Saturday, April 14, 2012

The first week with C-son

This past week has been a swirl of activity.  Many new parents expect a certain lack of sleep, but with a new 15-year-old, most of the disorienting activity happens during the day time.

So let me just say up-front that much of my impression of this past week is of bureaucracy:
  • The most pleasant of the week's paper-work and form-filling included two different one-hour visits from our various social workers.  Our social workers are both people I like, and they're doing their best to make the transition easier.  
  • There has also been an hour of mine spent in the school offices, trying to enroll C-son for high school, an hour that culminated in a "don't call us; we'll call you" decision.  My husband went for the second hour-long appointment with the schools, resulting in a decision to start him in high school this coming Monday.
  • In addition to social workers and school offices, I've had 5 different unsuccessful trips to the pharmacy, not to mention 3 or 4 different somewhat desperate calls to social workers, trying to convince doctors/insurance companies/druggists that yes, he IS out of medication now, even if his last foster mom filled the prescription last week, and he DOES need more SOON.  As in, NOW.
  • And, of course (?), there are trips to notaries, signing papers.  I figure we spent two hours yesterday on this. 
  • For the two younger, well-established boys, there were several medical visits.  Orthodonist: one hour.  Heart specialist: two hours.  The summary is, braces are coming, and the heart is fine (which I already knew). 
  • The doctor's visits for C-son happen next week, but they're coming.  Psychologist, medical doctor, dentist . . . he's going to need an oral surgeon to remove wisdom teeth, and maybe an orthodontist to straighten out the rest.

The reason that the bureaucracy can fill my mind is because C-son himself is a doll.  A sweetie.  Try to imagine a 15-year-old boy who laughs out loud with utter delight when I read the exploits of Tigger and Roo climbing a tree -- that gives you some idea of what a gentle soul he is.  Parenting him is NOT taking extraordinary amounts of energy or patience.

[Note:  I am not so optimistic that I believe this is the permanent state of affairs.  I've done this often enough to know that there's a honeymoon period with new kids.  Still, this week, he's been a honey.]

C-son has been acquiring many of the requisite objects for belonging to our miserly family.  He has his own napkin ring.  He got his first Mommy Dollars, and he has added to his mommy-stash because his chore (sweeping the hall) nets him $5 a day. He has contemplated opening an account at BoMama (Bank of Mama), not-quite-yet filling out the laborious form [name and address] with help from his younger brothers.

He's also learned to play "I like", one of our family games.  The rules are simple, and you can probably pick them up probably as quickly as C-son did.

Me:  I like . . . having the sun on my face.
J-son:  I like . . . playing soccer.
C-son: I like . . . living at this house.
N-son: I like . . . playing basketball.
Me:  I like . . . eating waffles.
J-son:  I like . . .  showing off.
C-son:  I like having brothers.

There are no winners in the game, just a lot of almost-goofy affirmations. If you play a few rounds, you'll discover how hard it is to remember the many things that make you happy.  [Try it, and you'll see what I mean. It's a lot easier to remember the gosh-darned frustrating parts of life, like enrollment offices that haven't actually enrolled a student.]  C-son, unique among my kids, never hesitates.  He's ready to describe all the things about his new home and his new family that he loves.

All considered, could be worse.

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