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     One more weekend. That's it, and then it's all over. We'll pick him up Saturday morning and spend the entire day trying not to cry. Then we'll take him to church with us one last time and try to take a mental snapshot of each moment so that it can forever be ingrained in our minds.... our last weekend with Isaac. Saying goodbye week after week has been so emotionally trying.... almost as emotional as the fact that it takes our baby longer and longer to warm up to us each weekend. He's forgetting us already. I was hoping I would never have to see that process, but apparently saying goodbye once is for the weak....we must be awfully strong if our family was given the task of doing it over and over and over again. (At least that's what I'm telling myself.)
     However, some of us are not handling this as well as others. And that someone is Cameron. Surprisingly enough, I thought Taylor was going to be the one we were going to have to worry about. But thankfully she has seemed to grow immeasurably during this time (which has helped me bond with her much more than I did before she was able to show an emotion!). But, sadly, not Cameron. My boy has turned into a complete and utter disaster. The poor kid can't keep a thought in his head (probably because his mind is spinning a mile a minute about Isaac, if the cat is going to leave, school work, things that are shiny...) and his already impulsive tendencies have exploded like a volcano of destruction, aggression, and hyperactivity.
     These are things you'd hear coming from my husband and my lips multiple times an hour if you were at my home any given day of the week:
"Cameron, WHY did you flush your sister's hair ties down the toilet??"
"Cameron, you can't threaten to run away every day.... it's definitely losing it's momentum, my friend."
"Is it yours? Then stop touching it. Now... stop touching it now."
"Cameron, keep your hands to yourself or I'll do it for you."
"Cameron, clean your room." (x 100)
"Teeth are for biting food, not people!!"
"How the heck did you break your lamp AND the toilet??"
"Cameron, stop riding your bike in front of the lawnmower and cars!!"
"Seriously?!? WIPE YOUR BUTT!!!!!"
"Cameron, take your meds... Cameron, take your meds... CAMERON!!!! TAKE. YOUR. MEDS!!!!"
     At school, he's getting in trouble for not listening, hitting another student, and getting out of his seat repeatedly on the bus. At home, he's hitting (himself and others), lying, stealing, binge eating, breaking things, and biting. Yes, biting. My toothless child has grown several teeth over the summer. Although I was thrilled his teeth were FINALLY coming in, I had no idea that he would use them as a weapon. Not only did he break skin on his sister's shoulder, but he attempted to bite my mother-in-law multiple times while she was trying to help him calm down during one of his fits! And to top it off, Cameron's binge-eating has caused him to gain almost 10 pounds since Isaac left (we literally had to buy all new clothes because he went up 2 sizes in 2 weeks!).
     Cameron has also taken to very large tantrums whenever he isn't given his way. Tonight, after he was told 3 times to get ready for bed and he continued to play instead, he was sent to bed. "What about snack??" he asked. I informed him that he'd missed snack time when he was playing and that it was now bed time, not snack time. This is what I got in return: "Not only are you the worst foster mom in the world, you're the worst REAL mom, too!! I hate you! You're mean and a jerk and I'm going to kill myself!!!" (The last part always seems to emerge when he's very emotional and then not given his way on top of it. We've addressed this multiple times over the last year and a half, explaining how serious this is and that he will not be given his way for a statement like that... but if he is serious and tries to hurt himself, he will have to go to a hospital, which won't be very fun.) However, over the weekend, he made the same statement and when he didn't get the attention he wanted, he decided to punch himself in the face... which consequently gave him a bloody nose. And the roller coaster just continues day in and day out... it's like the worst amusement park ride in the world and he, nor I, just can't seem to find the emergency lever to pull and get off of it.
     I think it's safe to say that his therapist has her hands full and that his current medication isn't cutting it. But more importantly, I have no idea how to make him feel better. I can't give in to his every whim, and I can't have him hurting people or himself.... I love him too much to let him turn into a monster. It would just be nice to know what to do. How to ease his mind. How to calm his heart. How to deal with his behaviors without turning into a monster myself! I feel too emotionally tired to try sometimes. It's easy to flip out and it's easy to ignore.... but I know he needs planned approaches to things. Cameron needs a well-thought out response to each behavior; one with the perfect amount of firmness and love, forgiveness and consequence, empathy and redirection. But how do I do that when, some nights, all I have the energy for is staring at the television until my eyes glass over and it's an acceptable time to go to sleep?
     Eventually we will tire of this ride enough to move on to the next one, and hopefully it will be a much more pleasant experience. I doubt it will happen before Isaac's last weekend, and probably not before our final court hearing for him on Tuesday. In fact, it probably won't happen for a while. In the meantime, I'm gonna keep trying to stay sane, pray A LOT, and work on my Candy Crush scores (because, hey, even mom's need a little mind-numbing fun, right?). Suggestions are always welcome:)