Thursday, September 14, 2017

THE LITTLE THINGS



We had an interesting one this evening, a food thing.

Food can be disproportionately huge with foster children. My Blue Sky social worker gets this (one's social worker can be a lifesaver).

What happened was; 

We bought one of our foster children a caged pet. Sorry, can't do details, not even about the pet.

So; this foster child has always had a thing about food. Actually, I've hardly had a foster child who didn't have a thing about food.

All their short lives they've either been provided with insufficient food or not the right food. Or provided food in circumstances that are miserable, lonely or hostile. Or denied food by way of punishment. 

And food is a key need, it's HUGE.

Children need regular feeding, of the right type, and eaten in a happy environment.

The child took the pet upstairs and into the bedroom from the get-go. However the child's interest in stuff such as clearing out the poop started to tail off within 48 hours.

But not the feeding.

The child came home from school this afternoon and went straight up to the bedroom, usually to change and get ready for some internet. Since the arrival of the pet I've been nipping into the bedroom every morning after the school run to a) check it's still alive b) remove poo etc c) add food.

This afternoon, after child scurried upstairs and into bedroom I trilled out;

"All okay? You want a snack to hold you until tea?"

Silence. Silence followed by a dark;

"Did you put lettuce in 'Horace's' (not his real name) cage?"

"Yes."

"Well don't put it in there on the sawdust okay? He might eat some sawdust that got stuck to the lettuce accidentally and get gut-rot. Okay?"

I said okay. I actually apologised too, but was happy because, even though I knew the child's worry was unfounded, the child's concern that the pet's food was right was an immense moment.

This was a child who had not previously shown  much empathy or attachment. Or kindness. 

Or care. Or love.

So this was big. 

And now the dust has settled on the moment I find myself now nurturing a foster child who's shown love and care for a little pet, and it's a positive to record and flag up to my Blue Sky social worker next time they visit.

I'll say; "He was worried his pet may have accidentally eaten some sawdust".

But I'll add:

"He was worried for the little pet." 

And 99.9% of the population would say;

"Er..right. Okay..."

or; "Big deal."

But my Blue Sky social worker will go;

"Wow! No way! Fantastic! Tell me all about it..."

And so I will. 

It's the little things as well as the big things that make fostering so blissful.











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