It seems we are currently encompassed in a cloud of sickness. LPD hasn’t been well for a long time now (he’s on his second course of antibiotics, a course of steroids and an inhaler), I’ve been bunged up with a cold (which we all know feels a million times worse when you’re pregnant) and my Dad has been struck down with the lurgy as well. He had a bit of a scare last week and ended up being admitted to hospital for the afternoon and it’s taking a while for him to recover at home, meaning my Mum is running around like a mad thing trying to juggle her own full time job as well as his – the main foster carer.
As I mentioned in I’m a Big Foster Sister, my parents are foster carers and it’s my Dad who is usually the full-time stay-at-home foster parent. It’s been a busy week for my Mum who’s had to juggle her own full time job as well as contending with the school run, getting the boys to ‘contact’ with their parents, attend social worker meetings, and taking the boys to the various health appointments they currently need. I thought she could definitely do with a break, so offered to have the boys Saturday afternoon so she could have a bit of peace and quiet (although, knowing my Mum, she wouldn’t have spent the time with her feet up drinking a cuppa, like I’d have done, but would have instead rushed round the house like a mad thing catching up on house work).
I thought looking after C and K (aged 7 and 9) would give us some good practice for the future but when it came down to it – I was completely stuck for ideas. I considered doing some Valentine’s related crafts, some baking or walking down to the park by the lake but sadly, I just couldn’t get excited about anything. I’ll blame it on feeling under the weather myself but I did panic that when faced with a whole lifetime of weekend activities to organise for my own children – will I still find it this difficult? Will I always feel the need to do something to keep them entertained?
It turned out that we had quite a difficult night beforehand. Mouse, our lovely cat, needed emergency vet care so we spent most of the night at a veterinary hospital worried sick. We were still worried about him whilst the boys were here, and trying to keep things as calm and normal to help him settle as well as keeping a close eye on his behaviour. After K accidentally stepped on the cat’s tail, I made the quick decision that it would be best for Mouse if I took the lads out of the house and tasked them with an adventure mission.
Since LPD and I moved to our new home, we haven’t been able to figure out how best to walk to the corner shop – and it seemed like a good task to put to the boys! They’re a lot more familiar with this local area than I am as they lived with their parents around here so it was actually very easy for them! I think they quite enjoyed ‘teaching’ me about the best ways and shortcuts, and pointing out all the best play areas each with their own nicknames like The Rocket Park or The Mud Pit.
After successfully locating the corner shop – hurrah – I bought a bottle of milk and spent a rainy half hour in the park watching the boys on the swings before we returned home for a quick hot chocolate and marshmallows before they got picked up.
I don’t think it was my finest afternoon. I’m pretty sure the lads weren’t particularly excited or wonderfully entertained. It certainly wasn’t filled with stimulating conversation, they didn’t learn anything new and it was a pretty un-memorable occasion. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t particular enjoy myself and I was quite relieved when they went home. And I’ve been beating myself up feeling guilty about that ever since.
Hopefully the rubbish afternoon said more about me being tired and stressed about the cat than revealing what kind of parent I’ll become. Although, will there ever be a time I’m not tired and stressed as a parent? Need more practice I think…