This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My ragamuffins

I haven't done our usual grocery shopping this week because I ended up spending a lot of the grocery money on clothes for the kids. Partly because the weather has finally cooled a little - highs in the low to mid 80s instead of 90s and 100s. So the kids are looking at jeans and jackets. But the biggest reason was because our kids usually spend Saturday night at Grandma's and we meet up with them at church. Most of the Summer (and for some of the kids much longer than that), I've been fussing at the kids because I find them in dirty, stained clothes. I want them in dressy holy clothes, not messy holey clothes!

I've heard the same old excuses for months... "I forgot I didn't have any dressy clothes here." "I left my (shirt, skirt, dress pants...) at home." "My __________ didn't fit." So they wear yesterday's clothes or play clothes left at Grandma's house for who knows how long. Nothing I say or do has given them any motivation to change.

Sunday, I was venting to my sister that they were ALL in holey jeans, and she mentioned that when she picks up Ponito to take him to school in the morning he is often wearing stained, dirty clothes with his hair and teeth unbrushed. LAST STRAW!! Then and there I decided I was going through everyone's clothes and tossing everything stained, holey, or didn't fit.

We've caught Ponito wearing the same clothes 3 days in a row! Aargh! This is NOT because he doesn't have tons of clothes. This is because he apparently becomes emotionally attached to his clothes and only wears 3 shirts and 2 pairs of jeans - nothing else. I refuse to contemplate socks and underwear. Since his laundry is only done when he brings it downstairs to the laundry room (hopefully every week, but not always), this means no clean clothes. THIS IS MY NEUROTYPICAL BIOSON WHO IS NOT A TEENAGER YET!

Did I mention he will only wear one pair of pajamas? We threaten him often with cutting them off him or throwing them away. They still probably only get washed about every 2-3 weeks. *sigh*

So Sunday afternoon I went through his closet (something I don't do very often because he hasn't grown by leaps and bounds like the rest of the kids). He has grown a little, but he's been getting hand-me-downs for years. He loves to wear shirts that basically look like dresses!

I pulled out 5 kitchen size trash bags of clothes that no longer fit or he didn't want to wear. Plus, one bag that belongs to my nephew that comes over often. He found at least 7 items he didn't know he had! Only one long sleeve shirt that fit.

I go through Kitty's wardrobe often (because she's incapable of taking care of her own things). So I get rid of her stained clothes regularly. However, she has gained over 70lbs in the last year so she outgrows her clothes often. Still it hasn't been that long since I've gone through her clothes, and I know she doesn't have a lot that fits.

Bob is taller and has slimmed down a lot this year. She needs new clothes too. Bear is beyond picky and I only shop in thrift stores so he doesn't often find new clothes. He doesn't like clothes shopping, he prefers to buy shoes. I won't let him buy shoes because he has more than everyone else combined. Also he'll buy any shoe he likes whether it fits or not. He probably wears a 9.5. He has shoes ranging up to a 12.

So we went clothes shopping Sunday afternoon, and didn't have much money left over for meat. Therfore the mealso we did have had to be made with what we have in the fridge and freezer. Today we had leftover spaghetti sauce, but the kids had just had spaghetti recently (hence the leftover sauce, duh!).

So I told them we were having Baked Spaghetti. I decided not to tell them it was Baked Spaghetti Squash. Not a popular meal. No one liked the "funny noodles." I went ahead and confessed then. At least I'll have healthy lunches for quite awhile. I thought it was yummy.

Baked Spaghetti Squash (can also be vegetarian)

1 Spaghetti Squash
3-4 cups homemade or 1 jar spaghetti sauce
1-2 lbs ground beef
~¼ cup grated parmesan
1 ½ - 2 cups shredded mozzarella

1. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scrape out seeds. Fill each half with ¼ cup water and cover with plastic wrap.
2. Cook squash in microwave for 10 minutes or until squash is soft. Drain water.
3. Brown ground beef. Drain.
4. Scrape out squash flesh into large baking dish (9x15?). Add beef and spaghetti sauce. Mix well.
5. Sprinkle dish with grated parmesan. Cover entire dish with mozzarella.
6. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is lightly brown and bubbly.


woolywoman said...

OK, I get the kids not caring about how they look at church, but what's wrong with Grandma???

My kids also get very attached to clothes- both of them are saving t- shirts for a tshirt and jeans quilt, and I have been known to photograph shoes so that they "can remember them" Both bio kids, BTW, one typical one quirky.

marythemom said...

Hi Woolywoman,

Grandma has 4-6 grandkids to get ready for church. If a child tells her they have nothing else to wear she doesn't have a lot of options. The kids are also not easily controllable (understatement!). That's also why I work with her in the afternoons after school.