We just started fostering two boys ages 5 and almost 3 on Friday. I have one bio son, age 3.5. I am on my first half day of work (DH is home with everybody - we don't have childcare set up yet). I feel like I am on leave from a warzone. They are very beautiful boys, very smiley and enganging at times, but also very very very difficult. Knowing where they are coming from, it is very heartbreaking, but also very frustrating - they are so so needy, and there does not ever seem to be enough of me to go around. I have put them each on my back in a carrier, and they melt onto me like chocolate on a warm day. But I cannot carry them both at once - I am simply not strong enough, and they both want up. And my son wants up too. I am exhausted.
They are both still in diapers. The younger one will use a toilet (or potty or jar) when asked, and I expect he will be quite trainable, but the older one wants nothing to do with it, and we are not going to put any effort into it at this early juncture. So there is lots of poop. Big boy poop. We are just dealing with it, but the gross factor is huge! DS was EC'd and thank God! Except that we are not therefore diaper trained ourselves.
The shouting and screaming is fairly constant. They compete to be heard. My ears ring. My brain rings. Then I shout too, at first to be heard, and then because I am angry that my ears and my brain ring, and I feel like a complete failure. I took them in out of kindness, and I want to treat them with kindness, but then I am shouting again. And whoever is being shouted at clearly expects to be hit. He cringes and raises his hands reflexively over his face. And I feel like a monster for shouting and waking that fear in them. They don't know I will never hit them.
I am not a perfeclty calm person. I have always had a temper. I have always shouted on occassion. I was worried during training that I would not be a fit person for this task. I hoped that knowing that their 'behaviours' are the results of neglect and abuse would soften me to them, woudl permanently engage my compassion. But it has not. The noise gets to be too much and there is no escape from it most of the time.
So - support? Encouragement? Discouragment? Is it too early to tell?