As some of you know and others don't, my brother Shotgun Bob and his wife The Girl decided that they would become foster parents. The reasons behind this decision are known only to Divinity, and that includes Shotgun Bob and The Girl. Their first foster child, Flounder, has been returned to the system for being too aggressive with The Girl. I don't know the particulars and no one is talking, but I'm guessing that Flounder threatened physical violence while in the midst of a temper tantrum. Flounder was thrown out of the local YMCA over this kind of behavior, so I'm not all that surprised.
Foster care soon offered a replacement. Two boys and a girl, all related, between the ages of 10 and 15 needed a home. After Shotgun Bob played 20 questions with the social worker, he still had more questions than answers. The current foster parents were contacted via telephone and the three had a conference call. Here's an approximation of the interesting part:
Current Foster Parent (Parent): We'd like to keep them, but we just can't right now. We're headed out of town to visit my aging mother, and she's in Timbuctoo, Mali.
Shotgun Bob (Shotgun): I see. Well, are there any peculiarities or special needs we should know about?
Parent: Oh no, these are category one children.
Social Worker (Worker): Good! Well then, since there's nothing else -
Shotgun: Not so fast, lady. How about odd behavior? Any acting out, temper tantrums, that kind of thing?
Parent: No... but you might want to put a little something on their bedroom door so that you'll know if they get up at night.
Worker: That probably won't be necessary, since these are category one children. Thank you for -
Shotgun: I'm not finished. What do you mean, put a little something on the door?
Parent: Just a little security device or something. It doesn't have to be much, just something to tell you if they get up during the night.
Worker: Okay, since there's nothing else -
Shotgun: Put a sock in it, Worker. Why would anyone be worried if this crew is up and around?
Parent: Well, you wouldn't want to be asleep while they're awake. That's all.
Shotgun: That's all? What do you mean, that's all?
Parent: I'm not keeping these three any longer. They're history. Gone. You either pick them up by five today or I'm calling the police.
::silence while this news is digested::
Shotgun: What's the deal?
Parent: The deal is that they piss all over the house.
Parent: I said, they piss all over the house. Wherever they feel like taking a piss, they do. On the carpet, in the living room, wherever. I've had it. I'm not keeping them.
Shotgun: Worker, did you know about this?
Worker, simultaneous with Parent: No.
Shotgun: I see. Okay lady, you lied. We're not taking them. No way.
Parent: Hey, I'm not keeping them.
Shotgun: We're not taking them.
Worker: Look, we need a home for these three, and this isn't that big a problem -
It wasn't long before foster care came through with another set and persuaded Shotgun Bob to speak to them again. As a result of an extended conversation and an interview, Shotgun Bob and The Girl now have a six year old girl who I'll call Pixie Dust, and an eight year old boy who I'll call Bowser. The dogs (Big Blue, a Great Dane and Rudolpho, an American Terrier) absolutely love Pixie Dust, mainly because she has a ton of energy and likes to run around the pasture while screaming. The dogs give chase, which is great fun. I gather that the father is missing, as in not to be found anywhere missing. The mother is a bipolar schizophrenic who is in the happy house getting tuned up. No other relatives are listed.
Now then. As most of you don't know, I read Momma Fargo's blog, The Boogey Man Is My Friend, on a regular basis and she recently wrote a little something about the trials and tribulations of raising a little girl: Bug Blurbs. The rest of this post is dedicated to Momma Fargo.
It seems that Pixie Dust and Bowser need clothing, so Shotgun Bob and The Girl told them they had to go shopping on Saturday. The kids didn't want to go, preferring to stay at Shotgun Bob's house and play with the dogs, swim in the pool and take life easy. Thinking quickly, Shotgun Bob bribed them by promising a visit to a local amusement park, where they have rides, carnival games and junk food. The kids headed for the car.
The shopping went off without too many hitches. Pixie Dust is easy to please and Bowser accepts anything that looks like jeans and a tee shirt. Then, instead of returning home to dinner and a movie, the tribe rolls into Midway Mayhem. The kids are right at home and clamor onto one ride after another. I think it may have been the merry-go-round that did it – up and down with a nice breeze. Shotgun Bob squinted at Pixie Dust and turned to his wife.
“Have you noticed your ward?” Shotgun asked dryly.
The Girl squinted myopically and finally resorted to binoculars.
“Ah! Oh! Pixie Dust!!!” The Girl is apoplectic, then waves frantically. When the ride ends The Girl corrals Pixie Dust.
“Pixie Dust, where are your panties?”
“I don't have any.”