat at the table staring straight ahead.
I told Captain that I'm trying to serve foods he likes. We've had pizza and grilled chicken. I asked him again, "What foods do you like, Captain? Do you like spaghetti, or tacos, or what? Tell me the foods you like to eat, Captain."
I told Captain that if he can't tell me I don't know. I told him I'm trying the best I can.
Captain stormed off to his room.
Captain came back down. (He really, really wanted to talk but he just couldn't put into words all that he's feeling.)
This time I asked TT for permission to use his story. TT granted it. I told Captain, "Hey, I bet you didn't know that TT has two moms too. I'm not TT's first mommy. He has another one too. TT, how does that make you feel sometimes?"
TT responded, "Sometimes I'm sad. I miss my mommy."
Captain left the room again. (This was almost too much for him but boy was he curious.)
Finally, at 4:38pm Captain had enough courage to ask for that sandwich again.
While eating he said, "Mamma L***, look at this." He wanted to show me his little skateboard and a trick he could do with it.
I took this as a quick opportunity to tell him that he doesn't have to call me Mamma L***. He can just call me by my name. He thought about it for a minute and then did call me just by my name a few times to see if I'd answer.
Captain finished his sandwich and the tears dried up. I'm back to being "Mamma L***" again and he's running around the house playing. It seems all is back to normal.
I cannot fathom all his little heart has been through.
Foster care sucks.