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Got to be part of a team meeting today for Aaron and Allie’s case.  Actually, I’m glad I was there because I’m the one new face in this multi-year case – I did learn a lot about the history of this case, the parents’ attitudes, and where the case is going.  Everyone else was probably bored out of their mind because, apparently, nothing has really changed over the last few years.  They’re still discussing the same problems in the household and parenting.

Their parents though – wow!  I want to call them interesting, but they’re really not.  They are lower-IQ, mashed-potato personality people.  Not bright enough to understand how to parent their kids appropriately.

BUT.  They are smart enough to know what the system wants.  Dad actually expressed a certain viewpoint early in the meeting, at a later point the caseworker expressed the opposite, and then after that Dad completely flip-flopped to the caseworker’s view.  Without missing a beat.

I can only imagine this combo of stupidity and cunning will drag out whatever happens to these kids.  For now, the state is going to try offering a few new services to the parents, but the proof will only be when the kids are there in their home.  And the team believes the kids aren’t safe there.  Rock, hard place, rock, hard place…




Yes, I WILL turn in my mileage sheet for September before the 15th! In fact, I’ll fill it out and mail it in today because I know there won’t be any more miles to log this month!  I’m so organized and on top of things!  I’ve got it printed and waiting to be filled out – oh but there goes the mail carrier…

Okay, I’ll mail it tomorrow.  That’s still WELL before the 15th.  It will be so nice to start a month without that constant nagging feeling that I need to remember to turn it in.

(It got really bad in August.  I actually didn’t get July’s form turned in because I knew I was missing a few of the visits, and I was going to ask the kids’ mom when they were.  But I kept forgetting, and forgetting, and forgetting, until it was too late.   There weren’t that many visits that month but there were two team meetings.  The reimbursement for those two team meetings alone was $70!  Ouch.  Don’t tell Husband.)

Crazy, hectic, no time to blog and all of a sudden it’s been two weeks since I posted!

Not that I really care about anyone who reads this, :), but actually, this has become a very valuable tool for record-keeping and holding others (okay, Mom and Dad) accountable.

So what has been going on the last two weeks?

We’ve been slogging through the visits.  I, personally, am sick of McDonald’s and Pizza Hut.  I’m spending money and gaining weight, which is always a bad trade-off in my opinion.  But until the heat passes and it’s bearable to spend four hours at a park, we’re doing a lot of lunches and dinners at fast food.

I don’t blame Mom and Dad.  Their home is just too far away for visits to take place there.  But I worry that Mark and Nikki are starting to highly associate Mom and Dad with fast food, if it wasn’t that way before.  Plus the quarter-trinket machines, which are now 75 cents [side tangent: there’s no cent key on the keyboard anymore! When did that happen?].  Dad blew 8 bucks last night on crappy little toys.  Mom has told me she has had trouble saying no to the kids in the past, and I worry that might not have changed much.

Put it all together, and the visits are not exactly quality family time.  I spend a lot of the time talking with Mom and Dad, which is nice enough, but the kids are so busy playing with happy meal toys, stuffing their faces, or begging for quarters that I don’t think they even really talk to their parents.

The good news is Mom did find someone else to do some supervising.  She should be approved in a week or so, and she lives near Mom so the visits can be at their home.

Second most important bit: stupid stupid stupid.  Found Mark and Junior in the bathroom with their pants off.  They each independently confirmed the story, and it seems Mark was in there putting his clothes in the clothes chute (it was bedtime) and Junior barged in to pee.  After he peed, he asked Mark if he wanted to show each other their penises.  Mark said sure, so they did.  Then Junior suggested they touch their penises together, so they did.  And that is apparently when I walked in.

This is just like last summer with Junior and Poet (well, the ages make a big difference.  I expect a hell of a lot more from an 8-year old regarding keeping private parts private.)  Junior didn’t seem to care at all about it; obviously, he initiated it.  They were both happy and talking normally when I walked in.  And neither of the boys have really changed the rest of their behavior around each other or anyone else.  Ollie chalked it up to normal boyhood stuff, and it’s true that there hasn’t been anything like this between them until now, but given all the problematic sexual crap with Mark, I’m annoyed, worried, and frustrated.  There have been other various allegations of sexual inappropriateness in Mark’s extended family too, as I found out at a meeting last week.

The team would like to get Eliza and Mark and Nikki together for some visits, so Mark and Eliza can start not hating each other.  Eliza’s foster family lives 45 minutes away too, and I’m not really excited about Mark and Nikki spending time at her foster home but I’m not so keen on having her here too.  She’s a surly 13 year old.  Nuff said.

Summer is fleeting, school starts in a month, and I’m enjoying summer.  I wish I had a little more time for it though.

It wasn’t too bad.  No decisions made on visitation, but I believe my input will help get more hours for the kids than otherwise.  Mom may spend some time in jail; we’ll find out on Thursday.  Mom and Dad have lots of issues with Eliza’s foster mom’s parenting, and if what they say is true, I would also.  However, Eliza’s foster mom didn’t show, even though she said she’d be there.  It seems where Eliza ends up is still undecided.  Mom and Dad did reluctantly admit to some of the rule breaking alleged, but there are still problems Mark and Nikki brought up that the parents deny.

And because I spent the whole morning in this meeting or driving to/from it, I’m turning off the computer and spending some time doing nothing.