Today we ventured out to the zoo. The weather was beautiful. We went with another foster and adoptive family. Between us, we had three adults and sixteen children ages 1 to 13. Yes, it was quite a crew! We had fun, despite no naps and a late lunch. After the zoo, we all invaded a buffet restaurant.
This weekend I'm providing respite for a three year old girl. She is pretty easy, except she doesn't like to eat or drink anything that is not junk food. Although bedtime has brought a few tears, she has done very well so far.
Last night I went to pick up Sweets and Lil Sis, who was going to visit her maternal aunt and uncle. What normally takes two hours took over three, as they were not home when I got there, despite me having called when we were twenty minutes out. At the time of the call, I found out later they were on their way to dad's friend's house, about five miles in my direction. So, I backtracked five miles only to discover after picking up the girls that their bags were at dad's - five miles back the other way! Argh!
In addition to the driving fiasco, Sweets has had another puppy, courtesy of dad, for about three weeks. She already decided to stay home two weekends ago, because she was afraid that the dog would be gone when she got back. Last weekend, a friend watched it. This weekend she wasn't going to come, because she couldn't find anyone to watch the puppy and dad "doesn't want it anymore." At 3:15pm on Friday, she called and asked me to pick her up because she had found someone to watch the dog.
I had a difficult discussion with her. We talked about all the other times dogs have been an issue at her dad's house. It seems like about every six months to a year the story replays itself:
Last summer, dad offered her a dog on the condition she couldn't leave to go to my house.
A year ago, dad got Sweets a dog but told her she had to take it to my house or stay home.
Two years ago, Sweets smuggled a dog to my house and we ended up finding it a new home.
There have also been two other dogs over the years that just "ran away" while she was gone.
I reminded Sweets that spring break is coming up and asked her about finding someone to watch the dog for two plus weeks. I know she won't want to miss some of the opportunities planned, but I also know that she and her sister like playing with the dog for the two hours after school before their dad gets home when there is nothing else to do.
Lil Sis is here tonight too, since the aunt and uncle had another engagement, and another relative was unable to care for her as planned. Amazingly, bedtime wasn't too bad! Now it's my turn!