Thursday, January 8, 2009

In which I compare my life to a Simpsons episode

Do you remember the Simpsons episode where the family has all these freak things happen one day ending in the kids being taken and Homer and Marge being accused of bad parenting? Well, that was pretty much my experience this week, other than the being taken away part. We did have visitors that had the authority to take the kids if they saw fit, and thankfully they most certainly did not.

Michael got a cold shortly after Christmas that has continued to linger but hasnt really bothered him much until the other night. Right at bedtime he started crying, almost screaming and WOULD NOT STOP until 5am. That same night, Josiah decided to do the same but with no visable symptoms. Michael was pulling at his ear and telling me his head hurt so I assumed he had an ear infection.

Anyway, because I am a single parent, I had no one to stay with the other kids while I brought these two to the emergency room. Because of that fun fact, I spent the entire night either going between bedrooms or rocking both of them on my lap in the rocking chair. I would literally just calm one kid down then go down the hall and calm the other one before returning to calm the first again. This lasted for THE ENTIRE NIGHT, no lie. I had some pain medication that I was able to get into Josiah, but when I tried to force it into Michael, he just ended up puking all over himself, me, the chair and the floor. It was a lovely night.

Previous to all of this, my car broke down while I was out with all the kids trying to get a few groceries. At this point it still was not fixed and so the next morning, I decided to keep Rayden home from school instead of arranging for rides. I hoped that maybe we could sleep in a bit but apparently, that just does not happen. They were all up and good to go for the day by 9. Michael and Josiah were still feeling sick but they were mostly ok. With the house a complete mess and all the kids home, I decided to just take the day and lay around doing the bare minimum. The kids were dressed and fed but thats about as far as I got.

So of course when I heard loud banging on my back door (still cant figure out why they didnt go to the other two doors?!) I kind of panicked. They told me that a complaint had been registered that the mother of the home had been gone since New Years and that there was a woman at home with the kids who was letting them cry. There was also talk of men coming over everyday for a period of one hour each. I was obviously confused but handled the situation to the best of my ability. We sat in my messy kitchen to discuss the complaint while this rather large man was in the living room with the kids. I explained everything (I was home, but my car was at the shop; the constant crying was due to my being a single mom and two kids being sick; and the men? that just confused the hell out of me! I have five brothers, most of whom drop by to help out with various things. This past week Ive had three of them here at different times and otherwise, I dont have anyone else ever here. The complaint made it sound like prostitution which just blows my mind. *

I assume the complaint came from the woman downstairs who I have barely spoken with but who does know that I am a single mom. Why she would think to put in a formal complaint about the safety of the kids instead of coming up to talk to me, I have no idea. She is nuts and Im glad that she moved out yesterday!!

Part of the process was that each child had to be interviewed seperately as well, in their room. Of course I have a horrible time convincing the older kids to clean their room and I refuse to clean it myself. So needless to say, it was a disaster zone as well. After the kids' interviews, the woman came back to speak with me saying that none of the reports had been confirmed by the kids but there were a couple issues brought up. The one main issue was that one of the older kids said that sometimes there isnt any food in the house. I explained that it must be because for the last 24 hours, we had been out of juice and pre-packaged snacks because I didnt have a car to restock those items. I also explained that to fix the situation, the kids and I had baked muffins and that my pantry/fridge/freezer were all full of food. The woman did not listen and continued to tell me about food banks and such. To me it made perfect sense for me to run out of something because I had no car and no way to replace it. By the time they came by one of my brothers had picked me up a few groceries anyway and everything was fine. It was just one of those things that made me feel icky after basically proving to them that everything was fine, which it totally was.

The other issue was the mess, which they did say was understandable with four kids and my being up all night. They noted that it was messy, not dirty so thats not as bad. Knowing how these things work though, the state of the house will go in the report as well as the fact that I was still in pjs at 2 in the afternoon and hadnt had a shower. I absolutely hate dealing with these people even though I have rarely done anything wrong. And yes, by that statement you can assume that I have dealt with them in the past. Actually, this was the...let me count...fifth time. Its unbelievable because only one of those times was it ever actually about me. I dont want to go into the details about all of them at this moment (because those are topics for other posts) but I'll say that one of those times was The Ex getting back at me for a fight. I dont know how parents that are actually abusive to their kids can go undetected for so long and yet here I am getting investigated again and again for stupid things that do not in anyway make me a bad parent.

*Even if I did have different men over every night, how would that make me a bad mother, unworthy of looking after my children? Whose business is it who I have over as guests?


Amanda said...

Wow! I feel the same way about DSS or other investigative units that come over to the people's houses that don't need to be investigated, but the households that need to be looked into somehow get over looked.

Just keep up the good work taking care of those sick kids and hopefully your car will be fixed soon and it'll all work out. Keep your head up!

Sara said...

well, i can't imagine what it is like to be a single parent. we only have 1 child and on days when my husband is working late or i have to go out of town on business and my husband is a single parent for a day or two, it's very difficult. with 1 kid it's hard to stay sane sometimes, with!

hang in there and hope things look up for you.

Kristi said...

it sucks that you had to go through that!! it does seem that the bad stuff happens all at the exact same time.

Astarte said...

WTF?!?! OMG. That terrible, terrible woman. What did your kids think of it all? I can't believe that they interviewed your sick kids in their rooms. I won't go so far as to hope that they get sick, but seriously! I wish we lived closer. I would totally come over and watch them, or help clean up, or something. Hang in there, girl. It will get better soon.

Mommy Daisy said...

Oh you poor thing. Like it isn't enough that your kids are sick and you don't have help. I can't believe they were so rude to you about things. And I'm glad that neighbor moved out. Maybe she could have been used her energy and come over to help you. Geesh!

I'm sorry that you had to go through that all. I think you're a great mother. I can't imagaine being out-numbered 4-1. Keep up the good work sweetie!

tara said...

I hate to leave a comment about hair on this post, but I don't see your email anywhere! I apologize to everyone for interrupting.

Every scalp is different, so you have to sort of see what you can get away with. If you are used to shampooing daily, start skipping every other day. If you need to wet your hair on the in between days to style it go ahead, just don't shampoo. You will go through a sort of detox as you wean off of the shampoo, where you will feel like it's dirty and it looks bad. Stick with it and get used to it. (this is where you are welcome to email me for support. I am also a recovering over shampoo-er!)

From there you really just have to see how long you can stretch it. If you tend to have an oily scalp you might only be able to do every other day, but if you have a normal to dry scalp you can push it further. I shampoo about every four or five days. Feel free to email me with more questions, and of course I would be honored to be on your blogroll.

I also hope that your children are feeling better and that DSS is satisfied that you are not a hooker who is turning tricks whilst magically not being home to care for your crying children. I swear there is no room for common sense in this country any more.

Thanks for finding me!

Cherish said...

Astarte: Rayden cried when they interviewed him because he thought I would get in trouble for something. Chris was shy and didnt want to go at first, but I think he was ok with it all.

Tara: I knew I needed to get around to adding my email to my About Me page...thanks for reminding me. Also, thanks for answering my question! No worries for posting it here, everyone probably thinks Im a little nuts anyway, so why not throw in a random hair care comment :)

Swistle said...

OMG, this is like a NIGHTMARE. I don't think ANY household is ready for inspection at every moment, and I would SO HATE to have other people judging my fitness as a parent based on the times when we're due for a grocery run, a laundry day, a bath day, and a good cleaning.