Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sometimes This Foster Mama Needs An Attitude Adjustment

Email from our social worker:

RCCL asked for your paperwork so they can do an inspection.  Didn't say when.  Let me know if someone contacts you.

They will check the kids' rooms, fire extinguisher, guns stored locked unloaded and ammo locked separate, medications locked.  Medication logs filled out, etc. Please look over the attached checklist to prepare you for the inspection and you will do fine. 

RCCL = Residential Childcare Licensing.  They don't really care what kids are in our care or what's going on in their CPS case, they just want to make sure we're following the rules, which are many, and have the appropriate paperwork handy to show them, which is much.   After receiving the above email, I suddenly felt terribly disorganized and decided to get some new binders and dividers on the way home from work to finally store all our paperwork and documentation properly, one for each child and one for us.   I cannot tell you the relief I felt once everything was happily hole punched and sorted.

But I discovered something while reviewing RCCL's checklist and sorting through medicine logs specifically that made my heart drop: we have never once recorded a dose of Tylenol on a medicine log for the duration of the five months we've had Brother and Sister.  Not once.  And we were supposed to.  There's even a whole back page on the medicine log form for "PRN and Non-prescription Medicine".

Insert mild panic.

Insert fantasies about RCCL looking through our logs and saying "Where's the Tylenol?? Don't tell me you've have two babies for five months and never given them Tylenol..." while tapping his/her foot in consternation.

Insert confession email to our social worker, which began this exchange:
SW: For kids this age, document everything. Start from now on.
Me:  Can we play dumb, newbie foster parents?
Me:  It's what I's in my BLOOD...
SW:  I appreciate you.

Also, insert...frustration, annoyance and a few less than graceful thoughts like "we gotta log freakin Tylenol?!" and "what's next, documenting when they poop?!"

You see...

Sometimes I just want to parent.  

Sometimes I just want to take Brother for a haircut when he needs one instead of waiting days or longer for his social worker to contact his mom for permission.

Sometimes I just want to give our babies Tylenol without worrying about writing it down and wondering if "Uh...I think her teeth hurt" is an adequate "reason for administering".

Sometimes I just want to take my own medicine without traipsing to the kitchen first to fetch the bathroom medicine cabinet keys.

Sometimes I just want to go on a date with my husband and leave the kids with any ole teenager we trust instead of hoping one of our only two CPS approved babysitters is available.

Sometimes I just want to turn off the part of my brain that must be hyper vigilant about outlet covers, cleaning supplies, paperwork, keys and locks.

Sometimes I just want to let our house be our house without a revolving door of social workers, inspectors, an attorney and, at the beginning of this placement, policemen.


That's not the way this goes.  That's not what we signed up for.  We knew that going in and we know that now.  Being a cranky pants doesn't do any good.


This blog is an outlet for me, a place to inform and a place for keepin' it real, the good, the bad and the ugly, including foster mama temper tantrums.  So, bleh.


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