This is Hubby. This is not a planned blog organised by Mrs Hubby which is something she’d normally do but she is currently indisposed with a very nasty stomach bug or food poisoning. Last week she asked me to cast an eye over her Foster care Fortnight blog and part of it was about having a support network as you can’t take a day off when you’re ill or if you’re having a bad day. Just days later, we were proving that rule.
We’ve had a particularly busy week (well Mrs Hubby has, I’ve just been at work as normal which although it’s work, is a child free/teenage free zone and I can concentrate without constant interruptions, requests for a drink, nappy change, an explanation of why Captain Zorg is rubbish or a long monologue of how pocket money is unfairly distributed) with meetings which have included a Legal Guardian visit for Baby S, a LAC review for J and M as well as a vet appointment and a family birthday. Mrs Hubby is very good at juggling and organising and I’m sure it’s her Superpower! She glided through the first half of the week, practically prancing between baby changes, sweeping up dog hair (don’t get me started on why we had to have a dog that moulted as an Olympic sport!) and keeping the cupboard stocked up on biscuits for meetings. In between she managed to work from home and keep the general flow of the house in spite of a Prom (which went beautifully and I can’t tell you the huge sigh of relief that was felt by all) but by Thursday evening Mrs Hubby was unwell.
It started low key and she didn’t look her normal energetic self and was quieter than normal and walked around hugging a herbal tea but as the Prom was on Thursday her rumbling tummy was overlooked as M stole the show. On Friday I left for work as normal and that’s where normal ends for my weekend. I got a call from an alien being making gargling noises down the phone and in between all I could understand was ‘come home’. I rang my sister in law as she lives around the corner to ask her to pop by but they were out. Flexitime kicked in and I left work and found Mrs Hubby in a state and doing her best to keep Baby S happy whilst being unable to move from the bathroom.
Baby S is always full of smiles and she didn’t mind that it was me giving her cuddles or feeding her while poor Mrs Hubby was very ill. Thankfully, she has a freezer full of homemade pre-portioned baby food and I was able to step in. It wasn’t until later in the afternoon when Mrs Hubby was still in a bad way and Baby S was bored by the change in routine that I had to really step up. J needed to be picked up from school, M needed to be encouraged to revise and not relive every moment from the previous night’s Prom on Instagram and Baby S just wanted Mrs Hubby.
My Friday was not what I expected, I wasn’t analysing spreadsheets or profit and loss accounts, and I wasn’t managing staff meetings or approving budgets. Instead I was figuring out how the washing machine worked (yes, I know, I should already know but Mrs Hubby makes it look easy!), what J would eat for dinner that was remotely healthy and how to get M to stop Snapchatting and lay the table. Baby S decided she did NOT like me giving her a bath and suddenly grew 14 arms when trying to get her ready for bed and into a sleep suit. In the meantime poor Mrs Hubby was being abandoned to what was a horrible sickness and had by this time felt safe enough to retreat from the bathroom to the bed.
Being a foster carer is more than just offering a child a home while their future is decided, it’s more than being consistent and attending meetings and providing a safe place or helping them heal. It’s also about stepping up when needed, being able to learn new skills and understanding you are more than just a safe place to stay.
I learnt more about J’s fascination with cars this past weekend and just how many detailed facts he keeps stored in his brain and I realised how compassionate M can be. She asked me several times how Mrs Hubby was and when she surfaced from her bed on Sunday looking slightly grey M was kind and thoughtful. Something’s that I didn’t need to learn were just how much a 7 month old baby can poo and how feeding them is an exercise in floor redesign. I also learnt how to untangle a sparkly necklace from hair when it’s been slept in. I think both M and I learnt a lesson there.
Mrs Hubby is mostly recovered and back on duty and I’m back at work tomorrow ready to tackle spreadsheets. One thing I am utterly grateful for is that I don’t have to figure out how to feed two incredibly fussy kids and I can go back to appreciating how Mrs Hubby does it all!