Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Foster's Blogger

My Jilly’s mojo attire is now 2 for 2, so I dare not change it, as my Steelers held on for a 17-10 win over the Jaguars.

Sitcom Kelly came out to see the game with me and she brought a special guest of honor.

Now, you all know I tease Sitcom Kelly about all kinds of things, least of all for keeping various professional athletes captive in her basement “Silence of the Lambs” pit.  But she’s also been pursuing a fulfilling and beneficial sidelight.  For the last 6 months or so, she’s been in the process of becoming a provider of foster care.

A couple of weeks ago, she was called upon to provide a place for a homeless 20-year old woman to stay.  While that wasn’t exactly what Sitcom Kelly had in mind, it occurred to me that I should have thought of that angle many years ago.  It would have made dating so much easier.  Anyway, the 20-year old was only a short-term thing and she was off to a long-term home within a week.

But last week, Sitcom Kelly was called upon to take in a 3-year old girl.  She will have her until at least next month, when the next court hearing is scheduled.  Wanting to get the child out of the house, AND not wanting to miss the Steelers game, Kelly brought the child along to watch the game with me at Jilly’s.

Now before you wear out your tongues clucking at me, keep in mind that I only refer to Jilly’s as a “sports bar” for brevity’s sake.  It’s actually a nice restaurant that has a bar, just like any Outback or Macaroni Grill.  It just also happens to have a slew of HDTVs, tuned in to football games on Sunday.  There’s no reason not to take a child out to a restaurant, so I don’t want to hear any fuss about it.  And naturally, Sitcom Kelly wasn’t drinking anything stronger than Diet Coke. 

The only risk would be that the child would not be happy there and make a ruckus.  I know that was my concern, because it carried the possibility of eating into my concentration as I watched the game.  Plus, I’ve never plotted out the mojo involved in watching a game with a little one.

As it turned out, I needn’t have been worried on any account.  The girl was just delightful and she had me wrapped around her tiny little finger within minutes.

When the agency first contacted Sitcom Kelly about the girl, they said she was Caucasian.  This is a picture of the little peanut:

The girl was just about the cutest thing I ever did see.  But she’s clearly biracial.  Right off the bat, Sitcom Kelly took the beads out and washed her hair.  After that, she wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.  She told me she had no idea what to do with this hair.  Hell, she barely knew how to take care of her own.  (Her words, not mine.)  On the way to Jilly’s, they’d stopped at Target for some hair bands, which the girl wore with style and class.  (Curse me for not bringing my camera.)  She also appeared to me to be younger than 3.  I could be wrong, but I don’t exactly trust the word of any agency that thought that this kid was white.

Sensing an opportunity to help, I sought the help of my ex-work wife, Pamela (aka “Sunshine”), who has many years experience in being a biracial beauty.  I knew she’d have some hair care tips to share.  She was only too happy to help.  I believe her exact words were “I can’t have one of my kind looking like a hot mess.”

Anyway, the girl seemed perfectly content to sit at the table and draw in a spiral notebook, or play with her big sparkly purse.  She spoke hardly at all, yet she seemed to understand everything that we said to her.  I told Sitcom Kelly not to worry about it… my nephew Sammy was the same way.  While his brother Daniel spoke early and often, (one day when he was 9-months old he took a deep breath and began speaking… he didn’t stop until… well, I’ll let you know when it happens,) Sammy could follow along with any conversation and do whatever he was told.  But he just didn’t care to speak.  He eventually snapped out of it and is fine.  So I didn’t think there was any cause for alarm with the girl.

Kelly and I were concerned that she might have a problem with men, but while she was a bit wary of me at first, she didn’t seem particularly frightened.  She’d just stare at me with her big almond eyes and give me a sly smile.  Later, she went on to make friends with the big dude sitting behind her, and his 6-year old son.  So I think she’s OK on that front too.  The boy was very good with her, letting her borrow all of his crayons individually, for 5 seconds at a time.  (She was more about the ‘borrowing’ than the ‘drawing.’) 

But the kid was a real trouper.  She hung in for almost the entire game.  She played, ate a few fries and some applesauce, and was generally charming.  It was like, in that moment, I’d do anything to make her laugh or smile.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a complete sucker, but I begun to understand why parents often act so goofy around their kids and seemingly cater to their every whim.  I get that they just want to see their kid happy.

I also realize that I’m only using a 3-hour sample and a lot of that “cute” rubs off during day-in, day-out child rearing.  I’m only used to uncle-sized doses (which is what makes me such a sucker for the cute).

I don’t know what kind of stuff this girl has gone through but I know that for the next month, my friend will make this kid’s life much easier than she’s used to.  While I tried to convince Sitcom Kelly that this would make for great material for her to use to start a blog, I’m pretty sure that the odds of her doing one are now infinitesimal.  But on the bright side, she will have some help tending to her guys in their Pits.  The girl might even get to tend one of her own.

Hey, I wonder what happened to that 6-year old boy…

15 comments:

  1. Precious Peanut. Blessings to Sitcom Kelly for making her life love ly.

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  2. What a sweetie. It just breaks my heart ... trying to figure out what's going through her little mind. I know how 3 year olds think, and I'm sure she's just wondering why life is so dang confusing.

    Oh, and with her hair, I wish I lived closer. I would have handled that issue for you. One of my good friends growing up was biracial and had more Afro than Caucasian hair type. I spent many a-sleepovers learning how to tame the mane.

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  3. Cassie,
    I'm constantly amazed by the "Panel of Experts" that I've managed to assemble, without even knowing it. If you have any tips, feel free to email them to me and I'll pass them on.

    Little Peanut is in good hands now.

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  4. Hey, you know that commercial where a guy is renting out dogs to other guys to use as a chick magnet in the dog park? Maybe you can ask Kelly if you can rent that precious little Peanut out to some of your friends to take to the playground and attract young single women. You could get rich!!

    All kidding aside, I hope that sweet child finds a wonderful home with parents who will love and protect her. Too bad you and Pinky aren't married. Bluz, you have such a kind and loving heart. I know your little Mama is proud.

    Your Hot Arizona Auntie

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  5. What an amazing thing for your friend to do. It breaks my heart to think about what that poor little girl must be thinking and going through.

    And even when you have your kids 24/7 and see their wild and bad sides, their cuteness and sweetness still makes up for it.

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  6. Very cool. We did that for a while in Illinois, but haven't gone through the certification process here in PA. May use this to get off the dime.

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  7. My brother Chuck is 15 years older than I am, and when I was a small fry, you better believe he used me to my full chick-magnet potential. It worked out great; he took me places and bought me Happy Meals, and I scoped out girls for him and told him whether they were "foxy" or "chicken feed" (this is the terminology he taught me to use).

    That child is GORGEOUS, but Sitcom Kelly is right - those beads have got to GO. This is not 1976.

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  8. Judie,
    I’m with ya there… I was always after my buddy Rik to let me borrow his girls when they were little… totally chick-bait. I remember once when me, him and little Kyrie (who was about 3 or 4 at the time) walking across the campus of my old college, on the way to get some of that Myles Pizza that I’m always on about. Anyway, baby-girl was saying hi to every bunch of college girls that strolled by, thus garnering us much face time that desirable “Girls Gone Wild” demographic. Unfortunately, I’m sure they assumed we were the world’s least stylish gay couple and their adopted daughter.

    As far as me becoming a father or permanent caretaker? All I can say is “Oh HELL no.” I’m too old for that shit. Hanging out with the chilluns in small chunks is just fine for me. I don’t have the patience to stay on that kind of high alert 24/7. (Long live Unclehood!)

    That’s why I’m so proud of my friend. She’s really putting herself out there and making a difference.

    Jessica,
    You really do wonder what goes in inside, especially with the ones that don’t speak much. And the more you wonder, the worse it gets.

    Regarding the 24/7, just remember… you’re still young. I have to debate whether I want to expend the energy just to get up from the couch and get a snack.

    Carpetbagger,
    Do it! It’s worth it for the blog material alone! And then when you comment on other family blogs, you will have the voice of authority, unlike yours truly, who is painfully aware that status as Another Childless Douche undercuts anything he might have to say.

    Mrs. Bachelor Girl,
    I’m touched by your story of sibling bonding. Truly. Props to Chuck, who wisely figured out how to kill two birds with one stone… promoting family unity AND scoping out the babes.

    That little girl has eyes that can hypnotize you. She studies you like she’s mapping your face for a future art project, and then gives a shy little smile. I was ready to sign over my stock portfolio.

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  9. God love her for that. As for me, I'd rather make a difference by persuading the right to lifers to step up and ADOPT all those babies whose mothers they stopped from having an abortion because those women couldn't afford to raise them! Quite frequently those poor, uneducated women hook up with some loser who ends up abusing those children and often even killing them.

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  10. God bless! Not just Kelly & Little Peanut, but you too, for letting her tag along. Kids can be GREAT in public, especially if they are given things to do and people who PAY ATTENTION to them. She looks like a sweet little thing and I hope she finds a family who will love and cherish her.

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  11. Aww, she's so cute! Makes me almost want kids. Almost. But I couldn't do what Sitcom Kelly is doing - I'd end up adopting them all. My hats off to her!!

    And best wishes the little girl finds a happy, healthy home, with loving parents.

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  12. I got the blues on me after reading this one, man. Just sad thinking about all the kids navigating the foster care system. Little Peanut is the cutest little thing and I hope she finds a family who will love her.

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  13. Red Pen Mama,
    Eh, I didn’t do anything. I was happy to meet her. Of course, if she’d started throwing a giant tantrum as soon as they sat down, I might have thought otherwise. But I think Kelly had a pretty good idea that she was not going to cause a commotion.

    I agree that bringing things to do is key. I’ve been going out to dinner with my brother’s family for years, even when the boys were quite young. They always brought a few toys… cars or action figures, and the kids always occupied themselves nicely. You can’t blame them for not putting up with a bunch of grownup yakking, when they don’t have anything to do.

    Kernut,
    I KNOW, right? It’s like taking in a stray cat only to the nth degree. You get attached and want to keep them all. At least with the sweet ones… I’m sure there are others where you’re counting the days before you can get them out of your house.

    Brandon (Beer),
    Yeah, I wouldn’t wish anyone to have to deal with that kind of bureaucracy. And I also think about those that are just in it to reap the financial benefits. Luckily for the little Peanut, Sitcom Kelly is not like that. The little one has found a good place to lay over until a permanent solution can be found.

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  14. I can only hope more people in this little girl's life will make the effort to make her smile.

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  15. Sherry,
    Your lips to God's ears. Little girls needn't be bothered with so many grown-up worries. They just need to play and wear little head bands.

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