Saturday, December 23, 2006


....time for spoiled children getting too much toy gear.

Seriously. I'm taking some of Betty's presents back. I probably would do the same for the Little Guy, but he's new. And he actually uses his presents.

Here's the thing with foster kids. It's probably not so different from bio kids, maybe just a little more pronounced. Anyway, here's what we're contending with: visit with aunt and uncle = presents. Visit with bio Dad = lots of guilt gifts, sponsored by the Salvation Army or Toys for Tots (giveaway label dots affixed to packages). Visit with bio Mom = didn't happen. May be more toys around the corner. We have gifts from my sisters, gifts from both sets of grandparents, etc. on the way. And then there are the things we've bought. Oh, and then there are the stack of books from Children & Youth's book fund. I thought we got one. Bonus! A whole Dr. Seuss collection now resides at our house. I'm tempted to just throw them on the bookcase, so it doesn't seem like we're overdoing the presents.

So the Little Guy is one thing. But Betty is quite another. She came home last night with a cute $30 necklace from her boyfriend. She was overwhelmed by his generosity. I asked her what she bought him. She said, "Nothing...yet." As if two days before Christmas she's suddenly going to get her act together and actually show her appreciation for those who love her. Later in the evening I asked what she bought my husband for Christmas. She had the same response and then tagged on, "But I made him a card." Woo hoo. Stop everything. I'm sure he'll be thrilled at the three minute investment you spent in making him such a special gift. You're not three, girlfriend. You're 15.

So I'm a little discouraged by the ungrateful nature of this child of ours. It's a good thing her birthday is around the corner. I'm going to take some of her "Christmas" presents and re-wrap them as birthday presents and call it a day. What have I got to lose? A disappointed girl because she didn't get everything she wanted for Christmas? Too bad for you!

Oh, and immediately after we started talking about what she bought her boyfriend, she asked if I could take her to the bank to cash her checks, which have been sitting on the living room table all week. Last weekend I told her if she got them together and put them on my desk chair, I'd take them to the bank and take care of them. They never made it there, and she wanted me to drop everything and take her at that moment. It didn't happen. This morning she asked if I would take her to the bank if she got ready by 11:30. I told her I would, if she had everything together and written out. It's 11:05 now. She's on the phone. The checks are sitting, untouched, on the living room table.

Speaking of the birthday...she was making a big deal of doing something special, since it's her 16th birthday. She said she wanted a pool party. So I made some calls, and figured out what that would entail. I told her we could throw her a party or get her gifts. She decided she'd have a party at home. I'm not sure if she thinks this would be much different than a pool party, but I didn't say anything. I told her if she gave me a list of no more than 10 kids she wanted to invite by the end of the weekend, we could consider a party here. But no list emerged. I am pretty sure she still thinks she's getting a party. But she's wrong. Again, too bad for her.

While I'm on a roll, Betty ran out of her acne medication this week. She left the bottle on the counter (I guess that's her way of telling me she needs a refill). However, there are no refills left on the bottle. So she asked when she's going to the doctor again. I told her I didn't know, and that she should look on her calendar (knowing full well she didn't put it on there). She dropped the subject. Later, while looking in her room for deposit slips (the reason she said she never moved forward on cashing the checks--though she never mentioned it to me this week), I found a new prescription for this medication. So I wrote her a little note telling her that the doctor had written a new prescription for this medication at her last visit (IN AUGUST) and if she got me that prescription, I would be happy to fill it for her. I did not tell her where it was. I'm tired of holding her hand.

We did get to pick up an application the other day. She wants to get a job, as she wants to get a car. And she can barely afford to keep minutes on her phone, let alone be ready to keep a gas tank full. Needless to say, this application is still not filled out.

Finally, this morning she asked if she could visit her Mother, because she had asked to see her before Christmas. I said, "It's a little late notice." Of course, Betty interprets this as a no, and goes from there. In my opinion, if it was really important to her, she'd fight a little harder.

I'm weary of parenting this teenager, and I'm quite worried about the girl's future. She doesn't have a lot of time to pull it together.

Pray. Hard.