Tomorrow we might be welcoming a new child into our home. Or the next day perhaps. Or maybe this one won't happen at all and we'll have to wait and see what comes next.
This time between placements is always awkward. It's nice for me and OB to have each other all to ourselves, and I certainly appreciate the reduction in laundry and the disappearance of nappies, bottles and disturbed nights. But it's hard to plan anything and there's always a sense of being in limbo, of waiting for the hammer to fall.
When you don't know what your family will consist of next week, it can be hard to make firm plans. Somebody asked me the other day if I could commit to something in February. I laughed. Who knows what we'll be doing in February?! In the short term, a possible placement tomorrow means I'm struggling to plan this week's shopping. What will the child come with? What do they eat and drink? Will they need nappies, shoes, clothes, a coat? It means hurriedly acclimatising the new child to our regular babysitter as I have a commitment I can't avoid on Wednesday evening and it wouldn't do for this little one to wake and be confronted by a total stranger's face. It means organising OB's upcoming birthday party with a traumatised little one in the house.
Planning for a new arrival means getting my head around how the house needs to be organised for a child of that age. So, over the weekend I've sourced a safety gate extension to restrict access to the kitchen, done a little necessary DIY, sorted out a small pile of age-appropriate toys, caught up on the laundry and cleaning and made sure the nursery is ready.
And of course I've started to prepare OB, inasmuch as it's possible to prepare a 3-year-old for the possible but not certain arrival of a new person in the household. He understands that more babies will come. Since BG left, he's told a few people that we're getting a new baby and it's going to be called "Bill the Dog"! There's a world of difference between understanding the words I'm saying, and understanding what it all really means.
So, tonight I have butterflies in my stomach that will no doubt only intensify each time I check my phone tomorrow. We're waiting with intent.