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),
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.
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.