Foster parenting and the polar vortex

It was interesting to see all our friends posting pics of their families out sledding, making blueberry waffles and snuggling in front of a movie during their snow-cations this week. In our home, we had a little bit different scenario. Sledding was not an option mainly because our 2 year old foster son is a toddler and not quite able to hang with his foster siblings physically mostly because he is extremely small for his age. Blueberry waffles might have been nice, but in general, our toddler FS is locked into a daily routine which involves a series of predictable events beginning with picking out a packet of instant oatmeal for breakfast. He doesn’t respond well to a suggestion like, “Instead of picking out your oatmeal like you do every morning, why not delay eating for about 45 minutes while we fire up the waffle iron?” What about sitting on the couch and watching a movie? Toddler FS is not able to quietly focus on something for that long. He can watch about 10 minutes of Sesame Street before he’s roaming around the room looking for something to do. More often then not, he’s climbing in my wife’s lap or my lap and grabbing our faces to get our attention. A lazy morning of TV is not an option. 

However, there were some really good times in our home during the polar vortex event of 2014. We made doughnuts from scratch and let the kids help (a few meltdowns and timeouts here and there). We had home made hot chocolate with made from scratch marshmallows (my wife is a real “homemade” geek as you can tell.) We painted our kitchen wall with chalkboard paint (after the kids were in bed) and then let them decorate it the next morning. We had dance parties, hootenannies, wrestling matches and other gross motor skill outlets. The snow storm has also forced us to be fully present in our kids lives for 5 days instead of dropping them off with someone else or escaping to our screens all the time. Even though the storm outside was often matched with a storm of  conflict and discipline inside, I am thankful that we were considered worthy to become like Jesus in his suffering for the opportunity to live-out incarnate love.

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