It's been a long time since I've written, and there are many reasons for this. I am definitely living in interesting times.
On the home schooling front, the little ones have been thriving on an unschooling atmosphere that doesn't involve neglect and abuse. :-/ They have made huge improvements on all fronts, and are even dabbling in more "formal" learning activities, such as work-book type activities. They've been doing some lapbooks with their mom. Actually, that should be past tense. Lately, they've been caught up on the Rainbow Loom trend. I admit that I'm not a fan of the things made with rubber bands. I find the texture unpleasant. While I can appreciate the intricacy and skill in using the looms - enough that I've actually been tempted to try it, until I stop and wonder what I would do with things I don't actually like all that much - I find the appearance of the bands rather unattractive. Each to their own. What does appeal to me about these is that they require a level of fine motor control that has been really good for Beetle Child in particular. A lot of people with mobility challenges, such as their mom and another resident at the care centre, are finding these looms really excellent in maintaining motor control. An unexpected benefit to the craft, though one that makes a lot of sense, when you stop and think about it.
Looking at previous posts, I am realizing I haven't written much since the move. Unfortunately, there's a lot that, even writing anonymously as I am, isn't anything I should write about here.
Among the big issues we've been dealing with is my husband's health. He's looked at going on short term disability, but it's not an option for us right now, mostly because the insurance is 75% of his pay. We can't afford that, so he is forcing himself to work through the pain. Eldest has got herself a PT job to help pay the bills, putting her own online art business plans on hold. Youngest has taken a lot of stuff over on the home front, freeing me to drive DH to physio, doctor's appointments and, on the days he can make it in, the office. Because of the frigid weather, I've been driving Eldest to work (the company that hired her put her into a branch that has no bus service!), still driving the little ones to visit their mom as often as possible and, of course, doing all the usual errands. I've even been teaching a fair number of crochet classes, which is interesting because this time of year is usually dead for classes.
With all the stuff going on, and after a few incidents, we had to make a hard decision and asked the mom to find another family to take the children in. We simply are not in a position to give them the care they need, and what they need is a whole lot of one-on-one time, patience and therapy, among other things. It took a lot of effort on her part, but she has made progress. The problem is that the social worker involved was required, by law, to track down the dad.
Unfortunately, she succeeded.
I first found that out when I found a voice mail from him. It was very brief, but he did manage to threaten me before announcing that he would be back in the country within 2 weeks.
That means he should be back by the middle of March.
When the girls found out about this, they both became incredibly distressed. The Watcher started to cry.
Whether or not he actually shows up, we shall see, but we now have a time frame. We should now be able to get their mother an Emergency Protection Order, while we can finish the process of getting a Restraining Order. With all the various charges he faces once back, I'm kinda hoping he'll be persuaded not to return. It would be a lot better for the girls, that's for sure. The poor things are so torn. They do want to have a relationship with their father - that's right and normal. The problem is, he's not capable of giving them a healthy relationship.
More alarming is that, from the few communications their mother has had from him since he stopped trying to control us, he has become increasingly fanatically Islamic. He wasn't a particularly devout Muslim while in Canada, yet it was still the focal point of some of the more severe abuse they suffered under him. It would be so much worse now.
(I had to pause part way through the above paragraph. I was hearing some strange noises from the girls' bedroom. It sounded like one of them was crying in alarm in her sleep. When I came in to check, neither of them recalled making the noises I heard, and neither remembers any sort of dreams.)
So instead of the girls being prepared to move in with whichever family their mother chooses for them - something they are actually rather excited about, even as they voice questions about how much they'd be able to see their mother, or the friends they've made - they are having to deal with the trauma and fear that their dad will come back, and they'll be forced to live with him again. The situation would be far more abusive than it was before, and any progress and healing they've had over the past months would be crushed.
It's remarkable, how much damage one person can do to so many lives.