Saturday’s Fostering Blog
Today is Alice’s birthday. The day did not start too well. Her bowels have not opened for two days so we have to start the day by giving her an enema. For some reason she objects to this. No matter how much we explain that it is really no different to the suppository that she is given every day, she does not want it and objects profusely. The tears start and we have to walk out of the room. Although we often get drawn in, we have learnt that there is no point trying to explain in greater depth or negotiate with her.
We try to distract her with her birthday gifts. It was pretty unfortunate that the first present she opened was a set of new bath toys. The tears started again. “I won’t be able to have a bath because I’ve had an enema”. She’s right. There is no way she is having a bath until her bowels opened. We have been in the situation before where we thought we’d give her a quick bath before her bowels had opened. We soon regretted that when she did a poo in the bath! That’s a mistake not to be repeated. I have to say, cleaning poo out of a bath is as bad as cleaning up vomit, and that is not something I would volunteer to do.
It feels like she is trying to sabotage the day. We understand this can be a normal default position for looked after children. We know It is not done consciously. We have to remind ourselves that it is not personal; it is not aimed at us. There are other things that happen like this throughout the day – it is hard to not feel hurt when she rejects the gifts she is given. She will often think nothing of telling you what she likes and doesn’t like. When we took her to the Build-a-Bear Workshop in the afternoon, after the initial excitement of being there, she then turned into the most precocious and demanding child. She had pretty much every member of staff running round after her. For an easy life we just stepped back. It was not worth the fight. We had had enough tears for one day.
Perhaps birthdays will always be difficult for Alice. We hope though that she will learn to enjoy them!
A Less Ordinary Family Blog