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Archive for May, 2012

Usually when Blitzen starts a sentence this, she is ready to negotiate or is preparing to lay out a plan that will surely convince us of whatever it is she would like to convince us.

Could she please get a very small dog, after the guineas die because she will be lonely for a pet? Can’t we go Disney World sometime this summer, if Andrew and I just save up for it, it won’t be that expensive, right?  How about if we let her swim for 10 minutes but then, we add-on 10 more minutes so that we all can practice mermaid swimming together?  You get the picture.

Last night, Blitzen asked if she could really stay with us.  Emphasis on really.  Now we’ve had several versions of this conversation and they are all difficult because so much of Blitzen’s permanency plan is up in the air.

So last night when she asked the question, I said that everyone who cares about her (me, Andrew, Nana, bio Mom, the folks at our agency and even the judge) want to be sure that she is happy, healthy and safe.  And that she can stay with us as long as she needs to and as long as everyone agrees it is the best thing for her.  And then she did something that she has never done before.  She said, ‘But if you adopt me, I could stay here forever.’

Ummmmm……shoot, I wasn’t expecting that one.  We talked about how we’d need to make a decision like that as a family with help from her bio family and the agency and NAC.  And Andrew said that no matter what, we were going to know her forever, even if she didn’t live with us forever, and that we’d always be friends and around to help her.  And then she started to cry and said that she really just wanted to live with Nana and Dancer and Dasher.

Sigh….there is just way too much going on it that little tiny 9-year-old head.

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Nothing like sliding down a steep hill on a giant, slippery, filthy tarp into a disgusting pool of muddy water.  Don’t worry, there is a giant hay bale at the foot of the slide to stop you!

We had a great time with Andrew’s family in NC this weekend.  There was lots of biking, hotel pool swimming, an outing with a pizza picnic, music and this fun homemade waterslide.  And best of all, I got 2 hours of quiet time to read a trashy book.  Love to you, Andrew’s family.  Nothing like an 8 adult to 3 kid ratio to help you relax.

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Blitzen loves to play the game ‘invisible’.  She will hide under the covers while we search and search and search for her.  Finally, we find her and we are so delighted and relieved and she is happy and giggly.  We play this game at least once a day.

And it is so fascinating. It is the perfect example of where Blitzen is developmentally and emotionally.

I hope that she is beginning to realize that Andrew and I will search and search (every morning!!) and that we enjoy finding her as much as she loves to be found.

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Blitzen has been having a very emotional week.  She has become convinced that I love only Dasher and Dancer and do not love her.  That I want those girls to live with me and I want her to move out.  You may ask yourself why she thinks this?  Well, I hold Dasher’s hand when we walk down the street (she is 4) and I very actively ask Dancer about school because I don’t think anyone else does and I encourage her to talk to me about books and school work, etc.  This is, in Blitzen’s mind, proof of my new found and exclusive affection for her siblings.

Last night, around homework time, she worked herself up into quite a state.   Lots of yelling, stomping and slamming doors.

I was sitting at the table trying very hard to demonstrate to the person screaming ‘You never listen to me’ that I REALLY was listening when Blitzen picked up the glass of water in front of me and held it over my head.

Blitzen to me, ‘I will dump this on you. I WILL do it and then what happens? Then what? What are you going to do?’

Note that this is all happening at a decibel that OSHA would insist requires special ear plug thingies.  A little bit of the water drips on my back accidentally, Blitzen (comically? sweetly? crazily?) gently wipes it off while still hollering and threatening me.

I reach up, gently take the glass from her hand and turn it upside down, right over my head. It was a full glass too and cold – it had ice in it.  Brrr!  Then I say, ‘If you dump a glass of water on me, I’ll get wet.  That is the only thing that will happen.’

Blitzen is stunned, staring at me silently for about 30 seconds.  Then she goes off again, ‘I wasn’t going to do it. Why did you do that?’ All in a very angry tone.

Carrie to Blitzen, ‘I am not angry, why are you?’

Blitzen to Carrie, ‘I hate you and I am going to swear and cuss. I did when I was a baby. I’ve done it with my friends, watch me.’

Carrie to Blitzen, ‘Really?  Which words are you going to say? F@#$, or S@#$, or D#@$.  Those are not very nice words and I try not to use myself but sometimes, people swear.’

Blitzen storms off to her room and re-emerges with her laundry basket, screaming, ‘ I am going to dump this on the floor. Watch me, I am going to do it.’ And she holds the basket aloft.

I march into my room, return with my laundry basket and then I dump my clothes on the floor.  And I say, ‘If we dump the laundry basket, there will be clothes on the floor.  Later, we’ll have to pick them up.  That is the only thing that will happen.’

Blitzen is flabbergasted.  She is furious, she is afraid.

She storms off into her room and slams the door so hard that she breaks the door jam, AGAIN!  She rants and raves to herself.  Eventually, she gets quieter, she sits on her bed and she calls me to come help her get the guineas out of their cage so that she can pet them.  (Petting the guineas is a big self-soother in our house.  They are worth like 10 weeks of therapy for every 10 minutes of petting.)

We all sit on the bed, Andrew, Blitzen and me, holding and petting the guineas and talking about what just happened and why and what we all might do differently next time.  Blitzen asks me if I really love her and I say that I do and I always will no matter what she does and no matter where she lives.  She cries and pets her guineas and gives them carrots.

We finish our evening routine in relative calmness.

Blitzen goes to bed.

I eat 2 cupcakes and then I go to bed.

Thank goodness for guinea pigs and cupcakes.

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We’ve come down from our bio dad contact high as I knew we would.

Picture poor little Blitzen, a ball of tension and anger and frustration, standing in the living room with her fists clenched screaming at me over and over and over – I don’t need you,  I don’t need Andrew, I don’t need you, I don’t need Andrew….sigh.

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And it is way to big for our tiny tiny little balcony.

This has not stopped Blitzen.  A photo of her filling it up.  You will note the creative, wiggly-side construction.  We’ve duct taped it into this shape so it fits.  How many spaghetti pots of water does it take to fill a wading pool, anyway?

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On Saturday, we were in the park, playing.  Andrew ran home to get some sandwiches so that we could have a picnic.  When he returned with his bag of yummy lunchtime treats, I sat down on a sunny park bench.  Blitzen looks at me, looks at the sun and announces that she is moving over to the moonlight.   And I said, great, I’ll come sit in the moonlight too and Andrew is looking at us both like we’ve lost our minds.  So I explain – you know, not the sunlight, so it must be the moonlight.  Some people call it the shade but those people lack imagination.

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Blitzen met her biological father this weekend.  This was not planned or controlled or well thought out.  He just showed up at the family visit, apparently.  I guess bio mom invited him and he crashed the party.   Our agency had been very clear that if he wanted in, he needed to do a few things first so that they could all work up to an introduction.   Given his 9-tear absence, this seemed like a prudent course of action.  But I guess he didn’t want to wait and just worked with bio mom to plan the reunion independently.  How very proactive of him.

You can imagine our surprise when Blitzen came home on Friday evening and announced that she had met her father.  And that she has two more brothers that she is going to get to meet soon or someday or something.

I’ve mentioned before that Blitzen and her family are caught in some stupid bureaucratic bermuda triangle.  The children in the family are being managed by two different agencies.  Originally they were all together at the same agency but that agency’s therapeutic unit was closed down so the therapeutic kids (3 out of 6) came over to our agency (agency 2).  Bio mom’s case is being managed by agency 1.  The family visits take place at agency 1.  And frankly, the majority of the drama happens at agency 1.

I know from multiple sources that the environment at agency 1 is not optimal for the visitations – the scene is quite chaotic and no one is available to help families when situations are tense or difficult.  But that all doesn’t matter to me so much any more because some random dude walked in off the street and apparently introduced himself to Blitzen as her father.  Now, to be clear, I am sure that it was her father.  But come on!  Does this seem like a safe thing to you all?

Anyway, we’ve been processing and processing this with Blitzen.  She is still on an emotional contact high and is skipping around telling everyone that she sees that she has met her dad and she has two more brothers and that her dad is funny, just like her.  And I am glad that she is feeling a connection to this person, it is important to know your parents.  I am hoping that he will be able to maintain some kind of stable contact but he doesn’t have a great track record so I am doubtful, frankly.   And when this thing goes south (and it is gonna), poor little Blitzen is going to internalize this rejection as she has all the others.  Just more proof that she is not lovable which is completely heartbreaking.

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Since beginning to learn to swim and getting two mermaid tails, Blitzen has been obsessed with pools.  She saved her allowance for several weeks and purchased a very cheap kiddie wading pool.  She then informed Andrew and me that she wanted to have a pool party for her school friends.  We talked a lot about this.  Blitzen was not deterred as we posed various concerns like – it is a not a real pool and we would have to the wading pool on the balcony that can fit just 2 people so that seems squishy, etc.  She patiently explained that the kids can come over for snacks and then swimming in the pool and then eat more snacks.

Ummm – ok.  This is clearly a well thought out plan.

She handmade the invitations last night and is bringing them to school.  June 2 is the big day — we’ll see how it goes. I am hoping just 2 kids show up especially since we have been informed that we must stay in the living room.  I guess she is afraid that we are going to cramp her style.  Everyone knows grown-ups can be a real downer at wading pool parties.

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Ok, so last night, as Blitzen was falling asleep, she carefully laid out her argument for why Therapist V is incorrrect about fairies.

1)  Fairies are in lots of books

2)  There are fairie sized plates and other household objects in the fairie house and SOMEBODY has been using them

3) Some mornings, when we wake up, the fairie house is messy — this can only be the work of sloppy fairies

Well, folks, I am convinced.  You’ll be relieved to know that Blitzen remains as determined as ever and she wants to believe in fairies so she is gonna believe.

School update – It appears as though DOE has decided to narrow the population of kids at Blitzen’s school.  Beginning next year, the school will only service a specific population.  She is outside of this group so she will need to go to a new school where they educate and care for kids like Blitzen.  Perhaps it will be a good thing, the jury is still out.  Either way, we’ll make it work.

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