Laundry. 8 people in the house equals mountains of it. I figure I do 3 loads a day on average now IF no one wets the bed.
People who have kids of their own typically have a year or two between adding more kids & laundry. Its a gradual adjustment, and the older kids eventually take on some of those responsibilities. For foster parents, its like a bomb dropping. Going from our biological family of 3 to adding 5 more kids, ages 9 and under is a big deal. This is especially true when 3 of them are preschoolers who have been neglected and often have "accidents". I rinse out at least 3 pairs of underwear a day! However, I am *determined* that they will all be using the toilet reliably an a few weeks. I think they can, I think they can....
Dishes. It is easier to share this task, as it is clear-cut and not as time-intensive as laundry. Mickey and Donald (names changed to Disney characters) are excited to share the task of loading the dishwasher, and my own son unloads it and puts away the stuff he can reach. We each clear our own plates and I put away leftovers. So far, this is working well. Daisy and Minnie are in charge of setting the table. I can say that these kids are thrilled to be helping out, and very glad to be at my house - especially Daisy, who at 9, was in charge of "everything" at her mom's house. Take that with a grain of salt, because she is not the best at telling the truth!
Homework. Donald and Daisy have homework each day, which requires me to listen to them read and sign papers and planners, while the others excitedly shout at me about what they drew or painted at school. Afternoon chaos! I am grateful that they are in the habit of doing homework immediately after school, though, because I've had some where its been an argument every day.
I found out this week that Donald is considered delayed enough to be in special ed. classes at school, and has a pretty low IQ. He wants badly to learn, and I am doing my best to give him opportunities to do so! I am glad the school counselor called to let me know his situation. I hope to be able to read his IEP (Individual Educational Plan) next week, along with each of the others. Maybe that will help me better understand where they are so I can help them move forward...
The school is also trying to get the kids in counseling. They had started the process before they even came into foster care, and have been concerned for them for quite some time. I love how caring most of the staff at our schools are, and hope the worker cooperates and gets them in therapy soon. I was glad to hear that the kids seem much happier at school now, as well.
Visitation for them will start in the next couple of weeks, and it will be interesting to see how they react to seeing their mother again. They rarely mention her at all (maybe twice a day between all 4 of them, and some days not at all), and never have asked to see her, but if I ask Minnie (the youngest) if she misses mom, she says yes. Daisy has said she hopes to live with me until she's 18! Granted, we are still in the honeymoon period, but its clear they are all happy to be here, and, so far, I'm happy they are here as well.