Hard Knock Bath

Bath day is always exciting.

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If the babies were mine, I would wash them together, since they are both girls and so tiny, and let them play together. But because they are foster kids, we cannot. So even though we have two boys and two girls and two babies, that is six separate baths, start to finish.

Something exciting always happens in between.

I start with Six, so her hair can dry while I bathe the others. Then I can oil it and get it braided last thing, which always takes half an hour at least just for a simple braid. Two or more take an hour at least.

Mom! I fell on my nose!

Sister is next, so that her hair can be dry enough for me to brush before it is time to go. She is fast, and more independent, and her turn always goes quickly as she can dress herself completely.

Mom! I ran into my face!

Five, who is now six, is the first boy to go because he can dress himself (finally) but is very, very slow. He is a happy fellow, and can complete the task of getting himself dressed – but without prompting, which I am not available to do on bath day, it takes him a good forty-five minutes. He is finally doing his own shirt buttons, though, so I am super proud of him for that. His Occupational Therapist had been working hard on that with him, and we think that may be an area he has some damage from his early brain injuries!

Mom! The baby ate a tissue!

Three goes next because he is the slowest eater of the other kids, and that way the boys can get dressed in peace while the girls are busy being prissy at the other end of the house. He is the fastest self-dresser, and usually dressed dressed before I can even catch the toddler to get her in the bath for her turn.

Mom! She colored on the dresser!

Toddler goes next, and she is learning to wash herself. She can finally hold her head back so she doesn’t get soap in her eyes, and she can wash her yummy and legs and arms. I am so proud! She loves the bath, and would stay and play as long as I let her.

Mom! He swallowed toenails!

The baby is not thrilled with bath time, but the more she becomes human, the more she starts to like it. Today she splashed for the first time, and laughed for the first time. I am so glad! The emotional torture of parenting wears me out, with all this I-am-sorry-you-are-miserable-but-I-am-required-to-do-this-with-you.

Mom! I picked blood out of my nose!

Those are actual quotes from things I heard from the kids this morning, as I worked my way through bath time.

Nathan is awake now, and trying to make it to church even though he is sick.

Three and Sister have short-timer’s, realizing they are leaving so they don’t have to follow the rules if they don’t want to follow them.

Sister even told me this morning:

I love you guys, but I need a break from this place and can’t wait until I am gone from here tomorrow.

The feeling is mutual, girlfriend.

In the meantime, Six has finally realized we both have bionic ears and that makes us cool.

She also realized she has hair like the new Annie, and so said to me this morning, “we need to tell my other mom I am not white.”

I nearly spit out my orange juice.

It’s true, though, and good for her.

They are loving the new Annie, though we still watch the old one since the new one isn’t out yet. They struggle with the “maybe” song. We think of it as the happy family dream, and so associate it with adoption even though we know it is a birth parent song. To them, it will always be a birth parent song, and they will always be wondering, and they will always be wishing those birth parents were happy and healthy and together. It just is, and for them, those are big feelings. So they usually ask to skip that song.

They really like the “hard knock life” song, though, and they are young enough to think it’s cool to have a song about foster care. They also like role playing the song, and so temporarily have renewed enthusiasm for cleaning up the house, which I am okay with. Toddler got a broom from Nathan’s parents for her birthday, and Six asked for a housekeeping cart for Christmas, so they use those to clean up and put on little dances while singing the song. They are so funny!

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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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