Monday, June 27, 2005

Who Gives These People Kids??

#1 Son came home from a weekend visit to "Mommy's" this afternoon, 3 hours late and covered in bruises. When we ask how he got hurt, he says evasively, "I dunno." Sulks and complains of stomach ache. Plays rough with his little brothers.

Now, if it was the other way 'round, and he showed up at her house like that, we'd have had cops on our doorstep before we had time to blink. But we're not like that. We don't assume that people are doing evil things all the time... well, maybe we do. But we didn't do that anyway. No, we simply email and ask if she has any idea what could possibly have happened. No hysterics, no paramedics... no answers.

Sometimes I hate being the sane one.

5 comments:

Kory O said...

You might want to get medical documentation of this, or at least take pictures of the bruises. I hate to sound paranoid, but you might want to get one of those stupid little disposable cameras and have it standing by "on weekends at Mommy's" time.

sallwood said...

I agree, but if you document, you should report. If you document and don't report, it could either backfire if she asserts you denied "critical care" or you really didn't think it was a big enough to report. Make sure to include your email verifying you asked the question and her answer. Out of curiosity, what did #1 son say happened?

Scone said...

He says he doesn't know, although now he speculates it might have happened when "Mommy" dunked him in a barrel full of ice. Sigh.

The bruises have calmed down a lot already, and that woman hasn't responded to the email query. But we'll be watching more closely from now on.

Kory O said...

Wait a minute....a barrel full of ice? WTF???

Ok (deep, deep breath here), here's my totally unsolicited advice.

Is there any way you can arrange it so that she has to drop your son off at a local police precinct or fire station?

Yes, it's an inconvenience. Yes, they may get irritated at you. Big f@#$-ing deal, you pay their salaries (God, I used to hate to hear that!!!). Explain the situation and they'll deal with it. They'll probably be sympathetic once you tell them the whole story. Believe me, you wouldn't be the first and you won't be the last.

Reasons:

1) If he shows up with weird bruises, you've got either paramedics to check them out or a cop to look them over really close by. They'll be able to recognize if it is just usual little boy scrapes or something more.

2) If a report needs to be made, hell, it's damn obvious YOU didn't make those marks on your son. He showed up there with the boo-boos after being at his loving "Mommy's" house.

3) In a way, you are putting that miserable bitch on notice that this kind of shit is not acceptable and there will be immediate consequences for unacceptable behavior. She will have a much tougher time arguing her way out of that. (It's one thing for you and your husband to say that your son didn't have cuts and scrapes until she dropped him off.....it's another thing entirely in the eyes of the court if Fire Marshal Bill and/or Officer Friendly says the same thing.)

5) If it spares the kid some abuse/neglect, it's worth it for this reason alone. (Try dunking you're hand in a bucket of ice and see how long you can stand it....I had to dunk my foot in ice water when I trashed it out one time. The max I could stand was 30 sec. It was not fun, and I didn't get any #$%^-ing bruises either.)

4) You still want to write that mystery novel, right? You want to get the "cop talk" down right, don't you? Consider it a research opportunity. Become a bit of a "regular" and you might hear a story or two that would be an interesting subplot.

BTW, sort of related....get thee to a library and borrow a book called "The Sociopath Next Door". Might explain some crap about Mommy Dearest and give you some good basis for character development on your book. (Hell, it 'splained a lot about my mom. No kidding.)

Scone said...

The barrel of ice was apparently supposed to be hilarious hijinks at a church picnic.

The police station idea is interesting; I'm not sure how practical, but I'll see if we can't do something along those lines. There's a place in the next town set up specifically for this type of thing-- well, I think mostly it's for visitations that need to be under observation, but they do some drop-off/pick up stuff too. We tried to get the court to let us use this place for the child exchange the first time we were setting up visitations, but nobody took it seriously. Yes, we really do suspect that she'd run off with him, or not bring him back if it's not convenient, and there were all those screaming scenes on our doorstep-- and that was all before we knew what would actually be happening to him at her house. I'm sure we still don't know the half of it. And as long as he won't talk about it, our options are limited. Some days I just want to tear my hair out.