"So are you bringing a foster child home tonight then?" says Tinkerbell Mushroom.
No, I say. Not tonight.
"So where are you going?"
"We're going on a course to learn how to be foster carers." I say.
"And then we'll have a foster child living with us?"
"Well, yes, but it may take a while. A few months."
A look of disappointment crosses her face.
"I think that we should have an eleven year old child." Says Gymnast. "That would fill the gap."
"I'm not sure that it works quite like that" I say.
From the conversation you will gather that we are considering being foster carers. Yes, I know we have plenty of our own, but we also have huge house for huge family, and huge family is growing up, so there is room for someone who needs and wishes to live in our mad family for a while. Besides, my friend Jenny sent me a card when Tinkerbell Mushroom was born, with a comment along the lines of offering to make some dresses from curtains for me. So perhaps it's time to fulfil the prophecy a little more. We're still three short of the Von Trapp family.
Of course, to children, it all seems so simple, and to them it wouldn't be unreasonable to have one that happens to fit into gap that I carelessly managed to leave out when having five children. And they don't understand that a placement is not necessarily a long term one.
Some people may not consider that we have much of a gap. With five children ranging currently from 7 to 16 there wasn't much space for many more pregnancies in the 9 and 3/4 years. But, it is true, there are four years between Sensible and Gymnast, which being more than the "around two years or less gaps" of the others is in their perception "a gap".
We may of course do supported lodgings though for 16+ year olds. Something favoured by the fostering team as they have so few who are willing to go down this route.
"No" protested ED. "We want a little one." By little one of course, she means "baby" that she can dress up and take to the park.
"In a few years" says Hubby, "you can have your own babies to mother, but right now whoever we foster needs to be part of this family and will be placed with us because they need a home for a while."
"I don't think that ESOS would like the thought of another older teenager though." She continues. ESOS, being on a school trip away in France is not here to comment. So the jury can remain out on that one.
The one good though, is that although they all have some very interesting ideas and visions of said foster placements, not one of them has objected to the thought of sharing their lives with another.
And in the meantime we are only a few weeks into the course. We need to be approved as a suitable foster family, and um ... if they do deem us suitable candidates, have the house approved too. Electrics, plumbing, heating...
Sally's writing is about being a mother of five, now all too grown up, children, (four girls, one boy) a husband, a dog, and a serious ambition to be a mortgage free and famous actress, voice over artist, broadcaster, writer and teacher.
The "Cast" List for the blog includes:
Hubby - Her husband,
ED - Eldest Daughter,
ESOS - Eldest son only son,
Sensible - Second daughter,
Gymnast - Third daughter,
Tinkerbell Mushroom - Youngest daughter and youngest child,
Mad Dog - AKA Lucy - the border collie.
Guest appearances by MIL (mother in law), parents, two brothers, inlaws, nephews, nieces and great nephew.