Archive for April, 2013

Published by PaintingChef on 22 Apr 2013

It all started with oatmeal…

It was about the time I found myself bent over the sink in the bathroom at work, re-washing part of my hair because the oatmeal I’d just dropped in it was threatening to harden into glue and I’d only made things works and stickier and smear-ier by first trying to address the situation with only a paper towel that I started to wonder if I was really as grown up at 35 as maybe I should be.

Let’s be honest here. I’m trying to be a parent. And not just ANY parent. A foster parent. Which, if I think about and squint a little and turn my head just so, is kind of like a person who thinks they are a SUPER parent. I am decidedly NOT a super parent. Super parents have things like baby wipes. Because baby wipes clean everything. I’ve watched one of my super parent best friends clean up a puddle of bloody mary mix from white carpet using only a baby wipe. And I’m pretty sure she whipped up a batch of cupcakes with her spare hand at the same time because when you are armed with baby wipes, cleaning bloody mary mix out of white carpet is so mundane.

For the record… I was in the corner mainlining vodka and hyperventilating because the white carpet was on my in-laws’ boat.

Super parents have Neosporin for cuts and don’t have to have another adult bandage their knees when they cut themselves shaving or pull out their splinters. And they don’t cry when someone pours hydrogen peroxide on their boo-boos. Or… you know… call them boo-boos when there isn’t anyone under the age of 5 present.

Super parents have things like clean laundry. I am currently wearing the dress that was on the top of the pile of clothes I keep thrown over the footboard of my bead, a location Patrick has not-so-fondly dubbed my “satellite closet” because I overslept and only barely managed to remember to brush my teeth this morning. Said dress is also sporting a new oatmeal stain although I’m pretty sure my hair keeps it hidden.

Except that I’m not grown up enough to fix my hair that I refuse to cut into a more responsible length so it will undoubtedly end up piled on top of my head within the next hour. (UPDATE… yes. By the time I hit “publish”, my hair was, indeed, all up on top of my head.) Because I also noticed that I’m overdue for a haircut and the ends are looking a wee bit mangled. I briefly considered cutting the oatmeal out of my hair this morning for no other reason than maybe it would be the kick in the ass I needed to get said haircut.

Super parents deal with their laundry. There are clean clothes in my dryer. They have been there for a week. Sometimes I run the dryer again to try and de-wrinkle them but only so I can get one thing out and wear it. At this point, I’m thinking it would be easier to just wash them all again.

Also? My bra straps are killing me today. Why you may ask? Well. It was gorgeous outside yesterday so after Patrick and dined on our fine gourmet lunch of McDonald’s chicken wraps and sweet tea (at 2:00 in the afternoon because I forgot that lunch was a thing and was just so full from the doughnuts we’d had for breakfast) I pulled on my favorite strapless lounging dress (from my satellite closet) and plopped my happy ass down on the deck yesterday and sat outside in the glorious sunshine and read a book. For three hours. With no sunscreen. And I now have what I’m certain can only be referred to as the “Irresponsible person in a strapless dress with a kindle” tan. Notice the lack of “super parent” in that description.

My dinner beverage of choice is ginger ale and orange juice and I have actually turned down a glass of wine in favor of this.

I still get chin zits.

I ran my freshly charged cell phone battery all the way down Saturday morning playing Candy Crush while lying in bed and watching 90210.

I passed over the lovely and adult Nars lipstick for something with Hello Kitty on the tube this morning. But not until I got to work because I’m incapable of getting up in time to put on makeup at home.

On Friday morning, it was pouring the rain and when I took Archie outside before work, he peed on the front porch instead of getting his feet wet. I praised his ingenuity.

Oh sure, I’ll tell you we’re having fish tacos for dinner but in all honesty, they are beer batter fish sticks wrapped in a tortilla with maybe some cheese and sour cream. IF I remember to get tortillas. And there is a 40% chance that we will have macaroni and cheese with them. (actually… maybe this one makes me MORE prepared for parenthood…)

I can’t be trusted to make the adult decision on a regular basis. I will tell you this though… I married a man who both embraces that and trumps me when need be. I’m not sure I’m ready to be a mom, I’m not sure I’ll ever really be the adult. If I know it’s going to work in my favor, I have no qualms pulling out the pout or the mope.

It’s high time someone sat me down and said QUIT THAT SHIT. Because I’m CAPABLE of being the adult. I think this might be the worst part. I know the right things to do. I know what choices I should be making… it’s just that sometimes? I’d rather go get frozen yogurt at 10 pm in my pajamas.

The good news is that I married a guy who does floors, is well practiced at putting on band-aids and knows the right time to look at me and say… “Hey… maybe you want to put on pants before we leave the house?”

Published by PaintingChef on 01 Apr 2013

Other things 25% complete include my bookshelf reorganization and my viewing of the first episode of Downton Abbey on Netflix.

Two classes down. That’s 25% of the way through if you do those sorts of math things. Which I don’t. But I married an engineer so everything is math-y. Awesome.

I have some Thoughts so far. (And I’m trying so hard to keep some sort of journal about this process. I think it’s going to move so quickly that I’m afraid of forgetting something.)

First and foremost. I know we’ve all got emotional whiplash from my ever changing opinions on motherhood and parenting and being a parent and HOLY CAT CRAP LADY people have the babies every single day so just shut the hell up and move on. But… I kind of feel like I can exhale and just say “Yes. This. THIS is the way this is all supposed to happen for me. It makes sense.” Try as hard as I might have in the past, I just couldn’t really put my finger on why none of it seemed right until now. The fertility treatments (which… holy credit card bills and savings-drain batman… I sure as hell could have put THAT money to better use), the adoption chatter, the embryo adoption project… none of it felt right. I wasn’t behind it 100% and maybe I ended up sabotaging the effectiveness, I have no idea. But the contentment and the confidence I feel for fostering, I can’t explain it. Other to just say… Yes. This.

This past week we really learned exactly how the juvenile justice system and DCS (Department of Children’s Services… I actually have FOUR PAGES of acronyms to learn. For my next trick, I shall run NASA.) work together and what the process of placing children in foster care entails. The ultimate goal is reunification of families. I feel like I’ve come to a place where I can spit that out before anything else. And I get it, I really do. Everyone involved (a team that will include me and Patrick) wants the birth parents to address and remedy the situations that resulted in their children being removed from the home. But that is a process that involves a court approved “Permanency Plan” with a great deal of oversight by both social workers and the court.

But I think what surprised me the most about it is just how much contact there can, and SHOULD, be between birth parents and foster parents. I understand the reasoning behind and I get that staying in contact with the children is a good motivator for birth parents to keep on track and address their issues. I can’t lie though… it still scares me a little. For me it is a fear of safety. Do I want the person whose child is living with me to know where I live? Probably not. This is not a person who is going to be the president of my fan club. And I kind of live out where “nobody can hear you scream.”

I feel like an ass jumping to the worst possible conclusion but let’s be honest… we all do it, right? I mean, I’m certain that all this supervised visitation isn’t going to be happening in my living room or anything but is it really that difficult to have a friend follow someone home?

Ugh… do I just read too many books and watch too many Lifetime movies? Let’s say yes. And then just remember to be extra careful… right?

The main thing is this though… so far, so good. I’m still excited and encouraged and confident that this is our path.

When we first started our classes, I mentioned it on Facebook and Patrick got kind of upset with me about it. He had been under the impression that we were going to quietly do this but I have never done anything quietly. Then the most wonderful thing started happening. I started getting emails and texts and Facebook messages from people who were involved in the foster care system in one way or another and it was so wonderful. Hearing from people who had been there or who worked with foster children or foster parents in some capacity was so encouraging.

So I showed Patrick these emails and messages and was like… LOOK. THIS is why I don’t do things quietly. You may not need this sweetie, but I do. I had no idea that we knew so many people with so much knowledge about something that we are just learning. This is huge and helpful and we need to not ignore this.

And he got it. Or he just smiled and patted me sweetly on the head while seeking treatment for sprained eyeballs. I guess I’ll never know…