Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blondie and Brownie

More sisters are here! Poor Noah hasn't seen another boy in this house since January. He's such a good sport about it. These girls (Blondie and Brownie) will be here for ten days while their foster family is traveling out of state. It's a different world, welcoming slightly older kids (8 and 10) into our family. In a lot of ways, they are SO much easier. No one is hanging on my legs, begging to be picked up. No one needs help bathing. No one needs to be rocked to sleep. On the other hand, they talk more, share more with our own kids, and struggle with deeper emotions than the little ones have. There hasn't been anything truly concerning shared, but a more mature listener recognizes the clues to their story.

Blondie and Brownie are also tragically funny. 

One of the last things their foster mom warned me about was the tendency for Blondie to make up stories. She said, "Only believe about 10% of what you hear." I wasn't quite prepared for the vastness of Blondie's stories. In the first ten minutes, I "learned" that she played the violin, guitar, and drums. She told me that she had a doll sent straight from England where the princess lives. She listed about twelve pets that she had at home as well as 18 siblings. She said was allergic to milk just like her mom. This was all literally in the first ten minutes. Who was I to decide that her tales weren't true?

A couple hours after they arrived, they mentioned that the little sister had a birthday coming up. I asked how soon, and they replied June 20th, which would fall during their stay with us. I certainly don't like to distrust kids, but I was pretty sure their foster mom would have mentioned a birthday. Sure enough, she confirmed the fib, and we both had a little chuckle over the girls' clever scheme. The next time they mentioned the birthday, I asked if it was perhaps on a different date or if someone had written it down wrong at CD. It took about a half a second for Brownie to waiver. Blondie, however, didn't miss a beat.

I'm really not sure how to respond to the exaggerations. So far, I've taken them seriously and occasionally, in a very excited way, asked Blondie to put her money where her mouth is. For instance last night, we got the violin and let her show us her mad skills. She sure did her best, and no one called her out for being clueless. I stepped in and showed her how to hold the bow and rest her chin on the violin. I was prepared for her to shrug me off and claim that she already knew, but instead she gobbled up every last bit of my attention.

Brownie brought a book along that she is to read each night. We sat down to read it together and I discovered that she is very behind in reading. She's going into third grade, but I'd guess she reads at the same level as Miriam who just finished kindergarten. I'm SO looking forward to finding more enjoyable reading for her. Reading science books about coral repeatedly doesn't seem to be sparking her interest.

The difficulty and blessing of having our bio children along for our foster care ride is that the kids play together a TON... which makes it difficult to connect to the kids on a meaningful level. I'm going to make a point to have some one-on-one time with each of them every day- even if it's just for five minutes while we do the dishes.

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