Posted in Agency, Blitzen, Family Visits, tagged Blitzen, Family, Foster care, foster parenting, friends, parenting, pets, support, vacation on March 8, 2013 |
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With input from Blitzent’s teacher and Blitzen, we decided earlier this week that Blitzen should take a day off of school for a little bit of a break. She has been working very hard, hasn’t missed any school not related to appointments (or hurricanes!) all year. And she has had a couple of rough days at school and as you know, many rough evenings at home. Blitzen is now regretting the decision but we made a plan so we’re sticking to it. Given the amount of anger she is showing about this as I write this email, it is quite possible that you will hear tomorrow at family visit about how we cruelly made her stay home from school when she really really really wanted to go to learn and be with her friends. “You never let me finish what I start” she is hollering at this very moment. I just wanted you to know what was up - we’re taking a much needed vacation day.
Blitzen was also having a bit of problem when it was time for pet therapy tonight – she didn’t want to separate from her friends and leave school to go. We spend a lot of time with Blitzen identifying afterschool activities, outlining our schedule and confirming plans – Blitzen is having some trouble lately sticking with her commitments and the schedule. I’ve let her know that if she is not enjoying pet therapy, she can decide to ‘resign’ but the decision will be final, she must speak to you before she does it and she must attend one last session to say goodbye to the trainer, the dogs and her pet therapy friends.
Best, Carrie and Andrew
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Posted in Blitzen, Uncategorized, tagged Bedtime routine, beetles, Blitzen, Education, Family, Foster care, foster parenting, parenting, pets on February 1, 2013 |
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Someone asked how we have come to have pet beetles.
Well, Blitzen’s science class has been studying the life cycle of meal worms since the beginning of year and now that the meal worms are all grown up, the science room has a whole buncha beetles for the taking. Blitzen was allowed to bring home 4 beetles. They live in a Tupperware container with holes in the lid with some nice straw for bedding and corn meal for eating.
She spent her entire BTPT (bed time play time) last night trying to work up the courage to pick them up and hold them in her hand. It was clearly so painful and frustrating for her — to be afraid. She tried and tried, she cried and cried and then yelled a little. Finally she announced to Andrew that I had to be brought into the discussion, “Carrie can help me overcome my fear!” she announced. Well, not right away. But we tried and tried and tried some more. We got mad some more but then finally, Blitzen picked one of the beetles up. It was such an interesting process because it was very important to her that she pick it up. She didn’t want me to put the beetle in her hand, she didn’t want to pet the beetle while I held it — she wanted to get it out of its little home and hold it all on her own. And so she did. That kid is totally not a quitter. Kind of inspiring, actually. Makes you want to go out in the world and pick up a beetle, if you know what I mean.
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Blitzen started pet therapy and she loves it. And we love it. She gets to interact with animals. She is getting to know some of the other foster kids at our agency. It is such a good thing for her to know other children in care that are not related to her.
And best of all, we don’t take her, she is there for 2 hours and she gets a ride home. So we get to stay at work until 7pm — it is totally, totally exciting! Some of you out there may think that I am kidding but I am not.
Anyway, they painted pumpkins at pet therapy this week. I was kind of confused by this – what do Halloween decorations have to do with dogs? I asked Blitzen what the dogs did while they were painting pumpkins. She said, ‘They put the paint brush in their teeth and went like this.’ Insert mental picture of Blitzen bobbing her head around like crazy, pretending to hold a brush clenched in her teeth.
I am pretty sure she was kidding.
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So the guinea pigs are cute and in every part of our imaginary play. They come with us to the movies (the couch when we watch tv and eat popcorn), they make many visits to vet Andrew and are always very brave when they get the needle, they go to the pharmacy where pharmacist Andrew fills their prescription for claw drops. Yesterday, after a romp around Blitzen’s room, they sat in their box and watched a rousing game of Headbanz. They travel about being held, coddled or toted in a roomy box lined with a towel. And they don’t seem to mind, probably because we ply them with lots of carrots and leafy greens.
My new plan is to try to give the piggies some extra power (I am thinking of good guinea super strengths) that will, in turn, give Blitzen a little more courage and hopefully increase independence. Could the guineas ’chat’ with while she showers, for instance, instead of me (from the dry safety of their box, of course)? Perhaps they would like to help her choose an outfit for school in the morning? I could make them little capes that say ‘Blitzen’s Super Pigs’ and teach them to squeak encouragement.
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