Have nearly survived 24 hours with respite foster children - just got 2 year old down for an afternoon sleep, 4 year old watched half a DVD with a lot of support from me about needing a quiet time. I am existing on a lot of coffee and sometimes seem to be coping just minute by minute with a lot of help from Paul.
I am remembering how hard parenting is with little sleep (2 year old resisted sleep until 8.45pm last night and woke at 3.45 am and 4.15 am - but mostly it was me not able to get to sleep while I wondered who would get out of bed and end up where)
Also remembering how when you have lots of little children you have to go out no matter what the weather - we had a wet visit to the park in the just about stopped rain - (Paul and I each having one boy on reins and one older boy not listening to directions!) and how strapping four boys into car seats is one way to contain them all for a few minutes.
Amazing how quickly kids without disabilities learn eg. how to get out of harness on highchair and find dangerous things to do eg. walk along inside of upstairs banisters
The boys foster mum (who is about my age) has five foster children aged 6 and under and because of this the fostering agency force her to have respite care - we thought she'd be going away for the w/e but although we have the two boys she is left at home with another two 4 year old boys and a 6 year old girl. I think the boys are used to a very noisy household and for probably the first time ever I'm think we run an ordered calm household!
Still they go at 2pm tomorrow and I am bribing Noah (who is exhausted after camp) that if he behaves (ignores the boys) we will go to the movies tomorrow afternoon.
My two girls have escaped - Hannah is at a beach wedding and Lily is having a two night sleepover at her boyfriend's (more innocent than it sounds!)
I know that all their bravado hides quite confused and scared little boys, but wouldn't it be nice and much easier sometimes to have a child who just showed their fear directly?