The following are some lessons I learned the hard way, some of them I did (I’ll never tell which ones) and some were committed by other residential staff. Enjoy the following painful lessons of your fellow HP’s and remember, some idiot with a blog is always watching….
1. That scary neck tattoo you got in Atlantic City last year might not have been a great move before your interview at the Baptist Children’s Home.
2. Paint ball guns are lots of fun! However, Johnny’s case worker was not impressed with the quarter size bruise on his tender forehead from the coup de grace shot between the eyes the opposing cottage gave him after he was captured and dragged from the fort.
3. Mosh pits at concerts are not for middle aged adults. Concerts that have mosh pits are not for eight year olds.
4. Sniffing fingers of teen boys after they come out of the rest room to see if they were the ones smoking can sometimes bring up unexpected hygiene issues.
5. Asking one of your kids to help DJ the facility Christmas party is not a good idea, unless the group home you work has a deep appreciation for 2Pac’s greatest hits.
6. Body piercings are cool! Showing off your nipple rings at the swimming pool on campus ain’t.
7. Make sure the moving truck is already packed before you tell your supervisor which side of eternity you’ll see him in. One couple I knew was fired and had to find a place to live while they were still living in facility quarters. Just a little awkward for all involved.
8. Do you ever just hand the meds to your kids without watching them being swallowed? School called today, Bobby has been selling his Adderall medication to the cheer leading squad.
9. Growing a plant on the windowsill in a Styrofoam cup is probably a school project. Ten plants growing in the closet is probably not. (They were growing marijuana for all you non-pot heads out there).
10. The walkie talkies all of the boys keep in thier rooms just turned into a sophisticated communication/ intelligence gathering tool. At 22:00 Zulu time they make a run for the girls cottage and grab a smoke while ten year old Danny radios in your position every time you get ready to do a bed check in the house.
11. Maybe letting a twelve year old drive your Jeep on the ranch, beside a ditch, was not the smartest move…
12. Lucky, the 4 year old dog that walks sideways and chews on her tongue makes a great pet…. (Sorry Craig, had to throw that in!).
13. Playing hide and go seek in the cemetery sounded really cool, until you had to tuck your seven year old into bed…
14. That bottle of wine back in our private quarters tastes like water….
15. I have complete confidence in the new internet filter I put on the boys computer… Wait whats this? Amish Porn????
16. A drum set is a cool idea for a Christmas present.
17. Working in a COED TEENAGE HOUSE. Enough said.
18. Trampoline + Pool= Really uncomfortable emergency room questions.
19. Doing written reports on curse words. (I asked for a two page report, Gary gave me a ten page thesis on the “F” word. He enjoyed writing the forbidden word as often as he could, using it as a noun, adjective and verb. After the research Gary used cursing as more of an artistic expression of life rather than in fits of anger like everyone else).
20. Mentioning little things over dinner conversation that come back to haunt you. Like stating that “Alka Seltzer” will make a Sea Gulls stomach blow up. The following beach trip was real ugly with dead birds and crying kids.
The point is we all make some bone headed moves at times, although the consequences differ on how bad the choice is. Playing hide and go seek in a grave yard will keep you up all night with freaked out six year olds. Getting nasty with the boss will result in loss of shelter and food and marijuana growing in the closet of your 16 year old will ensure a visit from the local sheriffs Department as soon as they start bragging about their “Bumper Crop” at school.
It’s all about choices folks. We all get em, just try not to screw things up too bad….-Launch