Sunday, May 04, 2008

Respite is Easy

I mean, you just have to have the right information.

If you are told that a manipulative, sneaky princess is one of the easiest girls you have ever been sent, then you do silly things like trust her to run around the block, or wait outside the big-box store store for you. You attempt to engage her in conversation.

If you are told not to believe anything a girl says, let her out of the house alone, or use the phone, then you settle down into a quiet weekend of not going anywhere. She is thrilled because at your house she can drink all the milk she wants (woo hoo!) and at your husband humongous comedy DVD collection.

I might have to reconsider letting Rhonda come back sometime. She really isn't any worse then other girls I have had. I just have to get over the fact that I fell for her routine. I really don't know why Mandy claims she is one of the easiest girls, particularly since Mandy agreed that she was a manipulative princess and was not surprised by a single thing I told her. My only theory is that part of the calculation that Mandy uses is how much the girls fight with each other. And that isn't part of the equation here.

Ah...but yes, respite is easy.

Respite is to foster care what babysitting is to parenting, having company for two days is to being married, and buying new shoes is to wearing them all day.

The kids are on their best behavior. It is one of the inverse ratio things. The worse they have been at home, the more interested they are in proving to the world that the problem is not them and therefore the sweeter they are when they are away.

This is one of the dangers of sending your kids who have been making you crazy away. The precious days of quiet are wonderful. Picking up your child who has been slowly chipping away at your sanity only to be told, "He was such a dear! Anytime you want a break feel free to send him over. We just loved him" can make you a little nuts.

But when you are the respite provider, it is lovely. Mandy will show up later and I will say, "Oh, no problem. She ate rice crispies and chocolate milk and laughed over comedy shows all weekend. She can come back any time." Mandy will sigh and take the fight-inciting, shoplifting, lying, sneaking-off-to-have-sex-with-G-d-knows-who girl home.

How much different my life would have been if I had known that when we were involved with Ann.

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