1. Someone is always correcting you after referring to your personal car as “The Van”.
2. On respite your cell phone/ PDA/ personal anxiety alarm go off reminding you it’s time for meds.
3. You have at least one therapist on speed dial.
4. You can name at least six psychotropic meds in three seconds.
5. While trying to do #4 you hit yourself in the head trying to think of what the blue pill is called.
6. On a romantic date all you and your spouse talk about is how the kids would act here…
7. #6 takes place at a McDonalds.
8. The house parent network is your home page.
9. Grocery shopping looks like a UN food shipment to a small country.
10. You actually know who Father Flannigan was and believe he was either a Saint or at the very least a drinking man.
11. Your 5 year olds pretend to pack their bags and walk around the house pretending to go on “belief”(relief).
12. You’re standing around with a group of Houseparents and when a kid walks by and says “hey Pop”, six of you turn and respond.
13. When your first day of relief/respite begins with a three hour nap!!
14. You begin to wonder if a kid is trying to send a Morse code message after they slam a door for the fifth time.
15. You consider coffee and mountain dew a food group.
16. When you think home security, you think of keeping people in, not out.
17. The paint ball guns seemed like a good idea at the time……
18. The house van looks like it barely survived a tour in Iraq.
19. You believe ALL brass instruments are some kind of sick joke by the public school system.
20. You are amazed that God has trusted you, of all people, with so much. (Seriously).
21. Whether on duty or off you count heads to make sure you have everyone in the vehicle before you turn the key in the ignition.
22. Always check what station is on the radio before you turn the sound up.
23. You get more excited about a mini-van with a TV set and two automatic cargo doors than a sports car.
24. You wonder if the key chain hanging from your belt caused the hernia
25. You consider summer vacation a combat tour.
6. When you cook, you automatically get out the big pots & pans calculating how much is enough for 8 to 12 hungry people
27. When you are on relief and are out in a restaurant, you see a big van parked there & wonder what houseparents were brave enough to bring their group out to eat
28. On a school day, you start waking up at 4 AM to figure out if you need to get up yet & turn the ovens on to preheat
29) You keep a note pad by your bed so you can write down consequences as they come to you in your dreams. (or nightmares)
30. When your 6 year old daughter tells you she wants to call her social worker and can’t wait till she go home with her real mom and dad.
31. When you go out in public, you always see someone who looks just like “so & so”, could be their little brother or sister!
32. Then you start reminiscing with the stories about “so & so” that make you laugh now but didn’t really make you laugh when they actually happened!
33. You cook 3 pounds of spaghetti noodles or 2 dozen pork chops and then remember you are on relief!!!
This one NOT so humorous, in fact is somewhat sad, but a reality none the less.
34. When you get the ACT score report for one of your kids, see a 21, and think Great Score!!!
The lowest score I have seen is a 12, the average score I see is a 15-17, rarely do I see them above 20. Considering all the challenges our kids face: missed school, abuse, neglect, etc., 21 really is a great score.
35. While on relief you could buy any toothpaste you wish, but still buy the cheapest stuff because it has become your favorite!
This could apply to many other products.