Friday, January 28, 2011


*Joseph & Tina*

I think that most people would probably label Tina as "The Typical Foster Child". Tina has an obvious attachment issue. She likes strangers as much as she likes me and she know no rules of personal space. When I take her out in public she practically crawls into any man's lap she can find (not embarrassing at all for me) and chats with them and tries to touch their is not my favorite thing in the world to deal with while I have two other kids with me.

Just like Lizzy, I think she has issues with me because of her real mom. Often when she is out of control and I go to put my hands on her to take her out of the situation she ducks and covers as if I am going to hit her. Just 2 days ago I was carrying around my belt I hadn't put on yet and she was eyeing it big time. When I came near her with it to see if she would react to it being close to her I saw her cringe. You can come to your own conclusions.

Tina is a taker. If she wants it she is going to take it. Period. She isn't scared of much and you can "discipline" her with time outs, talking to her, making her sit down, making her lay in her bed, ect. and she will get back up and do it again almost immediately. She gets into EVERYTHING and tears it apart. She can't sit still for longer than 2 seconds unless she is eating or she is in a high chair type of set up where she can't get out. He favorite things are to get into my pots and pan cabinet and get all of them out and litter the kitchen floor with them. Then she moves on to the shoes closet where she gets all the shoes out and throws them all over the floor. Then she moves on to the girls' bedrooms and rips all the books off the shelf and throws them into the baby's bed. Then she rips all the toys out of the toy box and throws them all over the bedroom, not really playing with any of them. Then she usually feels the need to take every doll in the house and undress them and rip their hair styles out too. She manages to do all of this just while I am making dinner. She would do this every single day if I let her and HAS done it for days and days and days until I basically have had to make the girls spend at least a few hours ONLY coloring in high chairs or playing in their highchairs with a few toys at a time. She is just such a tornado.

Even when I have her in coloring time she finds things to do she shouldn't. I gave her a snack while she colored. When she was finished I took the bowl away. I few seconds later out of the corner of my eye I saw her hand the baby something while she said "yum yum". I went over to see what she was doing and she had two different colors of chewed up crayon in her own mouth and had just given her sister a piece of crayon and told her to eat it, which she was in the process of doing. That is Tina for you.

One thing I have struggled with so much is Tina's behavior in the car. We are in the car A LOT. I drive Kobe to and from school every day, we have visits that we have to drive to, Joseph lives an hour and a half away and usually I have the kids with me for that too. When I first got Tina she would scream bloody murder for almost the whole car ride no matter how long or short. It drove me insane. Her favorite thing was to have a sippy cup, drop it two minutes into the ride and them proceed to flip out like she was on fire or something squirming and screaming while trying to get out of her seat belt. I would stop the car, pick it up for her, tell her to knock it off and 5 minutes later it would start all over again. It was horrible. That has calmed down because I started putting her in bed when we would get home EVERY TIME she acted like that. Now her favorite thing to do in the car is steal her sister's bottle and make her scream so often I have to try, if I can, to make it so she isn't sitting next to anyone in the car and is as close to me as possible.

One fun story about her car antics happened on our way home from picking up Joseph. Tina was mad at me because we were in the car and she had to stay in her seat belt. I know, I am very mean. Anyway, I tend to watch her in my rear view mirror. Ironically she tends to watch me as well. As I glanced back at her I see her spit in one hand, spit in the other hand and then rub it all over her own face. Boy did she show me. These kids are nothing if not creative.

She has colored on 2 of my walls, one right after the other.

She spends her time falling asleep kicking the sides of her crib in order to keep herself awake and used to just lay in their and jabber very loudly to herself as well to keep herself awake.

She hates to sleep and tries to avoid it at all costs.

This is Tina, the foster child they told me about in class that I never could have prepared for.

Welcome to the world of foster care.


Me and Jesus said...

Ohhhh I had two just like that!!! Siblings. The older one would lay on the floor and literally scream for hours, when told no. The younger one would put his hands in the toilet the run stick them in the kitty litter!
That was an adventure. The older one is now adopted and doing great!! However she still likes to scream!

Maybe Tina wasn't taught how to play? I do daycare for low income families and I see the same destroy the house attitude from them. I started giving them one box of toys in one room, everything else is offlimits, starting with 10 mins and working up to 30 minutes. I often had to sit and help them at first. They truly didn't know how to sit down and play!!

StarfishMom said...

Sounds like Arizona!!! :( So sad!

Heather said...

Wow. That's a lot to deal with. How old is Tina?

Kelli said...

That would drive me insane, expecially the car thing!

jendoop said...

I was thinking along the lines of the first comment because that is similar to how my foster son acted in the beginning. As he stayed with us longer and learned to play he was better. When he'd get everything out and make a mess I'd look at it as a good thing - he was exploring the world without fear and wasn't screaming, coloring on the walls or clinging to my leg.

Try not to be upset with her, she's interacting with the world in the way that she was taught by her traumatic environment. She can and will slowly change.

MamaFoster said...

heather, she is 2 years and 4 months old. she came to me at the same exact age as my sabrina did and they are polar opposites. it isn't an age thing, it is a past environment thing. :/

Pam H said...

Have a son who used to do that when he was younger (until recently - now 15 yrs old) and he was diagnosed with a lot of things over the years, OCD, ADHD, sensory disorders, PDD, Asperger's, Autism, ODD, etc. A few things to consider (and I'm writing this over 4 years after this post but still may help others), some children have sensory disorders that involve very sensitive hearing - my son could hear the highway make a whining sound from our tires that drove him crazy, can hear whispering from rooms away. Lights and large spaces/environment made him chaotic. Going to a store was a nightmare with the lighting and sounds combined. Touch was a critical sensory issue since he couldn't eat certain foods due to their texture AND he had a high tolerance for pain such that he could have hurt himself and never even know he had until blood was running.