16 July 2015

Life with Cheetah

Cheetah (foster child #13 to pass through our doors) joined our house last week.  What's life been like with a teenager and an infant?  Busy to say the least.  Chase has been driving the kids around for lessons, meetings with social workers, meetings with biological family, and more.  Cheetah is potentially the most well-behaved teenager I've ever met.  Granted we are probably in the "honeymoon phase" of foster parenting, but his behavior and attitude has been top-notch.  He's quick to help around the house, and completes any task asked of him with alacrity....as long as you don't ask him to read a book!  We've enrolled both children in swimming lessons.  MM just flails and tries to cling to whichever parent is attending lessons with her.  She has at least learned to hold her breath after I blow on her face.   Cheetah has never had formal swimming lessons, but is able to tread water.  He got placed with younger kids (8 years old), and he was less than thrilled about it. Hopefully he'll be able to progress quickly!

We started an allowance system with him that was very unique.  When I told other parents about it, they thought it was rather strange.   Cheetah can earn up to $15 a week by completing tasks allotted for a certain amount of money.   I had almost 100 tasks, and almost all of them were geared toward getting to have fun with our family.  Some examples of $1 tasks...
  • Go for a hike
  • Eat with us at your favorite restaurant
  • Share a playlist of your favorite music
  • Beat Katie at a board game
  • Write letters to your siblings
Some of the tasks focused on getting involved with church, engaging in charitable/compassionate endeavors,  reaching out to his family, learning how to function as an adult, and improving literacy.   The educational tasks were worth $2 and can be repeated.  The fun stuff only counted once.   Needless to say, he loved his list!  He's started keeping a bird list, wrote cards to all of his siblings, cooked dinner, cooked breakfast, beaten me at 2 games (and played many more), enjoyed fireworks with us, and more.  It's been a great way to break the ice so to speak.

MM recently turned 6 months old!  Where did the time go?  She is rolling all over the house and can very slowly army-crawl.   She's also got a tooth!  It poked through just a few days ago!   She eats rice cereal, apples, bananas, peas, green beans, broccoli, pears, prunes, carrots, and squash! 

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