Mona's Torment of Ivy

 

Shari gets herself to prenatal appointments, work and meetings with her teacher. She is saving money diligently and researching apartments and baby furniture with fervor. The baby’s due date, high school graduation and her eighteenth birthday are all very close. We are trying to figure out if there is any way we can stretch out her time in foster care. I do not have to do anything for Shari except provide a home. Nina is no longer a rescued baby but the littlest sister. Mona is struggling.

I am able to enroll Nina in a full day program in the nearby Head start preschool. There is constancy and happiness in our home but it seems that Mona needs turbulence to function. Mona is harassing Ivy again. I don’t worry about it too much at first because Mona is nine, Ivy is twelve and Lea and Shari like Ivy and are loyal to her and get mad at Mona when she does mean things to Ivy. Ivy is outraged because Mona has taped over the videos of her as an infant and toddler. I dismiss it as an unfortunate accident and take responsibility because they were with family videos and I should have set them aside. In a fit of anger, she flushes earrings Granddad gave to Ivy down the toilet. Lea is able to rescue one of them. Mona lurks around Ivy’s classroom and pulls her friends aside and tells them Ivy picks her boogers and eats them. She tells Ivy not to sleep at night because if she does, she will cut her hair.

Mona’s counselor helps us talk by spreading a blanket on the floor and we talk by having a picnic with play food and dishes. These are happy sessions but the issues are serious. Mona and I talk about the mean things she does to my daughter. Mona says she wants to move. I tell Mona I want her to stay. Sisters don’t always like each other and families don’t give up their little girls just because they can’t get along with one another. I also volunteer that she doesn’t know that another family would be better than us. Mona is insistent that she wants to move. I do not think children should change homes because they are simply unhappy. These are issues that should be resolved. If moving a child is the next action, then she never learns resolution. Still, Mona is adamant. I am not ready to give up.

The next counseling session, Ivy is not in school and she doesn’t want to stay home alone. She comes along for the ride and is content in the waiting room. Halfway through the session, the receptionist comes into the counseling room to inform me that Ivy is violently ill in the bathroom. I go to her and Mona runs after me, she catches up as I am mopping Ivy’s feverish face with a cold towel and starts screaming that I always take care of Ivy and not her. Her counselor observes this outburst. Ivy is quite ill. We go home and I tend to Ivy and take Mona and Lea with me to collect Nina from preschool. I soldier on.

The following week, Mona and I are on her way to counseling. Mona is angry with me because I have a sandwich and bottle of water for her as opposed to going to McDonalds for lunch. This is because she was unmanageable for her teacher and was sent to the principal’s office. Mona is out of control with anger and unbuckles her seat belt and grabs the steering wheel. I hit her hard and pull over as soon as possible. I tell her to go to the seat farthest back and fasten the seat belt. She complies, weeping and holding her cheek. We go on to counseling and I report the incident to the counselor and suggest that maybe Mona would like to see her alone. I do not submit a seven day notice on Mona, I call our agency and report the incident in the car and tell them that Mona really wants to leave and to please let me know what they can do as soon as possible.


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