It was strange, yet nice, having only the five of us. We really had an opportunity to see how much easier it was to take care of everyone without the chaos that Goldilocks brings to every single minute. It was also heart breaking. We are in such a quandary about how to protect the other children in our family from the constant chaos and drama that come with having a mentally ill child. Also, what on earth can we do next for Goldilocks? She told her respite care provider that she was ready to leave our family and try out another one (as if there are families just waiting around for an angry teenager with a low IQ). These are devastating words to hear after investing 11+ years into a child (even when taking into account that she probably doesn't fully comprehend what she is saying). Her respite care provider says she is just not able to function in a family setting at this time. The experts feel that she is being triggered by having a mother (any mother would trigger her) because her birth mother was so cruel to her in infancy. But I digress. For 3 1/2 days Goldilocks was happier in a group home setting, and we were resting as a calm family.
The kids and dh had hours of fun in the pool and hot tub. I think they could have stayed in it for even more hours than they did. Little Red Riding Hood is a much better swimmer than last year. She was very brave in the deep end and could swim back and forth across the pool with no problem.
|The hot tub was so warm it that it created lots of steam.|
We went to Babyland General Hospital to see where Cabbage Patch dolls come from. This was fun for Little Red Riding Hood. The rest of us were just along for the ride. However, I do remember my first Cabbage Patch doll. When the dolls first came out, my mother waited in a very long line and got one for me. I was about to go into the hospital and she wanted me to have something special. I loved that doll for a long time. Babyland is really just a glorified shopping experience. We did not buy a doll. We did let the kids pick out a few pieces of candy, which delighted them. Little Red Riding Hood loved posing for the camera. I love this stage in kids.
We also went to Helen, Georgia, which is a town made over into a old fashioned German village.It was mostly a tourist trap, but the food was good and it tied in nicely with our studies of Europe and World War II. The kids loved our dessert picnic. We gave Tom Sawyer lots of supplements, but even so, he turned all splotchy in the face and became very hyper after so much grain. He thought it was worth it to have such a yummy picnic.
On another day, we went into one of the larger towns around the resort and went out to lunch at a 1930's restaurant. We had a lovely lunch and then went antiquing for a little while. I bought a pressed glass deviled egg dish. I have wanted one for a long time and the prices were very low in this antique mall. The kids behaved so well in the restaurant and the antique mall, so we surprised them with a movie! We saw The Lego Movie at full price. This is almost unheard of for our family. We had the entire movie theater to ourselves. The movie was great!
Our last adventure was a trip to the Duke World of Energy (nuclear station museum). We saw the nuclear plant from a short distance away and then toured the museum. It was free and interesting if you could get past the propaganda and self advertising that Duke Energy informed us of at every turn. The kids learned about electricity coming from water, coal and nuclear energy. It was hands on and worth the trip if you find yourself in this rural part of the country.
We really must work harder at having breaks from our daily grind. It was so nice to get away and to have a break. It was a relief to see how well Tom Sawyer and Little Red Riding Hood behaved when they are apart from their sister. We must find a way to conquer the chaos. I am trying to get Goldilocks into a developmentally delayed day camp this summer. It looks like a good fit with a low adult/child ratio. She would be at camp away from the family for the daytime hours. It might just be the break we all need.