Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Want" is a strong word.

This weekend I learned something.
I don't want Niblet to come live with us.

Here's what happened.
We went camping this past weekend with a bunch of friends. We asked to take Niblet with us, and her parents were pretty psyched to get a weekend's break. We picked her up on Friday afternoon and drove out there (1 hour away) that evening.

We were going to keep her until Monday afternoon.
Instead, we brought her back Saturday night.

Niblet *loved* the camping. She loved having all our friends around (all of whom she knows very well). She loved running free. She fell asleep really easily in the tent with all 4 of us snuggling together.
She didn't, however, stay asleep. She woke up 5 or 6 times, crying at the top of her lungs. She wouldn't calm down for anything. Each time she eventually just stopped and fell back asleep. One time she had made a huge poop that leaked, and then after she was changed she stayed up for almost 2 hours.

The next day we were all exhausted. I took a 2 hour nap with her mid-day, but it was so hot in the tent I thought we'd both get heat stroke!

It's possible that the subsequent nights she would have been more used to the tent and to being with us, but we just couldn't take the risk.
The main problem was that we weren't taking proper care of Squeak because we were both pretty focused on Niblet.
Squeak has a skin problem that needs lotion put on it multiple times a day to keep it at bay. Friday we did it once when we should have done it 3-4 times. Overnight, I didn't change his diaper because I was afraid of waking Niblet - and then he woke up with a diaper rash. It's a bunch of little things, but they added up to the fact that we weren't able to properly be there for him and her at the same time.

Yes, we were both recovering from colds and certainly camping with 2 babies is hard, but really it was easier than if we'd been at home. We had friends around who were very helpful with both kids, and Niblet certainly wasn't bored for a minute.

We realized early on Saturday that, if we wanted to actually enjoy the rest of the weekend and come out of it relaxed, we had to bring Niblet home.

So we called her parents, told a little lie about why we needed to bring her back, and I drove her home. Why did we lie? Because it was easier. If we had better communication with her parents, we'd have admitted to getting in over our heads, but we don't.

I feel guilty. Guilty that we lied. Guilty that we offered her parents a weekend's respite and then rescinded. And guilty that I can't picture a way that we could possibly parent Niblet and Squeak without losing our minds and doing a crap-ass job.

What I want is to parent Squeak to the best of my ability. What I want is to spend my vacations with fostermama and Squeak - my complete family.

I do *wish* that things were different. That I was a parent more capable to take on a toddler and an infant. When they're both older, taking her for longer periods of time will be more possible. But she's where she belongs. Squeak is ours and Niblet is theirs and that's the way it's supposed to be.

Would we still take her if she needed us? Of course. I'm just not hoping for it anymore. And that's a good place to be in.


Innocent Observer said...

Wow. That is a huge and scary realization. Do you feel relief? I imagine that you must. If only that you have no need to keep your license, but hugely because you can stop worrying and wondering "what if" and "when".

I'm actually excited for you. Thanks for sharing.

Lo said...

Yeah......that's good, I think. Hard, but good.

LeftLeaningLady said...

I think it is wonderful that you are so self aware. You obviously have your priorities straight (because we both know you would take her in a heartbeat in an emergency). Squeak is lucky to have such great Moms. And Niblet is lucky to be part of your life and know you are there for her.

yes-theyre-all-mine said...

I would definitely 'try' again when you're in your comfort zone...(ie- home) I think you'd be surprised how much stress you're under trying to 'feel' normal when you're camping. Maybe it was justa bad night for Niblet. You'd find a routine with both babies if you had to. Kudos for trying. What ever happened with the bruises?

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing this - it must take a lot to admit that what you thought you hoped for might not be best for you now that you have squeak. Kudos for writing this difficult post.

FosterMommy said...

In response to some of the above, yes, it is a weird sense of relief. I can stop daydreaming about having Niblet living with us.
We definitely will keep our foster license active (assuming this Joy Fiasco goes away) on the off-chance that Niblet needs us. Just because it would suck, doesn't mean we would turn her away. I'm just not hoping for it anymore.

Niblet's bruises were pretty much gone. there were no new ones. We'll keep checking her out, but aren't going to do/say anything unless new ones pop up. Even then, we'll just take pictures and maybe ask her parents about them, but nothing big.

Beth said...

I think two under two is just extremely challenging, no matter how you slice it! And a busy, attention seeking toddler has the skills to get your attention and get her needs met in a way a baby doesn't. Your post hits close to home because life with two little ones has been really tough for us.

Robin said...

I know exactly what you mean and I found it liberating when I recognized it. Good luck with everything, I am here to support you both. I wish I could do more....

Mayhem said...

Seems like such a mix of gladness and sadness... I can see how it would feel like a big relief to not have to stress about it any more. Clearly you know what's best for your family and for Niblet.

Tricia said...

I can tell you with confidence that having more than one wee one is Difficult (with a capital D) BUT you do get used to it and adjust. Also, and I can't remember Niblet's history here, but anything out of the ordinary is SOOO hard for some of these little guys. Not that you were asking...