Nanny Won’t Mind

I got awoken this morning, not by the usual weekend shouts of two children who cannot possibly play quietly in a bedroom alone together. Nor did I get awoken by the semi-usual shouts of my mother as she calls for her foster children to get upstairs to get washed and dressed.

No this morning I got awoken by my husband informing me that the foster kiddies had trashed their bedroom.

So up I got to inspect the damage.

Yesterday, the three of us adults in the house (my mum, my husband and me) had rearranged their bedroom to give them more room to play and potentially keep all of their toys out of my mum’s living room. Not that they’re ever really here to play with their toys as they spend 5 out of every 7 days with Dog’s grandparents.

All they really do at our house is wake up (optional trashing of the bedroom), have breakfast, get washed and dressed and then over 8 hours later of playing and getting treated, they get dropped off, attempt to calm down, have a bath and then go to bed.

Not that trying to get Cat to go to bed is anything easy. Either Cat corrupts Dog, coercing the sibling into playing, or Cat just refuses and sits on the hall landing until finally someone carries them to bed.

After carefully planning their bedroom for a bit of nicer Feng Shui and with the vain attempt that by playing in their bedroom on a morning, they might not wake my mother up at 6am, we put them to bed in it last night without the usual problems from Cat.

That should have been the first warning sign.

Fair play to them, the toys leading to quieter play had kind of worked. Until they decided to fill their toy cups etc with water from the bathroom and near flooded their room. There were toys strewn across the room, the rug was soaked, the hand towel in the bathroom was soaked and the newly moved furniture had moved. And we’re talking chest of drawers here!

At least they had been playing quietly though.

Except one of them (we’re leaning towards Cat) had knocked/grabbed/I-don’t-know-what one of the many photo frames adorning the walls. These frames are simple clip frames (about 6 in total) and all filled with photos of my mum’s previous foster children. These frames have all been up for the past year and a half that the kids have been living with us with no problem whatsoever.

What my mum had initially seen was simply that the frame was missing from the wall and the photos strewn across the room. What I then quickly discovered that the entire sheet of glass from the frame was shattered into many sharp little pieces. Thankfully this was behind the chest of drawers.

Oh, wait, it was that chest of drawers that the children had attempted and succeeded in moving slightly.

It was a potential disaster waiting to happen.

In all of the years that mum’s been fostering, never has she seen this sort of destruction. In the 18 months these two have been living with us, we’ve seen them destroy almost every single toy they’ve ever been given, but we’ve never seen this. We’ve seen them climb across everything to get to toys, or just because the sofa’s bouncy and “fun”.

It’s the confusion of visiting grandparents who don’t know them well enough at all for entire days, but who don’t act like the parental units they’re hoping to become. In the end it’ll bite them in the bum when they fail to control Cat and Dog if they get granted Special Guardianship. It’ll bite them in the bum when, in ten years, they have two unruly teenagers on their hands.

It’s difficult to not get angry and frustrated with these kids, but it isn’t their fault. They have no idea whatsoever what’s going on. But I can tell you one thing that’s for sure, it’d be easier if the Grandparents stopped acting like grandparents 5 days a week. Children need rules, restrictions, routine.

How do I know that the Grandparents aren’t instilling these three Rs into them? Because when being told off about the state of the bedroom one of the children responded with “Nanny won’t mind”.

What hurts most, other than the ruined photos of children we tried to help over the years, was that it was Dog that said it.

~ Persephone M

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