Fostering Fun! Sleepless Sunday’s

I decided the other day that on a Sunday, I would try and do a round-up of the week and I might still later on, it depends on how tired I feel. You see, it’s just gone 0915 and I’m up watching Rupert the Bear!

It was one of the foster children at approximately 0721 who was standing at my bedroom door calling for me, telling me that they couldn’t find my mum. I sorted him and went back to bed. Except after half an hour of hearing my husband sleeping (isn’t it annoying when someone else is asleep and you can’t drop off?), I chose to get up. Potentially rather stupidly, I retrieved both foster children who were, by that point, in bed with my mother and trying to talk to her.

The only real help that my mum gets with the two foster children (both are under 5) is from my husband and I. We try to help because my mum’s being run ragged with barely any support from the social workers who are either her advocates, or the children’s. But then the smallest little action from either of us with regards to the children creates a new routine for them straight away.

Back in December, my mum got really ill and social services, when she was able to get hold of them, offered her no help with regards to transporting the children to school. So on the first day, knowing she wouldn’t get hold of anyone before 8am, I rang my boss and said I needed half a day. My mum tried to object because there is no reason whatsoever that I should be using my time (and my employer’s) to help with these children.

I argued with her that I wasn’t doing it for the children, nor was I doing it because social services weren’t. I was doing it because my mother was ill. I have never seen my mum be as ill as she was. It was kind of scary. So, on the second morning I got the children up earlier to get them ready for school so mum had less to do (because social services were unable to find transport). On the third morning, where mum was back to normal, the children expected me.

Now, they’ve lived with us for over six months, but just two days of me being a bit more active in their routine cemented me in their routine. To the point now that on many occasions, the boy has sought me out in the middle of the night.

He has sleeping issues and randomly wakes up after a few hours and is wide awake. The biggest problem is that he refuses to go back to bed, screaming the place down if he doesn’t get his own way. Be strong and stick to your guns, you say? Yeah, okay, then his older sister gets woken up as they share a bedroom. And even if you get him back in there, I’m still awake.

As is the entire house.

I spent the two or three weeks before Christmas exhausted because at 0430 every morning, he woke me up. The other night it was at 2330. I haven’t been sleeping well and had gone to bed early, actually falling asleep by 2200. Hour and a half later… Bam!… Woken up. It kind of makes me wonder, if I’m this tired and worn out by it, how would I cope if I do ever manage to have a baby?

Possibly the scariest thing I’ve only just learnt about the boy is that he’s happy to wander the house in the dark! It has actually happened once before, when I found him in the downstairs hallway calling out everyone’s name, but it was summer and already kind of light everywhere.

Last night at 2330 he did it, but my husband and I were still up. I was happily typing away writing a story as my husband watched TV when I heard this little voice. Panicking, I jumped up because I thought it was the boy crying from upstairs and that he was going to wake up my mum. But no! He was right outside my living room door. In the pitch black, the foster boy walked all the through the house and down the stairs.

We let him stay up for a bit and then took him to back to his bed. Surprisingly he settled. But then he was still up by half seven. Does this child not need sleep? And how come he copes, when I can’t? But he makes it all better when he randomly kisses me during Rupert.

~ Persephone M

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