“Terrance” was my first respite placement, and like all first ‘babies’ will always hold a special place in my heart.
I was so nervous. My first placement, and a boy. I wasn’t even sure I knew how to entertain a little man for a weekend.
I had planned so many activities for the weekend and we stayed busy. Busy kids aren’t bored, and non-bored kids don’t whine.
We did jigsaws, baked gingerbread men, made mini pizzas, went to the park, made things from the making box, and that was just the first day. The second day included a trip to the farm, patting all the animals, playing soccer, hiking around the rocks, before coming home to print out pictures and make a photo book of all of the things we did for the weekend.
My highlight of the weekend had to be when he went to bed, I know, all you parents think that’s the best time of the day because that’s when they are quiet, but for me it was different.
I was told by his ‘mum’ that he could take up to 2 hours to go to sleep and because he was not going to be with his foster brothers I was warned, he would probably cry for a while about being lonely.
Well, bedtime arrived after his favourite dinner and movie and I prepared myself for a long couple of hours.
He got himself ready for bed, and chose a book from my collection for story time and without any requests for more drinks, stories, toilet trips he snuggled into his bed and I read him “The Very Cranky Bear” by Nick Bland. We said goodnight , I turned out his light and not a peep was heard from him.
About 20 minutes later, I couldn’t help myself. I tiptoed up the stairs to peek into his room, and he was out like a light. What an amazing feeling. This little person that normally has sleep issues, fell straight to sleep. I can tell you, it was the best feeling in the world.
“Terrance”, thank you for the best introduction to respite care.