Have I mentioned how much I hate family visits? Yes, I know that I have about a million times. And I am pretty darn conflicted about it all. I want to support the family and the idea of visits and reunification although I am increasingly frustrated with Blitzen’s mother’s lack of forward momentum. But anyway, the anatomy of a family visit:
2:00pm Carrie calls social worker to be sure visit is on
2:05pm Carrie calls Nana to be sure visit is on because no one ever tells our agency / social worker anything. Visit is confirmed by Nana. Carrie volunteers (call me a sucker) to drive Nana’s girls to Queens. Invitation is accepted. Carrie says ‘I’ll be there at 4pm’
3:30pm Because Carrie is not an idiot, Carrie calls Nana and says ‘I am on time, I will be there at 4pm’. Carrie hears what she knows that she will hear. Nana is running late.
4:00pm Carrie calls Nana and says, ‘I am here.’ Nana says, ‘Great, Dancer just got home from school and is waiting in the lobby, I have Dasher with me and we are leaving YONKERS now.’ People, do you know where Yonkers is???? It is not close to Harlem, that is for damn sure. Carrie says,’ Yeah, I figured – we’ll be playing in the park until you get here.’
4:30pm Girls are in the car. Carrie is driving in Friday afternoon, NYC, long holiday weekend traffic. Carrie is cranky. Girls are watching a mermaid show on the ipad - I love you, Ipad, says Carrie
6:00pm I am not f@#$-ing kidding, 6pm!!!, Carrie and girls finally arrive at the visit. It is the usual hubbub of people who Carrie doesn’t know. Carrie waits in the lobby.
7:00pm Kids and mom and several people who Carrie doesn’t know come out. Blitzen’s hair is half braided. While bio-mom continues to braid Blitzen’s hair, and say such stupid s@#$ that Carrie’s head practically pops off (‘beauty is pain and pain is beauty’ being the favorite quote of the night as the tender-headed child winces through the scalp stretching braiding process), Carrie introduces herself to the assorted adults and guess what — Blitzen’s dad is there. Uh-huh, yup, surprise. He gave her a bracelet and his phone number and told her to call any time. Great.
8:00pm Hair braiding finally done, leaving visit with 3 starving girls. Stop at Wendy’s, sibling infighting begins. Carrie quiets everyone by feeding them fast food.
9:00pm Carrie attempts to drop off 2 of 3 girls. No go, Nana is not home. Carrie is not happy, leaves a message in her cold, hard, mean voice – those of you who have experienced this voice have probably begun to weep at the thought of it.
9:20pm Nana calls noting that she missed my call (yeah, Nana, yeah, you did) because she is not in her apartment but sitting out front in her car. Hmmmm….ok, can you pick up your kids who are now back at my house?
9:35pm 2 of 3 girls depart for god knows where and Carrie is not asking. Remaining girl loses her s@#$ for almost 2 hours.
11:15pm Blitzen finally calms down enough to sleep.
Next morning – Blitzen awakes wanting to call dad. We wait until a civilized hour because we have manners. Blitzen calls, Dad says hi and can you call back later. Blitzen, miraculously, rolls with this. Carrie, not so much, but says nothing. Sigh….