Sunday, March 29, 2009

Easiest respite ever

Let's much effort did I put into this respite?

Wednesday night I said, "Hun, didn't they say the boy was coming today? You should make some calls and figure out what is going on." And then Roland made calls to the agency and talked to the social worker and the person who was supposed to do the transporting and then the parents and then came back to the bedroom and said to my semi-conscious self, "He's coming tomorrow at 4:00." So that was easy.

And on Thursday when he came in I pulled myself out of bed and went into the living room and said, "Hi. I just wanted to meet you. I'm pretty sick, so you won't see me much, but don't hesitate to ask the boys if you need anything. We all sort of take care of ourselves around here." And then I stumbled back to the bed and crashed, exhausted. A few hours later I walked out to the living room and told Roland he had to take me to the emergency room. On the way out the back door Roland told the boy, "Andrew is in charge, but we will be checking in." I tried to say something to him, but I was coughing up a lung and I don't remember what it was. Still I tried to look confident and reassuring. I'm pretty sure I failed.

After getting breathing treatments, antibiotics, steroids, xrays and reassurance at the ER, I came home and got back into bed. I didn't sleep and a while later Brian came back to ask if I had given the boy permission to be on my computer. I hadn't so I walked out to the living room for my third interaction and said, "You shouldn't be on my computer without permission." He very quickly jumped up, apologized and trotted downstairs. That is an example of establishing and maintaining clear expectations. So you see, I did act like a real parent while he was here.

And on Friday I'm not sure if I spoke to him at all. Surely I said hello or something in passing? I pretty much spent the whole day in bed reading a mystery series on my Kindle. No, wait, late in the evening I said, "Do you have permission to be on Roland's computer?" He nodded and I said, "good." And that was my positive behavioral reinforcement act of the respite. Not hard at all.

On Saturday I saw him when I went to get a piece of toast. He was putting uncooked ramen noodles into a bowl and pouring boiling water on top of them. I said, "I've never seen anyone make ramen like that." He said, "I usually make it on the stove." To which I replied, "So do we." And then I realized I wasn't really hungry and the kitchen was too full of people anyway, so I turned around and went to bed. This was the moment in which I exercised the principle of allowing young people to work out their own problems. It is very important to allow them to experiment. I often find it difficult to force myself not to take over and show them how to do things my way. This time however it was surprisingly easy. I'm getting really good at this.

Then later I came out to my computer in the living room to try to catch up on reading blogs. The door bell rang. I knew it was his parents picking him up, but I was a fright so I got up and hid in the bedroom.

And then he was gone.

I'm pretty sure he was adequately fed and supervised.

Unless he wasn't.

At least he was still here when he parents came to get him.

Like I said, easiest respite ever.


  1. Great post; I loved it! haha

    Sorry to hear you are still so sick. :(

  2. I am laughing. Well done Yondalla. Hands off parenting skillz!

  3. Glad it was all good respite wise. Are you feeling better?

  4. Lee,

    currently I feel like I have a bad cold...which is better. I have to myself go to work tomorrow though.

  5. I'm glad it was a good respite, sorry you are so sick. Hope you get better soon.

  6. We consider it a success if we return the children with all of their parts still attached and in working order.

    Hope you feel better soon!


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