So, the boys have had a great weekend. It seemed to. Friday evening we took them both two the pawn shop to look at musical instruments. We got Brian an electric bass. Gary looked at guitars. The made friendly comments to each other about instruments. Saturday Roland took Gary into The City where he picked out an acoustic guitar. It is sold as a student guitar, but seems to be a good student guitar. Later in the day Gary asked Brian to show him how to play some cords. They talked instruments. Today they went to the gaming store and combined their money to buy a new controller for one of the gaming systems. They have spent most of the day playing. I don't normally like for them to spend so much time gaming, but they are getting along.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I had a nice phone call with my sister. She was more relaxed than she has been in months. She took my niece to college and had a stretch of time by herself in the hotel room. She was in heaven.
"What does that mean?"
Posted by Yondalla at 12:21 PM
Posted by Yondalla at 10:26 AM
Friday, August 28, 2009
First, thanks everyone for all the comments on the previous post. Perhaps I should make a point of pleading for comments more. It really was all very interesting and helpful. I also talked with Roland about it all. Together we realized that degree to which Brian is upset has a whole lot to do with going back to school and being sleep deprived. He's been sleeping until noon and suddenly he has to get up at six. I've tried in years past to get him to re-set the week before school, but it doesn't work and I've stopped trying. In addition to all that, he also forgot to take his medication a couple of times and that alone can cause for an emotional dive. So that is part of the reason why he was so upset, although it doesn't change the basic of the situation.
Posted by Yondalla at 12:55 AM
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Posted by Yondalla at 7:57 AM
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This judge you may recall has the more relaxed courtroom procedures ever. This is what happened.
Posted by Yondalla at 4:55 PM
So, last night the dog was in the back yard, barking himself silly. It was 12:30am. I got up, called him in, went back to bed, and realized I was now wide awake.
Posted by Yondalla at 10:24 AM
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
One of my colleagues, a favorite one in fact, announced a little while ago that this will almost certainly be his last year teaching. I'm feeling deeply bummed. We are going through a major curriculum change and we all know there is no way to predict exactly what will happen. We don't know where the greatest needs are going to be. That means that he is unlikely to get replaced.
Posted by Yondalla at 2:50 PM
Friday, August 21, 2009
Both FosterIma and zunzun left comments in response to Gary saying that he was going to "suck the agency dry."
The not-serious side is what Gary meant by "suck dry." Gary asks for less than any of the other kids. Even when he knows the agency will pay for something he doesn't always accept. The most recent example is the guitar. He's decided that he doesn't have time to make playing the guitar a hobby (read: classical guitar is more difficult and less fun than he expected and he doesn't want to practice). Some of the kids would perhaps not be so honest with themselves about practicing and they would take the guitar. Gary has no intention of seeing how much he can get. He was thinking about minimizing the expenses to us. He's much more relaxed than he used to be. He no longer orders the least expensive thing on the menu if we eat out or deny that he needs school supplies that he needs. Even so, he would be more comfortable if the agency was paying for his school uniforms and maybe even driver's education. (An update before I even publish: Gary just came home and said there is no way he is going to pass classical guitar unless he can practice at home. I just emailed asking if there were funds available. So please pretend I found a different example.)
Posted by Yondalla at 2:19 PM
So... I finally just asked Gary what he wanted with respect to our family. Whenever the question of our adopting him came up in the discussion with the social worker he smiled, but he didn't say anything. Later we assured him that it was his choice, and told him that it had always been our intention to offer to adopt all the boys as adults. We would be willing to adopt him now or later or not at all if that is what he wanted. He smiled.
- The boys will be allowed to decide whether to change their names and if so what to.
- Andrew and Brian are happy about the whole idea and regard the whole "it means that you will get less stuff when we die" as irrelevant. Possibly they understand how little stuff there is likely to be.
- We have not talked to our extended family and though no one will be critical, I don't know if they will consider themselves genuinely related to the boys, though I know they would feel related to someone we adopted as a child.
Posted by Yondalla at 11:58 AM
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) called today to talk to Gary. She waited for an hour when a teen might just possibly be out of bed in the summer. She was surprised to learn that he was already in school. I asked her if she had talked to anyone else yet. She said, "Oh, well we don't worry much about the kids in [agency], I know he is stable."
Posted by Yondalla at 10:43 AM
Monday, August 17, 2009
Just to get this part out of the way: life is a lot more peaceful with one dog. We had the Cattle Dog alone and now the Shih Tzu alone, and it turns out that A LOT of the barking they do when they were both here was competetive stuff. So now that we are once again at one dog we don't have half the barking, we have like one fourth, or less.
Posted by Yondalla at 10:50 AM
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Posted by Yondalla at 10:36 AM
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Whenever I write about parenting stuff there is always the danger that the posts will give the impression that I think that the current topic is either the only thing that parenting is about or at least the most important thing. That's not true. Parenting is complex. It is a lot of things.
I have some general recommendations: if you are punishing (even if you are calling it "imposing a consequence") give some serious thought to whether there isn't a better way. I would like to suggest that you consider just accepting the behavior as a better way. Artificial consequences sometimes get in the way of kids learning from the natural consequences of their actions. Punishment will often result in kids just being pissed. If their behavior is satisfying a need (a way to deal wtih fear, for instance) then punishment may stop that behavior, but they will just find another way to address that need. Really, just stop punishing.
Posted by Yondalla at 8:51 AM
So with Carl I learned that I could not make him tell me the truth. Ann (and you can read Ann's Story in its entirety if you haven't yet) I learned that I couldn't make her do school work, among other things. By the time David moved in I had FINALLY come to the conclusion that there were certain things I could not change. I didn't think very clearly about it though.
Posted by Yondalla at 6:44 AM
Monday, August 10, 2009
The title of this series was about what the blog might have been nine years ago. This post doesn't stick to that theme, but it is closely connected to the past two posts, so I want the "Part 3."
Posted by Yondalla at 1:39 PM
Okay, so that last post was actually prompted by thinking what this blog would have been like if it existed during those years. At one point I had a collection of emails I had written to a friend and the social worker (like the ones I had with Ann). There were lost in a tragic hard-drive failure.
- wondered if this was just something I couldn't fix. Writing about how I had said during one of the pre-placement sessions that the one thing I could not accept was dishonesty. I had no idea how to have a relationship with someone who was dishonest.
- mourned that I guess I didn't have a real relationship with him and maybe never would, posts in which I considered what his future was going to be like.
- told a story about how he had got caught in a lie to a friend and how I hoped that would mean more to him, would have an effect on him.
- marveled at how angry he was that someone had lied to him, how bizarre I thought that was.
- wrote about how depressed I was that I clearly was a total failure as a parent to him.
- expressed my sadness when he decided not to go on the field trip for which he needed $40 when I told him that I would make out a check to the school as soon as he brought me the field trip permission form.
- talked about my odd feeling of pride that I had checked with someone else and got the truth before being convinced to do something.
- wrote about my sense of feeling distanced from him as I sat and listened to a story and wondered if anything in it was true.
- wrote about how necessary to his survival lying must have been.
- guiltily confessed that life was easier, for me, now that I wasn't even trying anymore.
Posted by Yondalla at 12:08 PM
emailing (or tweeting? or was it comments on the blog) communicating with Thorn a while back. I mentioned that the blog is what it is partly because I started just before I learned that Evan was addicted to codeine. That sent me to Alanon and I started thinking long and hard about boundaries. Successfully parenting Evan turned out to hinge on my being able to deal with my past trauma. I had to figure out how to be a different sort of parent.
Posted by Yondalla at 10:35 AM
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Though I have been thinking a lot about adoption, that really isn't Gary's issue. Gary is trying to decide how to respond to what his dad said about parental rights.
Posted by Yondalla at 6:57 AM