We took a foster child for the weekend. I’m going to call him “Jay”. Jay was a good kid. His social worker described him as an energetic, talkative kid.
When Jay first came here on Friday afternoon, he was understandably shy. He got settled after he moved around the house and saw everything here. He saw where he would be sleeping and where the snacks were kept. I think he got settled when he saw where the ice cream was. Ice cream seems to help people. It helps me.
Wife was out of town on Friday night. It was me and the children. We hit the weekend running, as The Boy had soccer practice on Friday afternoon. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon. This disappointed The Boy, who was hoping for the cold, rainy days we had during the week. He wanted practice to be cancelled. There is a small consolation for The Boy. His game has been cancelled. This pleases him to no end. I’m upset because I won’t be able to wear the cool soccer fan gear I bought for his games.
After practice I went shopping with Jay to get snacks for the weekend. He wanted to get some ice cream. We already had ice cream, but he wanted something a little more in line with his tastes. He decided on rainbow sherbet.
Jay is Looking for People
We returned home after the trip to the store. People sit down to have dinner. After dinner, I retreat to my room for a little reading and a little writing. It’s not long before Jay comes up to see me.
“What’s up, Jay?” I ask.
I remind Jay that Wife has gone away for the night, and she’ll be back the next day. Jay asks where she is. Why did she go away? I remind myself the social worker told us Jay could be talkative and likes to ask a lot of questions. So, he does. It’s nice to see he’s warming up to the people in the house.
Saturday morning arrives. I’m happily laying in bed. No one needs to be in school. I don’t need to wake anybody up. It’s nice to be able to rest. Kitty is purring on me, keeping me warm. Suddenly, I hear the door open, and my slumber is disturbed by Jay.
“Okay,” I mumble. “Hold on a second and let me get dressed.
Pancakes (But no Pancakes)
Jay goes downstairs. I’m not far behind. I ask Jay if he will allow me a moment to make some coffee. He begrudgingly obliges. I make my coffee and focus back on Jay, who wants pancakes. I look around, but I’m not able to find any pancake mix.
“Can you look again?” Jay asks.
“Jay,” I patiently explain, “The pantry isn’t magic. If there’s no pancake mix in the pantry the first time I look, there won’t be any when I look again.”
This answer isn’t good enough for Jay, who insists I look again and find pancakes. I check the pantry and, alas, there is no pancake mix.
“Now what?” Jay asks.
I tell Jay he’ll have to slum it and maybe have cereal like my plebian children suffer through in the morning.
“Are you sure you don’t have pancakes?” he asks hopefully. I admire the boy’s enthusiasm as I break the bad news to him. No pancakes. The Boy makes his appearance and sees me getting Jay’s breakfast.
“Do you have pancakes?” Jay asks.
“Dad,” The Boy asks me, “Do we have pancakes?”
I stop what I’m doing. I look at Jay, who suddenly finds the ceiling to be very interesting. The Boy smiles at me and repeats the question.
“We don’t have pancakes,” I say to The Boy and his partner in crime. The Boy leaps off his chair and proceeds to the pantry to confirm this. Jay follows him. He wants to make sure The Boy doesn’t miss anything in the pantry, just as The Boy is making sure I didn’t miss anything in the pantry.
After settling for a less-than-ideal breakfast, Jay and The Boy go outside for some fresh air and playtime. I celebrate my time with two less children by picking up around the house and trying to get a hold of the madness that’s been unleashed.
Wife comes home while the boys are out playing. We spend a little time talking about her being away and my time helping Jay get acclimated to our madhouse. The children, inside and outside the house, sense Wife is home, so of course they descend to the kitchen. My time talking to wife has effectively ceased, so I go back to my work around the house.
It’s a relatively laid-back night at home as everyone settles into their pre-bedtime activities. Wife and I are holed up in our bed finishing our recap of our individual days. There is an occasional child that enters, since God forbid, we talk without children intervening.
I wake up to Sunday, and children are up before me. We begin the daily dance of what’s for breakfast. Some children (Jay and The Boy) begin another quest for pancakes. Again, I tell them there are no pancakes. The two retreat to the living room for a YouTube session as they commiserate over their morning. There is a small silver lining for The Boy’s weekend: There is no soccer game. In spite of this good news, there are no pancakes.
Our Sunday is spent attending to whatever damage is done by the children over the weekend, preparing for the upcoming week, and savoring whatever quiet moments we have before answering the madness of Monday. I’m looking forward to Monday and the children pursuing their academic interests, while the children lament the clock winding down to their doom.