My niece returned “home” after the long December holidays, happy to see us and excited to be near the beach, but very sad to be so far away from her parents. This time things were different!
After three months of weekly speech and language therapy and lots of support at her school, she could now communicate. “I go mommy and daddy school!” Getting ready for school was no longer exciting. It became a daily battle with tears and sneaking soft toys in her school bag and many promises about mommy and daddy visiting soon.
It was quite obvious that she could not understand why she had to come back to us to attend school, especially remembering that she went with her mom to look at various schools last year . . .
Explaining that “mommy and daddy is working and you have to go to school” didn’t cut it this time around. I couldn’t lie to her; knowing that with it being a new school year she could possibly get into a school closer to her parents, whereas September last year no school had space for her, and there was no way she was going to get into speech therapy at a government hospital before 2016!
So last week, after lengthy discussions with my brother, I set off to find a new school for Faith. I felt like I failed her. She was no longer content with living with me.
My own feelings aside, I had to get back to basics. My primary caregiver status, was after all, only an interim solution, she needed immediate intervention with her language and speech, and living with me was the only option.
After re-evaluating the situation and opportunities for Faith in the Northern Suburbs, with it being a new school year, especially since she made it known that she wanted to be near her parents for school, made it a no-brainer.
I found a good school, checked it out personally before advising her parents to arrange a meeting with the Principle. Faith’s placement at the new school was finalised on Thursday and she moved back to her parents on Saturday.
She was ecstatic to have us pack all her belongings into the car, she even hugged the stranger who helped us carry all the bags to the vehicle! The first thing she did when she got home was cuddle up with her Guinea pig and tell me “it’s okay” when I told her that he was making a poo on her!
We showed her the new school and her mom took her to visit the school yesterday. She didn’t want to leave!! She wanted to stay and play with new friends.
Having Faith live with us has been quite demanding, especially considering that the two kids are complete opposites. The one busy and demanding, while the other enjoys quiet play and is set in his routine and ways . . . We’ve had a more relaxed start to our school week, and Faith’s had a happy start to her first week at home with her parents.
We miss her spunk, and look forward to having her over during school holidays. I said it’s not good bye, it is good luck!
So, here I am, back to parenting one and enjoying the peace and quiet until the next homework meltdown!
Big thanks goes out to her speech therapist, school and teachers, my friends and family for helping me give Faith the best foundation in her education and development going forward. She knows that she always has a home with us – she’s actually asked that I tattoo her next to Kai on my arm!
You may also want to read, Becoming a Primary Caregiver to put this post into context.
Have you had to make any BIG decisions this January?