Does anyone know this man? He turned up on the doorstep on Tuesday morning, and told me he had come to paint our front door. I said I didn't know anything about that, and he informed me it was on his works sheet, so it needed to be done. I pointed out that we don't rent our house, and he pointed to my house number on his little sheet of paper, and insisted it was in my contract. I was reasonably certain doors were specifically excluded from my contract; he asked me to close the door, so, thinking that he was going off to check, I did so and sat back down again.
Ten minutes later, the door was opened, he painted the sills, and told me to leave the door wedged open "for an hour or so" to let the paint dry. As our carer left at eight o'clock, she tested the paint and laughingly offered to come back in the morning armed with a razor blade and a battering ram to open the door. As I went to bed at eleven I pulled the still tacky door to, and hoped for the best.
It rained yesterday, the door held up to this fairly well, and most of the newly mown grass which had blown onto the sticky paint washed off again.
I took this photo at half past eight this morning. I just happened to be walking down the hallway when I realised our random painter was back. Ten minutes later he pushed the door open, painted the sill again, and walked away. Warned by the many dischuffed visitors on Tuesday, I put a sign up this time. It's nine o'clock now and the paint is still wet.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not unhappy that someone has painted my door. I expect I'll get a bill from it somewhere, when the people at the housing association realise that the house isn't rented, or possibly when they realise their painter visited the wrong street. But it's a job which is about two years overdue, so it has at least saved me the effort of finding someone to do it. I am however a little annoyed that he went ahead and did it even after I told him not to, and that for the two finest days this week we've been trapped inside the house watching paint dry.
We didn't make it to church on Sunday; the extra care needed for Little Fish made us late. And it was nice, very nice, to sit around at home and enjoy just being home, just us, without our previous week's audience. We enjoyed our garden on Monday rather than going elsewhere. Tied to the house unexpectedly today and Tuesday, and a wet wet day yesterday means that we've not actually left the house properly since we got home last Saturday. Tomorrow I plan to escape with both girls first thing in the morning before anyone can phone and arrange to see us.
It's been a very phone-centric day today. Appointments to be arranged and rearranged, medicines to sort out, and a phonecall from the health visitor wanting to know how I was coping. She caught me at a bad moment - third person in a row to ring as I was trying to feed a child. Apparently it is now policy for the health visitors to phone the house every time they get a letter from hospital about a child on their books. It doesn't matter whether the parents want the HV to phone or not, "this is a service we offer so that someone is there for you". It doesn't apparently matter if the parent has 23 other professionals plus a raft of friends who can be "there for you"; this is now the role of the health visitor. I did request that this stopped - we can average three hospital visits a week; I do not need a kind caring stranger asking me how I'm coping after each one. I hope she takes my stroppiness with her call as a sign that I am coping just fine thanks, and not as a sign that I need even more concerned caring phonecalls.
And then a phonecall in the middle of the girls' bedtime confirming that the Wahooligan will not be coming back to us. I'm very pleased that he is where he is; I am absolutely convinced that it is the very best place for him to be. We'll miss him though. And more importantly than my own feelings, the fact that he won't be returning has made a liar of me to my child. Little Fish waved goodbye to him two weeks ago as she went into preschool, and he had gone when she came home. I told her he would be back. If I'd known this was a possibility, I'd have made sure she she was here when he had left, and I'd not have told her that. She's not too fussed at the moment; she knows where he is and she sees his things still by his bed. But I'm not so sure she'll be as happy when the rest of his stuff goes, and she will remember that I told her he'd be home again.
That's how it goes with fostering, I suppose. Here one day and gone the next. Or here one day and stay forever, and the forever bit was never an option for the Wahooligan. I hope he's not the last fosling we have though; it was never my intention to stop fostering forever, so maybe there will be someone else in that cot one day? I know we'd all enjoy that.