Tuesday, August 20, 2019

"CAN I GET A DOG?"

Eldest foster child is away having a sleepover with a mate - who also happens to be a looked-after child.

House considerably quieter. It's not that he's loud it's that often the presence of foster children in your home means you're always slightly more alert than when you're alone or with your own brood.

Actually, I'll tell you something interesting, quite revealing...

When I say he's not loud I really mean it. He keeps himself to himself. Getting information out of him is like getting blood from a stone. He's the king of the one-word answer, a maestro of the time-honoured teenage one-answer-fits-all; "Dunno" or "Maybe".

eg; the "conversation" just before he left for his friend's house went;

Me: "What time are you leaving?"

Him: "Dunno."

Me; "What are you and Charlie going to get up to?"

Him "Dunno."

Me; "Is it just you and Charlie for the sleepover?"

Him: Dunno. Maybe."

Scintillating stuff!

However, last night he sent me a text message;

"Can I get a dog?"

I texted back; "I don't think dad's up for it."

Cut a very long story short, we spent the evening locked in text conversation. We swapped thoughts about getting him a dog, doing better with his maths, which teachers he likes best and why, what Charlie's family are like, how come Charlie is fostered, what he had to eat for tea - they went out -, what the restaurant was like, what he thought of the film they were watching while he was texting me, and much much more.

A total of 108 texts from him!!! This is a comparative encyclopaedia (remember those?) of information on him.

But it was more than that. The information was gold dust, but the mutual affection was platinum.

The texts were grammatically sound and spellchecker had done its job, which I took to be respectful of him. There were a few text shortcuts I had to look up (eg OOF - meaning "I'm relieved") and never a full stop at the end, which I understand is a signal of intimacy, a conversational trick to welcome a reply.

Our chat got to the stage where my phone pinged every 30 seconds.

It felt SO good, I felt like his mum and his best friend rolled into one.

He was missing me!

It's fashionable among older people to sneer at kids always on their phones. I bet if some long-faced goat had seen my foster lad texting away he'd have had a boring moan about whatever happened to conversation.

Maybe the kids way is better.

If it hadn't been for his mobile phone our relationship wouldn't have risen to a new level.

It was absolutely glorious, with only one minor fly in the ointment...

He doesn't merely want a dog, oh no.

He wants a husky. Yep, a HUSKY. Requiring a garden the size of Wales plus two to four walkies a day, of up to eight miles.

My plan, as usual on the "Can I have a dog/snake/monkey?" request* is to allow it to be forgotten until the next time.

But neither of us will forget that text chat, it was beyond heart-warming for both of us.

Another fantastic fostering moment.



*BTW  So far in fostering I've been asked; "Can I have a..."
...goldfish, tropical aquarium, formicarium (ant house), newt, terrapin, piranha, tarantula, giant centipede, hamster, gerbil, mouse, rabbit, budgerigar, parrot, cockatoo, kestrel(!), dog, cat, Maine giant cat, rhesus monkey, python, anaconda and a two-foot lizard called a blue-tongued skink.

Makes you wonder if maybe Noah was merely a Foster Carer who didn't know how to say no.



4 comments:

  1. I was a fosterd child and sometimes just messaging my foster mum or Dad is what helped me get through the day. I am now 20 and still talk to them and when I do get a message from either of them or helps me with my day

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  2. That's great to hear my friend. Your foster mum and dad clearly are wonderful people, and hey; for taking the time to post a kind and thoughtful message, so are you.

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  3. We've got a lovely dog and I can genuinely say there is a special joy in watching a child who struggles with affection have a big cuddle and snuggle up to a loving dog. Giggles when they get a lick and squeals when they get trumped on!

    And watching them share the fun of destroying cardboard boxes is a joy too - even if it takes forever to clean up all the bits!

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  4. Totally agree Mooglet. Don't think I'm not contemplating giving in to the perpetual requests.

    Thanks for tyhat snapshot of your lovely foster home.

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