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Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

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Wednesday’s Blog

After a few days break we are heading back up the motorway to meet Louise and Alice.  Alice has been with Louise for the last few days and now she will join us for the last half of our holiday in Devon.  We opt to meet about half way in a small village by the sea.  We can have a pitstop – stretch our legs, walk along the promenade, go to a cafe for tea and cake, and do Alice’s catheter before heading back down the motorway to our holiday home in Devon.

Alice seemed really pleased to see us. She had a brilliant few days with Louise and couldn’t wait to tell us all about it.  What is great for her is that respite gives her some quality one to one time, which she can’t get in normal family life.  The flip side of this is that she can often return from respite expecting everything her own way.  Fortunately for us, Louise has the same rules as we do in our family so it really is home from home.  However we can’t give her the one to one she gets at respite and it can take her a few days to realise she can’t have our undivided attention!

Once we get back to the holiday home, we notice how demanding Alice is.  It’s almost like she is looking for an argument with Annie and Lauren.  We can see them trying to hold their tongues but it is not easy.  Sometimes the strategies for keeping calm are forgotten.  I think it is going to be a tricky transition this time as she settles back into family life.  I wonder whether it was such a good idea to do a half respite – half holiday – we will review this decision at the end of the week!

At bedtime Alice was unsettled, first she didn’t want to go to bed, then she didn’t want the light turning off, then she wanted the door open.  It seemed like a never ending stream of demands.  I took a deep breath and reminded her of how we do things at home.  I turned off the light and shut the door.  After five minutes she had fallen fast asleep!  I too was ready for bed, but this would have to wait, we had a movie to watch with the girls first!

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