Before Hope and Wet Clothes

We had a two hour snow delay the other morning and GB came in to cuddle and talk while Hope was still asleep. We talked about adoption, school, and, rather wistfully, about how life was different since Hope came. Later that day, The Dad complained that he needed 3 or 4 uninterrupted hours for paperwork. This morning, MK and I decided to give it a try. We took both girls and my grandson out and spent a day like we would have, before Hope.

We stopped at a pool store. We bought goggles, a swim sweater (for Mali), and 2 ft rings that hang out under water so you can swim through them. Next stop was the local indoor pool. I focused my attention on GB and we enjoyed ourselves. Hope took Mali’s bucket and poured water on my clothes. I briefly interrupted what I was doing, took the bucket and sat Hope down. She had several other chances, but immediately went for the negative attention. MK and I both refused to engage and the other two kids had a great time. 

After swimming, I surprised MK and GB by taking them to a local bakery for lunch. Normally, I consider it and then don’t, because Hope always makes a scene and Friendly*s has a better set up for out of control kids. GB remembers having lunch at this place with my mom and was thrilled to be having lunch there.  We focused on enjoying each others company and ignored Hope’s antics most of the time.  She  ate her shirt, dropped her food on the floor, one piece at a time. When there was no more waffle left, Hope asked me to get her more to eat. I briefly told her “No, if you were hungry the food wouldn’t have ended up on the floor”.

We had dessert because that is the best part of eating in a bakery. Hope and GB both picked Big Bird cupcakes. GB enjoyed  every bit of her dessert. Hope played with hers and soon had yellow frosting up her nose, all over her face, and down her shirt. I ignored her until we were ready to go, then cleaned her as best I could with baby wipes.

We stopped at the food store before we went home. I held Hope’s hand and kept it under 14 items because I was starting to struggle with my *no response* to Hope’s poking.

When we got home, GB was happy and cuddly, and enjoyed telling The Dad all about it. The Dad took Hope upstairs to help her put away her laundry. That lasted less then 10 minutes and Hope was sitting again.

It was tiring, but the feeling of having a great day together, in spite of Hope’s sabotage, was worth it. Even if it  meant going to lunch in wet clothes.

God Came Swimming

Hope and GB at the indoor pool

The Dad’s attempt at letting yesterday be a new day for Hope didn’t work.  She made it through dance, but didn’t last the party. Fortunately, it was only twenty feet to get out of the building. The Dad has had high hopes for the progress he has seen (and hadn’t physically seen a meltdown, since he is usually not here for them) and was very disillusioned about Hope’s rage. MK took him to the movies last night, but it didn’t help.

We woke up this morning and I couldn’t stand dealing with the behavior and attitudes that would have to be dealt with at church. Everybody needed something different. So we all went swimming. When Hope asked why we weren’t going to church, I told her we were bringing God swimming with us. The kids burnt off some energy, the adults relaxed a bit.

All swum out

We have Hope’s first CSE of the year tomorrow and do not see the shrink for another three weeks. I hadn’t thought the rages were gone, so I don’t have as much to rethink. I decided some time ago that I would not be taking Hope out in public by myself and that is still true. The Dad has to figure out for himself what he thinks they can handle.