Monday, May 13, 2019


It doesn't matter how long you've been in fostering, you don't know it all.

Actually, I find the more I learn the more I realise I need to know.

When I started fostering I thought the experience I had in life and parenting would cover most things; and I did alright too, I think. But obviously, I'm probably doing a bit better now I'm armed with a whole load of knowledge and tricks of the trade.

But you're NEVER too old to learn, and I picked up a couple of revelations last weekend that I'm aching to share because they're absolute gems.

What happened was this; my eldest foster child had a sleepover. There would be four of them, and of an age where I wanted to provide them each with their own bed. Not easy as there would be the other family members in the house, but I managed it by putting up our youngest on sofa cushions in our bedroom and fishing a spare mattress down from the loft.

The spare mattress had to go on the floor.

When the guests arrived they congregated. On the mattress on the floor. A discussion started about who would sleep where. Everyone wanted to sleep on the mattress on the floor, even my own foster child who has his own bed in his own bedroom. Even he wanted to sleep on the mattress on the floor.

They must have drawn lots or something, but as the evening wore on the mattress on the floor was like some kind of a honeypot and they each took it in turns to 'chill' on it with their phone.

Next day, eldest foster child came to me and said;

"Can I have my mattress on the floor?"

I responded to type, something like;

"Don't be daft, you've got a lovely bed. Why would you want to sleep on the floor?"

"I just's cool!"

Long story short, I let him. And it's been an absolute winner.

1. No bedside cabinet for things to fall off.
2. No space under the bed for stuff to collect and where the hoover can't reach.
3. No space under the bed for boogie monsters or spiders  to hide.
4. No long drop to fall if you worry about fidgeting off the bed during a funny dream.
The main thing;
5. It's cool. 

I can't exactly pinpoint this 'cool' thing about it. I know a mattress on the floor is vaguely 'studenty'. It's got a kind of hobo schtick, an air of unconventionality, makes him out to be a bit of a drifter (which in a small way foster children are).

Maybe that song sums it up; "Wherever I lay my hat that's my home.."

It has some drawbacks (small). Making and changing a bed that's further away is a slight drag.
Plus I started worrying that the mattress couldn't breathe, but it's going to be a doddle to flip every so often. Not only that, it's free from the build-up of fluff and dust that goes with the under-the-bed space.

We even talked about doing the same thing with our bed as I've got a bit of a back and surely it can only be good for the spine.

Anyway, later the same day came the second revelation from the same foster child. I asked him right out why he wanted to sleep on the mattress on the floor.

Be careful reading this next bit, it makes me fit to weep. He said;

"I used to be made to sleep in the floor when I was a disappointment. I want to push through it."

Here's to him.

And here's to fostering.


  1. Well that’s both lovely and very sad at the same time. Kids do love the unusual, ours love sleeping in the roof of our campervan, even when it’s a squash and the older ones could actually go in a tent with the dog.

    Regarding breathing - you can always grab a couple of pallets to keep it low but get it off the floor. That’s what we actually did as poor students. If you were extra posh you might even wash and paint the pallets.

  2. Thank you Mooglet, glad you're well and good.
    Ooooh you've got a campervan! We're thinking of one...I presume you recommend?