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November 17, 2021

the rest of the unintentional cliffhanger: WHO IS THE MYSTERY REPORTER & a rare chuckle

I didn't intend to make this a cliffhanger, but it got too long.

The report states that the reporter witnessed Ernie being verbally abusive to the boys over a zoom chat when she 

PUSHED A CHAIR AT HARRY AND TOLD HIM 'SIT HERE.' 

The rest of the report was all the stuff I've already shared, but THAT blew me away well, blew me away MORE than dragging babies by their arms, and me grabbing Harry when it was Coach who sat him in a bear-hug, and me holding Larry in a takedown hold when it was necessary to keep him safe.

It took me a few minutes to realize that what she was referencing was the day when I removed the ball from Harry during the zoom. 

SINCE WHEN IS REMOVING A DISTRACTION, SCOOTING A CHAIR TOWARDS A KID (NOT THROWING IT OR EVEN PUSHING IT HARD, AS I WAS BARELY TOUCHING IT FROM MY OUTSTRECHED-ARM'S-REACH SPOT IN THE DOORWAY), AND SAYING 'YOU CAN SIT HERE '  . . . ABUSIVE?

The detective in me realized that this. was. Donna's witch hunt. Not Jo's. Jo wouldn't have referenced that moment as problematic. I know this because, once several weeks prior, I had to jump off of a call that I was on with Donna, Jo, and Alice. The school was clicking in. Larry had gotten into a fight at school and they needed to talk to me. 

Alice later told me:  DONNA IS VERY SYMPATHETIC TO THE BOYS. AFTER YOU HUNG UP SHE EXPRESSED THAT SHE DIDN'T LIKE THAT THEY HAD TO MISS OUT ON SOMETHING IF THEY HAD A FIT. 

ON THE OTHER HAND JO WAS LIKE, WELL TOO BAD. THEY HAVE TO LEARN. 

(*remember, many schools of thought:  had we been able to take the TBRI class, maybe we would've handled the punishment-after-a-fit differently if we'd been trained differently but that was all we had. You won't get in the car or you refuse to go to bed, then you won't go to the park later, etc). 

Without a doubt, Donna is 'THE REPORTER.' in the report. And hey, should we point out that if indeed Donna suspected that I was being verbally abusive then why did she wait an entire month to report it? Perhaps someone was upset that I said the boys couldn't zoom with her right before I drove them back to Indiana. Or maybe someone didn't like me pointing out her cluelessness when she didn't say WAIT I CAN'T ZOOM THAT DAY early on. 

Regardless, it's all a lot of bull shit. Don't think for a minute that I don't realize that she went on a fishing expedition with the boys when it came time to 'create' a report - you bet she suggested they say stuff about my babysitting, which is nuts because they were in school when I was sitting. They never witnessed any of the babysitting traumas that they claim I was prone to.

Do I sound steamed? You better believe I do. I spoke to Dawn after the lightbulb moment when I realized Donna was responsible for the report, and she was like WELL, LET DONNA LIVE WITH THEM IN HER HOUSE FOR A MONTH, IF SHE THINKS SHE GETS IT. 

I will forever wonder why, after all that we've
been through, I don't have this bumper sticker on my car. 
Saw it when I was out on a run and it took me a minute - but then I was like, OH!
******* 

I'm jumping around, but this next bit is a teenie bit funny and  by Jove I want to share a laugh here. So here's your reward for reading along to this unfortunate, never-ending saga.  

The investigator, Lottie, showed up on a Friday at 3:30. She'd said she wanted to see a kid I babysat. She never asked me how many families I sat for, so I just asked the two families on Friday if they could meet with her. 

Fortunately, the families I currently sit for are amazing and are very much in my corner, at this point I count them as friends. They were in disbelief that this was happening. Very supportive of me. 

One mom got here a bit before Lottie, so she waited with her 1 and 2.5 year old. Then the twins' mom showed up. Lottie gave each mom her card and took down their contact info, saying she'd call them later.

She also said:  YOU'RE ENTITLED TO A COPY OF THIS REPORT. 

Twin mom later told me:  WHEN SHE SAID THAT TO ME, I ALMOST SAID, OH, I'M NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR REPORT. NOTHING YOU COULD SAY WOULD SWAY ME, WE ARE INCREDIBLY HAPPY WITH ERNIE'S CARE. BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO GET ALL UP IN HER FACE AND MAKE THINGS HARDER FOR YOU.

Anyway, I never bothered to look up and see how many kids I'm allowed to have in my care. Oops. Turns out the state says if I'm unlicensed, I can only have 4 in my care if they come from the same family. I'm not allowed to have multiple kids who  aren't in the same family. What on earth? Obviously the state hasn't met me and they don't know my super powers. I can handle a lot more than THAT.

Here I was parading four tots out the door right in front of Lottie in hopes that she'd think she'd met all of my 'families' and stop there. She was the one that said she wanted to only make one trip.

After my interview, she spoke to my kids who were home and under 18. I was still sitting there. She asked them if there had ever been any abuse in the home, etc. These were easy, quick questions and my kids gave nice loud 'NOs'. At one point though, she asked something else - I think about the daycare kids or the boys specifically. It may have been Curly's turn to speak. She was in the family room. 

But Mini was in the adjoining kitchen, and she couldn't control herself (um, thus the name Mini - like mother, like daughter),

You've heard of stadium seating? Well in
 Chez Shenanigan, we have rotating seating.
Exhibit A:  three junior chairs waiting in
 the wings to be switched out with the 'real'
chairs at the table on a babysitting day
 - on the weekend I push them into the
 dining room that we only use for
parties. When the tots are here,
I switch them out and then try not to trip
 over the real chairs that are shoved aside.

Mini hollered:  NO. THEY WEREN'T HURT. THAT'S LITEARLLY RIDICULOUS. MY MOM HAD TO HOLD LARRY DOWN TO KEEP HIM SAFE. HE WAS THROWING STUFF AND BREAKING THINGS. I WAS HERE. HE BROKE HIS OWN GLASSES. WE TRIED EVERYTHING. AND THE BABIES ARE NEVER HURT. CRAZY TALK. (I'm paraphrasing, because I don't remember, I just know that I took a mental note to elevate Mini in he position in our will, unless she can't figure out how to keep her room somewhat civilized).

Lottie then asked me why my daycare wasn't licensed. I thought:  BECAUSE, I DON'T PAY TAXES DUMB ASS . . . but what I really said was I BABYSIT FOR A FEW FRIENDS IN MY HOUSE A FEW DAYS A WEEK, because I was sensing where this was going.

Lottie didn't present as the sharpest tool in the shed - which I'd already gathered after dealing with her in the phone calls leading up to the interview. She started to count the kids I sit for. She said (when referring to the twins):  UM, OK. SO THOSE TWO ARE TWINS, SO THEY ARE LIKE ONE THEN. 

There it is. 

The quote my girls were already repeating seconds after Lottie left the building. 

This is a Friday pic . . . 19 mos old twins in
wagon with almost 3 yr old and his lil sis in
 the buggy. I pull the wagon and push the
 'bouncy', as we call it. Four unrelated
kids too much? My foot.
UM, WHAT THE HELL? SO THOSE TWO ARE TWINS, SO THEY ARE LIKE ONE THEN. UM, NO THEY ARE TWO.DIFFERENT.CHILDREN. And it wasn't that she was counting them as one family, because she added in the other 2 kids and counted them as a total of 3. 

To be clear, the twins are not Siamese. 

We can pretend that Lottie was trying to cut me some slack but those of us who were here believe differently. We witnessed her unique counting abilities and will forever chuckle at counting two as one. 


13 comments:

Pat Birnie said...

I LOVE Mini!! I’m sorry you had to deal with this but it seems to have been resolved? Glad to have a chuckle there with the poor math. I’m sure parents of twins would not agree they are like having one child!

Beth Cotell said...

I'm still in disbelief that you had to go through this extra torment.

Jenny in WV said...

What a mess! I hope everything resolves soon!

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are the multi-tasking Queen!
Mini is so funny and yes, she is YOU to a T. I love that she has no issues with saying what's what.
I have a feeling the mOther of the Twins will tell you that they are in fact TWO different children that she carried for 9 months and then expelled from her body. TWO

I never thought about the 'childcare' thing being an issue, but look at you breaking laws and getting away with it. :) {kidding!}

Cheryl said...

You and the family had all good intentions with giving two little boys a good home, but sometimes, it doesn't work out for many reasons. I hate the phrase, "it is what it is", ( I always wanna say "what is IT"?) but it kinda fits in this situation.

With Donna the "reporter"? It doesn't sound as if she did her job with the boys, and is deflecting. It's much easier to make you the fall guy and report the chair/bouncy ball incident which in turn caused the investigation. So glad your families had your back. Kinda makes life worth living.

And finally. The bumper sticker. I can usually figure 'em out, but I have a couple different ideas in my head. Is that IT after the stick figure? lol. Help me please!

Oh! And a peacock, in your neighborhood? That is a peacock, right?

Ally Bean said...

Mini is one cool kid. I'm glad you figured out who was behind the report. If nothing else it confirms that your intuition is working just fine. I know that there are laws about home daycare, but am not quite sure who enforces them... especially when there are no issues with the care itself. A strange turn of events you've got going on there.

Ernie said...

Pat - Mini has considered being a lawyer and really she probably should because you don't want to disagree with her. Truly. She's got her opinions, and you don't wanna be on the wrong side of that either.

It is NOT resolved as in the case has not been closed, but since people are moving at a snail's pace, then I'm not concerned. Besides, everything in the report can be explained away . . . even if by THEY LIED. It is exhausting though.

Ernie said...

Beth - It is honestly very unbelievable. So much. Layers. Emotions. All of it. As if what we'd dealt with already wasn't enough?

Ernie said...

Jenny - I would think it would resolve soon, but my part - as far as I can tell is over. I'm waiting to hear that it is a closed case. It is a mess.

Ernie said...

Suz - Yep, Mini is a piece of work. I do see so much of myself in her. Curly, on the other hand, is more of a sweet as can be, don't rock the boat type. I think I would've been more like Mini in my youth if my family hadn't been so dang clueless at how to cope with raising a strong minded, fight the good fight daughter on their hands.

Yes, last time I checked, twins is two. No cloning over here. But if I could, I'd clone these twins so we could keep a set here . . . they are so much fun.

The childcare thing is mind-blowing. I get keep everyone safe and follow rules in order to be sure of that - but I believe I fall outside of the norm here. It just so happens I can handle more than the average bear. People might look at me funny, but no one in public steps up and says WOE NOW CRAZY BUTT, THIS APPEARS TO BE TOO MUCH FOR ONE PERSON. I say, free country and all that good stuff. Free enterprise. I also say - maybe if Mini gets an academic scholarship and the two youngest get b-ball scholarships I might be closer to retirement than expected. Fingers crossed.

Ernie said...

Cheryl - I think 'it is what it is' does fit here, at least it makes it easier to not keep blaming ourselves or anyone else for not doing their job. This 'report' has been such a thorn and so unnecessary.

I agree, Donna is clueless. She doesn't belong in that position. Bully for her for sympathetic feelings for the boys, but part of the job is seeing the big picture and having an ef-ing grasp on reality. She clearly doesn't, as far as I can tell. She needs to be able to see all factors and take everything into account.

The bumper sticker: the word is 'IT' and before it is a stick figure humping the word, so it translates to EF-IT. I'd never put that on my car, but seeing it 'spelled' out that way was giggle-worthy.

Ernie said...

Cheryl - Wait, I forgot the last part . . . the peacock, yes it is a peacock. Hell no, not in my neighborhood. We were at the zoo. They walk around freely at our zoo and there were at least 7 in that one spot that day.

Ernie said...

Ally - You heard it here first, I might be lost without Mini at home next year. Yes, I felt from the get-go that this woman was not approving of me. Why? Cause I'm trying MY hardest to make this work? Because I'm too busy to rearrange my schedule for someone who doesn't know enough to respond to an email? I know there are lots of people who do exactly the same thing that I do and if the parents are happy with the arrangement, then why not? Strange turn of events to be sure.