Yeah, I know. The title isn't exactly social worker friendly. But there you go.
I looked after a three year old girl a couple of weeks back on a respite placement. That's when the child's usual foster carer needs some time free, usually for a holiday or because of ill health. She was a lovely child to have, and even though I knew she would be going back to her usual foster home at the end of the week it was impossible not to get attached.
When she left, I couldn't believe how quiet the house was. Even at night time, when she should have been fast asleep in bed, it was like I could feel that the house was emptier than it had been. I folded up some of the clothes that she'd left behind and put them in a drawer to send to her foster mother. I stripped the bed, washed the sheets and put away the Peppa Pig DVD's. What was worse, was that my husband and I realised that we'd started to talk about her like she was dead. 'Remember when she used to do this? The way she did tumbles to music?' I wasn't very upset when she went, because I had known all along that she was only with us for a week. But, knowing that I was probably not going to see her again was hard.
Then I got a call last week asking could we take her for ten days in September! I'm really looking forward to it now, and I'm going to get all her favourite things in. Also, it was her birthday in August so I can now buy her a birthday present without feeling like an over the top foster carer/stalker.
Having an energetic three year old will take some organisation on my part though. I need to get some systems in place to stop me doing the same amount of work I did last time she stayed (tl;dr: none).
Looking forward to it now, she's arriving September 2 :)