Tuesday, April 22, 2014
It's definitely past time to catch up my SparkFriends. I wrote some of this on my Sunset Stingays chat thread, but not much. And the rest of you are totally clueless.
Well, my last blog was so positive! I was so excited!!! But within 36 hours, Marshall's mother changed her mind. As with everything else, it was all about her. "I just couldn't let him go."
So I spent several nights of sleeping only about four hours. I'm over that, and I'm sleeping normally again. And I spent several days with minimal and erratic eating. I'm over that too, but that's not entirely a good thing!
Marshall was here for a week, the spring break that was planned all along. But he went home last Saturday. We had a good week in many ways, because it's ALWAYS a good thing to have David's family complete. We went to a Cardinals game and saw them win. There was a birthday party for a 5 year-old friend of Erik and Sean that included kids of all ages up to 16, so that pleased Marshall. And Cassie had her birthday while he was here, also a special day.
Most important of all, Marshall got to do things his mother would never let him do in a million years! She considers him her baby, still sometimes calls him "Baby." She keeps him a great deal, because she does next-to-nothing. And they never walk anywhere, always going in the car. He walked Erik to school with me Monday and Tuesday, and Monday we walked to meet him. That's 0.6 miles each way. Starting Tuesday afternoon, Marshall walked ALONE to get Erik to and from school, and he was SO proud of himself. Tuesday morning we walked downtown to the library (1.2 each way) and then in the afternoon we walked again to the food bank(another 1.3) with the wagon. And starting Wednesday, we also walked to Sean's school in order to walk him home. I used to do that in the fall, but not since the weather got crummy. Add another 1.15 each way. He got tired, of course, but he knew it was a good kind of tired.
We also let Erik and Sean play outside, with an adult checking on them about every 5 minutes. Marshall was with them, and we told him we would check on them all every 10-15 minutes. He immediately asked, "Is this part of how you're letting me be responsible?" Oh, Marshall - how much you need this. And he liked doing some of the bedtime things with them, especially stories and tucking them in.
He did some meal prep stuff with me, including cooking. I knew that he wasn't allowed to use the stove at home "because it's too dangerous," but I'd never known that he's never been allowed to use a knife other than a table knife. Now he knows he can cut ham and veggies for an omelette along with the best of them!
Also very important, he's rested now! His mother has no bedtime for him, keeping him up to keep her company until she goes to bed. Around 10. And when he was in school, he had to be up every day at 6. We sent him to bed at 9, and he woke up on his own every day just before 7.
We just love giving him routines, exercise, and responsibilities! I doubt if his mother will ever voluntarily let him spend the school year here and vacations with her, since she didn't even though he's gotten himself officially expelled from school for the rest of the school year. She seems to think that he's fine with home schooling provided by the school system - all of one hour twice a week! And to think he could have been here, in school -making friends and getting ready to move on to middle school. It breaks our hearts!
But we had him for a week, and David now has a plan that he hopes will change things by NEXT spring. Keeping our fingers crossed and praying like crazy that he'll be able to pull it off! More on it later, as it unfolds.
Thanks to all of you for the good wishes you sent when we thought he was coming, and for all of the virtual hugs you've sent since it all fell apart.