INVESTIGATOR: I've never come up with a way to handle that. What do you do when a child does so?
SALLY: We would just say, "You need to not do that." At the time that she was actually doing it, to the point where I was really concerned she was going to hurt herself, there was a blanket, a fleece blanket on her bed, over her quilt. And what I did was just flip the blanket over her and just kind of use my arms and say, "You need to calm down. This is not OK. You are going to hurt yourself, you're going to hurt the room. This is not OK. You need to be talking to me." When she was in a rage like that, if I could-- if I could kind of, you know, envelop her, then oftentimes she would initially spike, but then she would decompensate usually pretty quickly.
What was interesting, the first time I did that, the minute I started to release pressure, she escalated again until I resumed pressure. And then she settled right down. And I ended up staying there. Like I was kneeling, I was kneeling on the floor. And I ended up staying there just enveloping her for like over an hour, probably an hour and a half. And then slowly, gradually just kept talking to her, and talking to her. And, you know, giving her words, and offering, you know, "What I see it looks to me like you're really struggling with this. I think that you must be feeling this way."
And she was generally able to say yes or no, "That's how I feel," or, "No, it's not." But, whatever-- whatever it was that seemed to work. And that's actually a technique I picked up when [therapist] Dan Hughes was working with a kid on my caseload, a foster mom was doing that, a couple of different foster moms had done that, that particular technique. And they had reported that it's been very successful. And one day I go, "Let's try that thing. If it works for everybody else, let's see if it works for Logan."
INVESTIGATOR: Is that the binding that you're talking about [inaudible].
SALLY: Well, there's an actual thing called the blanket wrap that they do in psychiatric facilities. And I'm not crazy about that, because that's just too confining. But, just kind of containing her, you know, swaddling her.
INVESTIGATOR: She told her bio mom, because I've got one of the reports in which she's telling her bio mom about the blanket wrap.
SALLY: I know, they sent that to me this morning.
INVESTIGATOR: How many times did you use that, the blanket wrap?
SALLY: The blanket wrap that we used was on the bed, wrapping the blanket that was on the bed, wrapping her.
INVESTIGATOR: You described it as two different types of blanket wrap, is a blanket roll?
SALLY: There's the blanket wrap that they do at psychiatric facilities, where they literally rolled out over ...(inaudible) again in a blanket so they can't move. They're like mummified. And that's-- I have a real issue with that. I think that's ...(inaudible)
INVESTIGATOR: So, that's not what she's describing to her bio mom then?
SALLY: I don't know-- Well, that's not something that happened to her here. I mean, we would tuck the blanket around her. Restrain and holding are very different things in my mind. I have a real issue with restrain. Restraints [are for] prisoners, who are trying to get away. But, if you have a 2-year-old who's out of control, you don't allow a 2-year-old to go off on a rampage. You still come up and you hold them in your lap. You're not restraining them. You're doing some supportive holding to them. And so you're kind of containing them, as opposed to restraining.
And, I think, that there's a very different intent there. And even when I was holding her there on the bed like that, you know, the message that I kept saying to her was, "You know, you need to be in control of your arms and legs. You need to be in control of your arms and legs. And you need to do good touches with your arms and legs. So, when you're ready, you let me know."
So, at one point, she did say, "I'm ready. ..." I said, "OK, are you ready for your legs?" And she said, "Yeah." I said, "OK, that's fine." I said, "Let's try this." And so I kind of rearranged and didn't have any weight at all on her legs or anything and that was fine. I mean, she was fine. So, then we talked to her a few more minutes, and then you know, I said, "Are you ready to have your arms yet?" And she said, "No." I said, "OK, that's fine. I'll continue to hold them for you."
And at that point, it wasn't even-- it wasn't even a holding. But, for her, that was enough pressure that she felt like I was in control. And she needed somebody else to be in control with them. And she was really scared, I think.
You read all this literature, you read all the books, and you go to the trainings and you work with the kids. And you know it's all about control. And it's so paradoxical because on one hand, they want all the control, because that's the only way they feel comfortable. "Nobody had ever taken care of me; I've got to take care of myself. I must be in control of everything." And on the other hand, there's this part of them that says, "I'm only a kid, I can't have control. Somebody else must be in control of me."
So, it's a very-- it's a very huge stretch for them. But at those particular times, Logan really needed for somebody else to be in control.
INVESTIGATOR: That was a pretty big role for you to fill as far as to undo what had been done for five years, and to redo her in a way in which she knew that she wasn't the parents, and that she couldn't call the shots. That certainly is not something that's easy to do.
SALLY: There are no guarantees with kids. There are no guarantees in life, you know. You make a commitment, you stick to it, and you do what you need to do because it needs to be done. It's not what I signed up for, but this is what I'm getting. So, I'm going to learn everything I can about it, and I'm going to do whatever I can. And we are going to get through this.
»The Day Logan Died
SALLY: And then about quarter of three, ten of three, I get home, and she was still sleeping at that point.
INVESTIGATOR: And she wakes up around what time?
SALLY: It must have been about quarter after three or so. But she woke up literally screaming.
INVESTIGATOR: What do you do when she does that?
SALLY: So I thought something was going on. I was at the computer, and [my son] Derek was on the couch watching TV. And I just kind of looked at Derek, like "What is her problem?" I thought, well, maybe she was having a bad dream, or maybe she was in pain and didn't feel good, or something. So I came back and I go, "Hey, hey, hey, what's going on?" And she couldn't' tell you. She just was crying [and raging].
INVESTIGATOR: So what happens then? Did she calm down?
INVESTIGATOR: So is this when she goes down [into the basement]?
SALLY: No. She didn't go down until about 3:30. I spent that time talking with her: "Are you sick? Are you scared?" Going through the whole litany of offering her words. "Is something the matter? Are you afraid? Do you need something? Did something happen?" She would like deescalate -- not calm down, but she would deescalate. And then I would think, OK, now we're really getting somewhere. At one point I said to her, "OK, you know, maybe we just need to kind of regroup. You kind of look like you're still really tired. Do you need to go back to sleep?" "No!" She started all over again. OK, obviously, that's not working.
INVESTIGATOR: Did you have [to] use that swaddling?
SALLY: No, I didn't at that point. I just said, "You know, you can either calm down and stay up here-- if you need to scream, that's OK, but you're going to have to go the basement if you're screaming because Shaynen is asleep, and Bailey is about to go down for her nap. And I'm not going to have you keeping them awake. So if you need to scream, that's OK, but you're going to have to do it in the basement. You just need to let me know what choice you're going to make."
INVESTIGATOR: And she kept screaming?
SALLY: She just kept crying and screaming. She couldn't make a choice. And I said, OK-- You know, I am always, "You need to make a choice. And if you can't make a choice, that's OK, because I'll make one for you. But you need to know that this is the choice that I'm going to make for you. So if you want a different choice, you probably got to speak up now."
INVESTIGATOR: So she doesn't stop screaming. So she's made her choice kind of in a round about way, that it's going to be time-out. And she was in a time-out around 3:30.
SALLY: I said, "Well, then, you know, if you're going to continue to scream, then I guess we need to go to the basement." "No! No! No!" "If you need to scream, that's OK, but you're not going to do it up here because Bailey is in her room sleeping. It's not fair for you to keep her awake."
INVESTIGATOR: She goes down to the basement, and this is in the seat that I've seen, right?
INVESTIGATOR: It's angled one way at first.
SALLY: It was initially angled towards the wall.
INVESTIGATOR: -- she goes in her seat, facing the wall. Is she buckled at that time?
SALLY: I don't remember if I buckled her at that time or not. I honestly really don't. I know at some point she got buckled. I don't know if she buckled herself in or I buckled her in. She often would buckle herself in, especially if she had slippery pants on. She didn't like the sensation of kind of moving down. So she would buckle herself in.
INVESTIGATOR: Are you making dinner at this point, 3:30, because I know you talk about putting in pork chops and stuff later on. But I mean, at some point, you got to be doing the Shake and Bake and whatever it is you're doing to get the pork chops ready. What are you doing at 3:30, do you remember?
SALLY: I was probably checking my email and doing something on the computer.
INVESTIGATOR: She's still crying?
SALLY: Intermittently, yes. So every few minutes I'd go down and check on her. "How are you doing? Are you about done? About ready to come up?" "No!" "OK, I'm just checking. I'll come back in a few minutes."
INVESTIGATOR: Would she cry when you went back down?
SALLY: When she heard me coming down the stairs she would start crying. But she had stopped. She'd start crying again, "Mommy, Mommy." "What is it you need?" "I don't know." At one point she was yelling, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" So I went downstairs and said, "What do you need?" "Nothing." I said, "Oh, wasn't that you I heard yelling, 'Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy?'" "Yes." "Well, what is it you need?" "Nothing." "Oh, so you were just yelling at Mommy for no reason?" "I don't know." "OK. Probably not a good choice. Remember we talked about this, when you call for Mommy and there's nothing wrong."
INVESTIGATOR: There should be a reason.
SALLY: "Remember the little boy who cried wolf? Remember we talked about this?" And that was something she never understood, and we reinforced over and over and over again. "When you don't tell the truth, what happens is, people don't trust you. And that's going to come back and bite you in the butt, because someday you're going to tell them the truth and they're not going to believe you." That was probably somewhere in the vicinity between 4 and 4:15, because that was before I had called Dean.
INVESTIGATOR: And then you called Dean at what time?
SALLY: About quarter after four, just to find out the time he was going to come home for supper, so what time I should--
INVESTIGATOR: Did you tell Dean about Logan, what's going on?
SALLY: He said, "What's going on at the house?" And I said, "Oh well, you know, Shaynen's asleep and Bailey's asleep, and Logan's in the basement." He was like, "Oh, having a good day, are we?" "Well, you know, well you know, having a tough time following directions and good choices. Same old, same old."
INVESTIGATOR: Did you describe, like, the extent of this rage that she was in, or anything like that? Did you get into that?
SALLY: I don't think so. I probably just told him that she was screaming in the basement or something like that. I don't really typically tell Dean like every detail.