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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Equal

Dictionary.com defines equal as below:

e·qual

[ee-kwuhl] Show IPA adjective, noun, verb, e·qualed, e·qual·ing or ( especially British ) e·qualled, e·qual·ling.
adjective
1.
as great as; the same as (often followed by to or with ): The velocity of sound is not equal to that of light.
2.
like or alike in quantity, degree, value, etc.; of the same rank, ability, merit, etc.: two students of equal brilliance.
3.
evenly proportioned or balanced: an equal contest.
4.
uniform in operation or effect: equal laws.
5.
adequate or sufficient in quantity or degree: The supply is equal to the demand.
 
Equal is something we've been talking about a lot lately.  This is a BIG GIANT issue for the kids and their Mom.  The kids do not feel that their Mom loves them equally or the same.  They feel she loves them when she buys them things.  However, when she buys them things she is not equal in doing so. We highlighted this in the pointless meeting. We gave the example that she sent home Easter baskets and the kids literally counted and compared the contents.  The psychologist at the meeting explained that she needs to give them the SAME until they understand that she will always even it up or make things fair between the four of them.  Her defense was she can't afford to spend as much as the foster parents. The psychologist explained that its not the cost. Its that the items are equal.  If you give one a pencil you It is better to get them all a pencil than give 2 a pen and 2 nothing. Or 2 a pen and 2 a piece of paper.
 
So today when the 2 oldest came home with new shoes, candy, a bottle of perfume, key chain, decorative pens and chips after a visit to the Mexican Mall and McDonalds I was hoping she would rinse and repeat for the other two.
 
I'll give you a guess.
 
A bag of chips (she's supposed to bring back next week?), candy to share with the other kids, a hair tie, a blow up sword (which for the child who was written up on Friday for hitting and kicking a  student and teacher wouldn't be my first choice) and a balloon animal heart and sword.
 
Does that seem equal to you? Because it didn't to the kids.  Even the kids who got the shoes and perfume saw the gap.  They didn't go to the same McDonalds either.
 
The Mexican Mall was a questionable choice too.  Wednesday one of the children told her she didn't want to speak Spanish.  She was told by her Mom that she had no choice.  She told me she felt that her Mom didn't care about her feelings.  So the decision to shove it down her throat wasn't the best in my opinion.  And was evident by the emotions I dealt with last night and the confession that she tells people she is Puerto Rican because she doesn't want to be Mexican.  "All Mexican people are bad and hit their children."  Which is her experience.  And certainly something I spent a lot of time discussing with her.  She did enjoy the mall (mainly because her Mom showed she cared by buying her things) so I guess it worked out. 
 
I realize I can't expect her to get this stuff overnight.  But its something I've brought up over and over to the case worker and Mom.  And it makes it more clear she doesn't get the importance of this point.  And while buying them stuff may temporarily make them happy it is not going to help build the trust especially when they compare that one kid got shoes, one kid got perfume and the other two got balloons.
 
And even still my heart broke a little when we I dropped off at the visit. Mr. Mohawk hadn't said goodbye to me before his visit and as I was leaving he said "Bye Mom!" Bye bud. "Wait" and he came running to give me a hug.  I was a little stunned.  I didn't want to hurt her feelings.  I hugged him back but it was awkward.  More awkward by the fact that when she walked in he didn't run up to her or hug her.  

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