I'm not writing much about visits for a few reasons. The first is they are only four hours so not much can go wrong. The second is that the kids don't discuss them. I can't tell if its because they've been coached not to or because they really dissociate that much from Sheila. I also am not placing much value on how they are going in terms of reunification. Sheila's parenting skills are to placate and please. Which is a step up from the neglect they suffered. And she has so much other stuff to accomplish the visits are the last place they will start caring.
I was annoyed that the answer to one child's upset stomach last week was a snow cone, which of course, she threw up on the way home. But it wasn't my car and she was fine after. So I guess I look at that as progress on my part. If I nitpick everything I will lose sight of the big picture. I'm also trying to remember that this could be her last six months with her kids. It doesn't cost me anything to let her have that (so long as the kids are relatively safe).
The phone calls we have are something I've never experienced before and have bordered on looney and so those I'm documenting. This week Simon looked at me while she was talking and his face read: WTF? And I agreed with him. She's distracted. Hangs up in the middle and walks down memory lane with them. After the third time she asks the same child what they are doing (talking to her) or how school is going (same as five seconds ago) I suggest a new topic. They are only 15-20 minutes but they are painful. Smiley has decided she doesn't want to talk to Sheila so she gets on the phone and tells her that. Her therapist told us that was a good sign of healthy processing. It cracks me up though, because she is 4 and she has this quiet little baby voice.
Tonight everyone was needy. And sad. And cried (except Stella who won't cry in front of us). Simon described his day to me and we landed at overwhelmed. He said he felt like he had too much work at school and he helped a friend with a project and he felt sad all day. My poor little guy is only in Kindergarten. So we did extra cuddling and lots of little kisses. He also got some Benadryl for his "itchy all over" which I believe is psychosomatic. In any event, more than one medical professional has told me Benadryl is helpful for anxious kids because it helps them relax and sleep.