Friday, January 20, 2006

Hidden meanings in a foster child's language

I have biological children who are sometimes mysterious to me -- but not in quite the same way as my foster kids.

Sometimes Evan says something and I genuinely have no idea what he is talking about. More often it takes me a while to understand why he is saying what he says.

He has a hard time hearing "yes". We have had absurd conversations like the following:

Evan: Can you drive me to the movies this evening?

Me: Sure.

Evan: I mean -- I'm willing to pay for the gas and it won't be a late movie.

Me: That's okay. I can spring for the gas to drive 4 miles.

Evan: It's just that I really want to see M. We haven't been able to get together for a while.

Me: Evan, look at me. I said 'yes'

Evan: I know...It's just...

Me: Evan, say "Thank you" and go call M.

I have a few guesses as to why he does this. I think that people did not keep promises to him. He can't believe that I will do what I say I will. He wants to deal with the excuses I might give him later, make certain I know how important it is so that I will not disappoint him.

He has been here five months and he knows that I keep my promises, but this pattern is difficult to break. I tried several tactics. I tried responding with "Look at me. The answer is, 'Yes. Yes. Yes.'" I tried asking him if I have ever let him down. I finally came up with a strategy that seems to work.

Evan: Finals don't start until 9:30. Can you give me a ride to school tomorrow morning?

Me: yes.

Evan: I mean I could get a ride with (Hubby) like usual, but then I would just have to sit around for almost two hours.

Me: In that case -- no.

Evan: Oh you are soooo funny.

Next Post on Evan

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