I found out I have friends, smart friends, in social work, providing Developmental Delay resources and program outreach for parents and school systems in rural Willamette Valley, and one in CPS investigations in Multnomah County. They told me the baby and the mother both have resources to tap into. I found out one of my friend’s has a wife in family law and I’m speaking with her this evening.
I’m saying this because it may come down to filing a report and requesting a home assessment. I’m reluctant because I see that going one of two ways.
A. I file and nothing comes of it except I’ll never be allowed to see Penny again by her parents
B. I and my husband end up raising Penny.
Problems with the parents currently: they are bouncing a 3 year old every week between homes. The only constant thing is the same daycare provider. The daycare provider who threw up red flags about Penny’s social and emotional development and had them participate in the ASQ-3 SE eval, and the baby triggered for an further eval on. My son when he found out called me, angry and saying his daughter was an idiot, She was dumb. The mom answered my messages about it saying she was afraid they’d take the baby away from her. What I’m getting at is neither one of them are following up, they are dismissing the possibility the baby might need services, one based on fear and one based on he’s actually an asshole.
When I saw the baby this weekend the mom said she’d taken the baby to the pediatrician and got an all clear and she got a note from him and told the daycare provider to lay off.
The father is not providing any financial support for the baby, he’s not paying for child care. He’s also not paying for her insurance, the baby is on insurance from the state of Oregon.
They have both told me they don’t want to take this to court. My son because he can’t afford it (this is not true, he just spent the 2k on a down payment for a ‘16 jeep, which is the same amount he quoted he could not afford for the retainer of a lawyer) and the mom because she can’t afford it and she says the lawyer she spoke to told her she wouldn’t get much in child support because she makes too much money. Also she thinks the father isn’t responsible for insurance because the Baby has always been on state insurance because they aren’t married.
The mom moved directly into her current boyfriend’s one bedroom apartment. They gave the baby the bedroom and they have a mattress in what would be considered the dining area attached to living area and kitchen. The new boyfriend is still married and in reportedly in the process of divorce.
My son has a lock on the outside of the baby’s bedroom door. My son has a new girlfriend he hooked up with on Tinder. My son never spent any time alone with his daughter until the mother got a job and he had to take the baby to daycare and pick her up. My son does not clean, like does. not. clean. He pees in the kitchen sink because it’s closer than the bathroom.
I have tried to reach out and provide resources to the parents. I am especially trying with the mom right now, because she is trying, I mean in comparison to the father.
I’m probably burying the lede here by telling you now that the mother told us this weekend that the baby is the product of rape. She told us that when she was depressed, the kind of depressed where you are almost comatose, the kind of depressed you get after having been medicated and managing, but are off your meds or they stopped being effective, my son decided he needed to have sex. She didn’t want to. “He just rolled me over and did it anyway”
I don’t want to take her baby away from her. She’s going to therapy, the new guy is reportedly going to therapy with her.
I know they aren’t doing anything with her developmental assessment. I know bouncing a 3 year old between 2 houses once a week is at best a misguided attempt at shared custody.
I don’t know how to figure out what is the best thing to do.
When my mother and father were young adults, my father used to visit this old peoples home every week and would see the same elderly woman, and would have conversations with her and keep her company. He never mentioned who the woman was, it just never came up. One day, my dad came home crying. He walked through the door to see my mum crying too.
“My grandma died today”-Mother
“The lady I visit died today”-Father
For ten years, even before my parents met, my dad was my mothers grandmothers companion, and they didn’t even know until she died. Clearly the old woman thought it was funny to keep it a secret.
Where: Charlottetown Driving Park Price: Eight dollars admission, two dollar bets Time: ~2 hours Level of enjoyment: moderate
My last twenty dollars flits between my nervous fingers as I stand outside the gates of the fair grounds. It’s Old Home Week, and streams of early teens and nostalgic older couples walk past me. Admission is eight dollars. I should be more careful with this, I think.
P. is beside me, having been good enough to come, even though he doesn’t seem to be in a mood to have much fun. It had been my idea to watch the horse races. Something about the thought of such pure rural Canadiana made it irresistible.
When I give the woman at the booth my money, she makes change and hands me a raffle ticket, which I trade with a man a few paces past her for a stamp on my hand.
P. and I walk around the midway. I’m hit with the smell of popcorn and the burning rubber that wafts off the wheels and joints of the rides. I look at The Zipper and the Scrambler, the young girls and seedy men, and wonder what I’m doing here.
After walking past the past the catcalls and stuffed animals of the game ally, we find our way to the race track, a large oval course covered red with Island soil. The air is heavy with cigarette smoke, and the light from sodium floodlights burns into my eyes. We’ve gotten here halfway through the fourteen races, and the horses are jogging a practice lap around the track, pulling along their charioted riders. We move closer to the front. As a horse moves by me close enough to touch, I’m struck by how much of an oddity it is to see a live horse.