radishI just learned two new things about moms with Reactive Attachment Disorder kids.

First, they have a sense of humor and call their kids Radishes–a nickname that is so cute and so perfect.

Second, they rely on Respite care to give them a break from caring for their Radishes.

My husband and I are currently on our first vacation from the kids in eight years– wish I’d heard of Respite sooner! I mean, I heard the word “Respite” years ago when we first got the kids as foster kids, when anyone who babysat had to be finger-printed and CPR-certified. They were all called Respite care providers, but nobody provided care overnight.

I just happened to read in a book by Deborah Hage– a protegé of Nancy Thomas– that parents of RAD kids need to get away by themselves at least once a year. Great idea and here we are. Wish I’d read that book seven years and eleven months ago.

I’ve had a few breaks on my own over the years, but as any mom can tell you, leaving the kids with Dad alone is not stress-free. After a while I refused to go anywhere because what I came back to was always so much worse than what I had left. But for five glorious days, my husband and I have time to ourselves, in a completely different state!

My husband suggested we call home today, but I voted (and won) that we keep that can of worms closed until we’re back in the same house and can do something about whatever we discover. We did check privately with the babysitter to make sure everything is going OK and it is. Although I’m definitely sure she’s earning her money. But then, isn’t a classic symptom of RAD that the kids are better with other adults? Our kids are probably being angels for her.

How did we go for eight years stumbling around in the dark not knowing about Radishes, Nancy Thomas’s RAD parenting techniques, and Respite? It’s almost like adopting a kid with cancer and not knowing about chemotherapy and radiation. Maybe someday we’ll look back and realize what purpose these eight LONG years in the dark served, but for now we’re up on the RAD merry-go-round.  We’ve figured out or discovered the basics and we’ve still got two days left on our vacation. Woo-hoo!

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