Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Consequences

(This was written yesterday. I didn't want to hastily post something in the heat of emotion, so I slept on it. So, every time it says today, it was yesterday.)


I've been sitting here for a couple of hours. Writing. Deleting. Thinking. Fuming. Shaking with rage. Debating. Writing some more. More furious shaking. More deleting. More debating.

I know that logically calling attention to a troll only feeds their ego and gives them ammunition. In this case, however, we're talking about something much more sinister than a troll. We're talking about someone out to hurt a family. My family.

I received a knock on my door this afternoon, and when I answered it I was met by a small, blonde woman who announced that she was from child protective services and she needed to talk to me.

If you've never had that experience (and I hope you never have), let me try to describe how it feels. Your heart starts racing. Your mind starts spinning, frantically trying to recall something--anything--that could warrant a visit from CPS. I was in full panic mode, but trying my very best to hold it together. Or to at least not pass out.

We sat down in my living room and she informed me that the office had received a call from someone claiming that I wrote a blog post that was mentally abusive toward Ben. It was THIS post. Take a moment to read it.

Yes. That caused someone to feel justified to call CPS.

The woman from CPS then said, "I'm not here to take away your kids."

And I couldn't hold it together anymore. I guess just the idea that she could have been there to take them away was too much. I totally lost it.

We talked for awhile about things--she told me she had taken each child from class individually to question them. That she had talked to Ben about it more in depth and with more specifics.

I asked her flat out if she felt I was out of line with the post. She assured me that neither she nor her supervisor felt it was an issue. Certainly not one for CPS to be involved in.

I'm not sure what exactly the person who made the report thought would come of this, but I'd like to tell him or her what did come of it.

Amelia had to be picked up from school because she was too upset. She has never even been spanked, so being taken to the office and asked by a stranger if her parents hit her was confusing and terrifying. Once she had some time to mull it over in her six year old brain after the interview, she became afraid that it meant I would start hitting her.

Amelia is an extremely anxious child by nature. She bites her nails, sucks on fabric to self soothe, and has recently developed trichotillomania. That's when someone pulls out their hair impulsively when stressed. We'd had it somewhat under control, but by the time I got her home from school a three inch by three inch section on the side of her head was completely bald.

Luckily for Liam, his interview took place about the time his meds were wearing off. He apparently rambled on about Legos and cats for most of it. However even he was a little disturbed that a stranger came to school, took him from class and read off a list of punishments and asked which ones he got and when. Because that's not upsetting to a seven year old at all. He also felt really guilty because he told her that he got soap in his mouth a couple of times last year and was worried I would get in trouble. And then he had to lay down for awhile because his chest hurt. His donor vessels are wearing out. Any time he's physically active or upset, he has pain.

Ben is older and smart enough to understand exactly what was going on. He came home extremely upset and feeling guilty. He was afraid that they were all going to be put into foster care, and it would be his fault because if he hadn't traded his calculator for Pokemon cards, I wouldn't have written about it and gotten us all in trouble.

It's been hard enough for them to deal with having a deployed parent for the past nine months. They don't need this as well. Neither does my husband, who has to deal with the daily stress of being at war, need the additional worry.

Because I use real names and because Ben is old enough that it's possible his friends could read the blog, I always let him read any post involving him and get his permission to post it first. He was totally fine with the post in question.

I could understand if there was some indication of imminent danger or actual abuse--be it mental or physical--in that or any post. But there is nothing, NOTHING, in that post to warrant upsetting three children already under the strain of a deployed parent, deteriorating health and anxiety disorders.

I don't want to seem like I'm discouraging people from making reports if they feel they're warranted. It's better to be safe than sorry. But I am asking that you think long and hard about the consequences that may come of it and if those consequences are worse than the thing you're considering reporting.

There are children out there being abused and neglected. Unfortunately, social workers can't focus as much of their attention on finding and helping those kids who truly need it because they're bogged down in following up frivolous and unsubstantiated reports. By law they have to follow up, just in case. This social worker spent an entire day on this, and that doesn't include the mountain of paperwork she'll still have to do, or the required follow up visits later in the month.

No one operates in a vacuum. Everything one does has consequences--often far reaching ones. I always consider the consequences of leading a somewhat public life, especially how my children could be affected by it. I ask all of you to do the same.

I know that many of you only know me as words on a screen, but I'm a real person. My husband is a real person. My children are real children. We all have real feelings. And these are real consequences.

48 comments:

BlueCodeRed said...

That just pisses me off. That post didn't warent the CPS being called out. Whoever did that sucks Ass. That's just mean and cruel. You and Will and the kids are going through enough without that. So shame on the Ass for acting before thinking.

Vivian Louise said...

While I can see that anonymous tips could be helpful, I think crap like this is evil. Honestly, who ever called in should be billed for all the time the state had to waste on checking up on your obviously fine but weird family.

Who ever does crap like this is evil. I'm not kidding. It is wicked to report a parent to the state accusing child abuse when there is none.

Did you keep Amelia home today? Poor kids, all of them, but I feel the worst for her.

Bennet said...

This makes me furious. I can't believe someone would report you to CPS for being a good parent. Talk about crazy sauce. Hey, Jackass, I made my kids brush their teeth last night. You might want to contact the FBI.

Jared and Lydia said...

Wow. I'm in shock that someone would read that post and feel that it warranted a call from CPS. Oh my goodness - I should probably think of something snarky to say, but really, I'm just baffled as to what this person could have been THINKING. Wow.

Hang in there. Give all your kids a little extra chocolate today - that always makes me feel better.

{B} said...

You have GOT to be kidding! Oh my hell.....wow.....I am sorry you had to deal with this and i'm sorry it put unnecessary stress on your kids!!! If someone is going to call CPS, HAVE EVIDENCE. I worked with a social worker for awhile and nothing i've read on your blog even remotely matches what I saw while working with them. There are horrible people out there that abuse children everyday and you are not one of them. That person needs to trip on the sidewalk and eat cement.

-B

Mothership said...

My two year old had had a rough night one night and she and I were awake for most of it. When we finally fell asleep at 6:15 AM, I fell sound asleep. She woke up at 7:15. I sent her upstairs to see her dad. Unbeknownst to both of us, her dad had left early for school that day. She went into the fenced backyard to find Dad in his office (behind the garage). He wasn't there. She couldn't open the screen door to get back into the house. I awoke in a panic ten minutes later and found the baby crying on the back porch. Fifteen minutes later, the police came to my house. A neighbor had called. Did she think this was the fastest way to get the baby out of the cold (no, not dangerously cold)? This neighbor had my phone number. We talked frequently over the fence. I thought we had a good, neighborly relationship. If she was concerned about my little girl, WHY DIDN'T SHE LOOK OVER THE FENCE TO CHECK ON THE CRYING BABY?? Or, at the very least Call Me? Instead, she had to call the policewoman, who was horribly rude to me, who had to call CPS. The CPS lady was wonderful, but, same as you, she had to spend an entire day researching the incident--the incident that could have been resolved by a two minute phone call.

This comment is already too long, so I won't go all into how furious, hurt, confused and furious (Did I repeat that word? Well, it deserves repeating.)I was. I just wrote it to explain that you are not the only good parent judged by those around us to be abusive. Who the hell do these people think they are?! You are a good mother--I would use the post in question as evidence--except, of course, that you send your kids to public school. (HA! Couldn't resist!)

I can't wait to read everyone else's comments. Talk about rousing the Mama Bear . . .

UK Yankee said...

Wow, I am livid. I thought what you wrote in that calculator post was right on - you made a fan out of me with that one! People have too much time on their hands, and take things too far.

Obviously the person who reported you reads this blog, so this is for them: Your actions hurt people. You hurt children with your pettiness and judgmental attitude. Mind your own business, take care of your own family, and leave innocent people alone.

Joy said...

I am sorry. I am sooo sorry. I am so so sooooo sorry. And it wasn't even me. I live in constant fear of on post CPS. Constant. Athyn has just reached the wobbly crawling stage, with accompanied goose-eggs stage. I'm terrified of something real happening, and of me needing to go to the ER, only to worry about the bumps and bruises that go along with learning balancing.
I'm have been dealing with husband's craptasticly bad unit, and the constant threats. I'm pregnant. And i'm emotional to start.

But, Brandi, I SWEARS! I SWEARS! I could rip that persons heart out and gladly make it into food your KIDS would enjoy. I am so completely enraged. I'm so amazingly pissed, and you and I have yet to even meet up in real life.

So. Freaking. Useless.

People REALLY need to get a life around here! (not here... the blog. here... the busybody world of the army post)

Good luck soothing the wounded. Hopefully by next month, Halloween candy will make things better! LOL

J. said...

It's funny because that was one of my favorite posts. I totally agreed with the way the situation was handled. Even reading back I can't pull anything out that is even remotely questionable.

Seriously person that called, you need to just calm down.

Pam the Realtor said...

Seriously? What are people thinking these days? You were being a good parent, trying to teach your son that there are consequences to his actions and somebody feels like that was abuse. This doesn't even add up. What a waste of time for CPS. Like they don't have enough real problems to deal with. I am so sorry you had to go thru this. Please know that I am behind you 100% and sending you a big hug because it sounds like you need it!

Brandi said...

Just to clarify for everyone, the person who made the report thought the use of "asshat" and using words like dumb and stupidity were mentally abusive toward Ben.

Kylene said...

I missed this post the first time around, but I am having a hard time seeing what was even reportable. I really liked what you wrote, and having heard other stories of your dealings with Ben, and his genius mind, I think anyone should have understood where you were coming from and that, in fact makes you a great parent. I just hope that CPS contacts that person and gives them a pamphlet on when it is appropriate to call.

Not even remotely similar, but we had a neighbor who would call animal control every time it rained or snowed and my dog was outside. The first time they called the AC guy checked out the premise, saw the dog house and my 80 pound fully fur coated long haired dog frolicking in the light snow (it had seriously only been snowing about 15 minutes) and he said that they just had to make sure we were in compliance and that they note it for future calls from this same person. The fifth time that person called that season the same guy came by and asked if we would consider moving our dog house into plain sight. I said, we like to keep it tucked right next to the house so that it is in a warmer and protected location, out in the open would leave my dog more vulnerable, should she ever actually need her dog house. He said he understood, and I was in the right, but apparently that year a new neighbor had moved in and was actually throwing around complaints for every dog owner in our little area, and they were tired of dealing with all the calls, and so it became the problem of all the dog owners. I guess they found a solution, or the person moved because I haven't heard anything in two years, but I wish there was some accountability for reporters.
I just hope that person reads your post, gets some insight about what they did and becomes a better person for it.

Tami said...

I came over from the Mothership, and I am now in love with your blog:)

I do not think there was anything said in the calculator post that was wrong, especially if Ben reads them before you post them. Even if he didn't we all need somewhere we can "vent" our frustrations and move past them. That is one way we prevent abusive situations is giving parents a place and time to let it out.

In fact, I would have made the same exact decisions with my son, who is 11.

AngelButton said...

Brandi, I can't even imagine what that must've felt like and I'm so sorry you had to feel that way. It's clear to everyone who knows you that you love your family and take care of them to the best of your ability. Hell, I don't even know you personally but I can tell how much your family means to you.

I really hope karma comes back and kicks the caller in the taco and they get what they deserve. And if your reading this caller... YOU'RE the asshat. Pull your head out, and maybe you'll see the light of what's really there.

april said...

I agree with everything everybody else said so I'm not going to say it again.

That stated, I find the word "asshat" one of the funniest words in the language. Seriously.

I think it's great you have Ben read everything you write about him and ask his permission. I have not, but I don't post real names (though you can find them in the blog if you look hard enough). The fact that I have a different last name than the kid and husband also helps.

Well, if you need character witnesses, give them my number. Or maybe congressional help. :)

Rena said...

WTW? I bet it was sheer vengeance for something. Have you any enemies?

And was "jack wagon" a bad name according to CPS? Because I just found that word, and I don't wanna give it up.

I heart you Brandi. I wish I were 1/2 the parent you were.

Emily said...

So sorry you had to go through this, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Heather said...

My heart goes out to you and your family, Brandi. What a totally sucky day!!!!!

A few years ago my neighbor called me and told me she had called CPS on me. In total shock, and as my mind began racing to think of what horrible thing I had done to warrant a call, all I could say was, "O..K.." After a short pause she told me it just a joke, she hadn't called. What a totally sick joke! I still remember the horrible feeling I had in those few moments- really, what a totally sucky day!!!!

Love and hugs to you and your family!!!!

MJ said...

It's like I tell my husband--if you don't want to be called an asshat, don't BE an asshat!!! :)

Seriously, though, what are you supposed to do, tell Ben he's so SMART because he traded his calculator for pokemon cards?

People (and I'm talking to YOU, person who called CPS), telling your kids they did something stupid or dumb or asshat-ish is NOT abusive. Not disciplining your children IS abusive. It's irresponsible of you as an adult, who *should* understand that there are consequences for your actions.

I seriously hope you get your come-uppance. Because inserting yourself into a situation to make someone else's life difficult just for fun is an ASSHAT thing to do.

How about next time you just post a nasty comment and leave your blog link so everyone can troll your blog and make you feel like shit? If you're gonna spread it, then at least have the decency to eat some.

April said...

went to practice a song at the church on a weekday. The girls were running around the church doing their thing.

I went to check on them and found them right outside the front door- the door locked so they were stuck outside for maybe 5 minutes. The girls were barefoot and were wearing their pajamas. I came out to get them and there was a police man. I was barefoot also (shoes were left at the piano) I was wearing a shirt that said "live rock n roll" My jeep was covered in motorcross stickers (husband's passion) I was a total target for a "bad mom" but I AM NOT! I was written up that day and now I have a "warning" on my record for child neglect. I was so upset. I kept telling the police man that my children are very much loved and protected by their mommy. He wasn't very nice. He didn't believe me. I felt awful.

Also, this will make you SICK. Sad story. A couple here in Utah had a premature baby who was born with a mild case of epilepsy. When the baby was 8 months old he had a severe seizure and the young couple rushed their baby to the hospital. One doctor- only one doctor said the baby was shaken. Child protective services came in and intervened. They took the baby boy away and they NEVER got their boy again. The boy was adopted by a girl who was a relative...I work with the Mom of this girl who adopted the boy. It has been HORRIBLE to watch unfold. The couple fought and fought for their baby boy. There were even other doctors that supported them and tried to convince CPS. It was useless.

The couple spiraled downward real fast- divorced...so so sad.

Clarkmomma said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through all that and I do hope your kids recover from it and can move on without fear that somebody is watching everything you/they do, just waiting to take them aaway from you (although, that could be a good scare tactic to get them to clean up their toys and stuff).
I live in fear every day lately that my one neighbor is going to call CPS on me. She lives behind us so she doesn't see us come and go or see me sitting outside with the kids while they play so that nobody runs in the road. What she sees is my kids being wild in the back yard. I send them out there to play when they really need to get some energy out. Sometimes they play ball and it or another toy goes over her fence and they get annoyed by that. She had the nerve to come over and tell us that we were too loud at night-we don't put our kids in bed at 7pm like she does but I don't complain about her kids being up and playing loudly while she yells at them at 7am either. We live with our windows open-if you don't like the noise then choose to shut your window and turn on a fan or something-that's what I do in the mornings when we're still sleeping. Anyway, I fully expect her to call on me sometime in the near future just because that's the kind of person she is.
I'm guessing that, like my neighbor, your caller either has very small kids or none at all. Anybody who has a child age 10 or older (sometimes a bit younger)knows that kids tend to be kids and that they are hitting that pre-teen, talking back and doing sassy things, stage younger and younger. Either that or she's the "perfect" parent that we all wish we could be so her children never do anything dumb. Did you hear my sarcasm?

Erin said...

Oh my gosh. Was this person passive aggressively sending you a message about swear words or something? Very strange. This person is obviously so bored with their own life that they're more concerned with yours. Crazy.

This actually happened to my mom once. I was about Amelia's age, anxious like her (not AS anxious - just a chronic thumb sucker - especially when I was nervous). All I remember is my brother crying, getting asked if we ever got spanked, and then eventually throwing up in my own lap. I was always a mama's girl and I felt guilty for telling these people anything. Wanna know who called CPS? Her mother in law. My grandma. Still don't like her.

Jamie Newman said...

I am crying over here as I read this because I lived through this a little over a year ago. I too was falsely accused of abusing or neglecting my children. After speaking with my kids, me, my husband and doing a home check the CPS worker said she was astounded by the claim. Fortunately for us it was all over in a day but the effects have been lingering. I have major anxiety that my kids will be taken from me even though I know I am a great parent. But I know that feeling of helplessness when you think your children may be taken from you.

This is outrageous and right now I am feeling furious about what has happened to you and your sweet kids. I will pray for them to be able to rebound from this without lasting effects. You are an incredible woman who has overcome incredible odds. It is evident to me that you love and care for your kids and always have their welfare at the forefront of your mind. You are teaching your kids to be productive and responsible members of society and quite frankly, we need more of that in this world.

Ok, I'm getting myself all worked up. Know you are not alone. I'll be thinking of you.

Jamie

momofsomja said...

That is TERRIBLE!! And I'd vouch for you as a former neighbor. Brandi is an awesome mom and Will is an awesome dad! So back off people!

This makes me so mad! I know the feeling. Brandi, you will know the closeness of the geography in this story as it happened near the shed in my back yard which butted up to your property. On a very hot summer day, my mom had come to my house to help me put together some of those metal storage shelves to go in our shed. We lived in a nice, up-kept, mobile home park,as we were a young couple with one little boy who was 3 at the time. Because of the heat we were working on the shelves in the shade of a large pine tree at the end of our mobile home. Our three year old was taking a nap, and I left the screen door open so that when he woke up he would come onto the porch and call for me just as he did whenever I worked in our little 9x9 garden box, or the flower bed, or the shed, again at the end of our mobile home. Think 90 feet long people!! We had a truck listed for sale in the paper, and some dude and his wife stopped at the house to take a look at it. He says he pounded on the door multiple times and our son came to the door. Well duh! You woke him up!! Because he hadn't called to me, and I hadn't seen him on the porch when I checked, I thought he was still asleep. I didn't know this guy had awakened him. Anyway, he said he waited for a parent to come to the door and when no one did, he went and got back in his car and waited there for 30 minutes. I never saw the car and I kept checking the
porch for our son. He said when no one came to the door for the full length of time, he and his wife went in to see if the child was alone! They went IN TO MY HOME!! When they didn't find me, they called the police. I was sick in a way I cannot describe when I saw a police car pulling up in front of my house and then coming up to my porch. Thankfully the officer was a man in our neighborhood who took the call and then relayed back that I was in my own yard (I hope this made that couple feel like idiots!) and his personal knowledge of me as a mother. To this day I am still bothered by the fact that these two people went into my house!! I think I should have pressed charges against them for trespassing! If these two busy-bodies had walked the length of the house (all 70 feet of it if you measure from the porch)they would have found me in the shade of my own tree. I was so mad! What if it had been a real home with a fenced yard and I was just in my back yard working there? I've never forgotten that horrible, sick feeling!

So I feel for you, Brandi! But don't you doubt yourself for a moment! You are WAY stronger than they are. You post your feelings in public, and they cower behind an anonymous phone call!

Dirtius Wifius said...

I'll repeat what MJ said: Not disciplining your children IS abusive. Sometimes calling CPS is actually a good idea, but a blog post? About a child like Ben? Seems to me she doesn't actually read your blog or she would know calling CPS was not a good idea. I'm sorry and I hope the effects are not too long-lasting.

Jessica said...

I'm so sorry you and your family had to be put through that. Do you know who reported you? Was it someone locally or just a random from online? Could it have been his teacher. That is frightening and I'm really sorry. :(

cb2manor said...

Brandi...I love reading your blog, and reading about your family, and hope cruel people like this person don't cause you to stop, though I could totally understand if you ever did.

I hope the person who called CPS reads this, and sees how much damage they have caused to your innocent children...no matter how this person feels about you, this person has attacked your innocent children...they did NOTHING to deserve this, this is a memory that cannot be erased from their minds. Did this person who called CPS bother to THINK about this and the ramifications???

You are a GREAT parent Brandi...and doing sooo much of this on your own...give yourself a HUGE pat on the back, and never stop!

I agree with the consequences for your son, and I didn't find anything wrong in your post...unless he lives isolated from TV, movies, video games, kids at school, other kids' parents, never reads a book or a newspaper, magazine,...otherwords, lives in a bubble, unfortunately, he's probably heard a curse word or perhaps even two! GASP!

So thankful you had an understanding CPS agent, and hopefully this can soon get put behind you all...the person who called this in needs to know they took up valuable time of a CPS agent that could've been investigating a sad, valid child abuse issue...might have been able to save a life...but who knows...because that agent had to take care of your children instead.

The Boob Nazi said...

This makes me not want to blog when I have children. People are asshats. (I do love that word.)

Sylwia said...

was the person who called someone I know? I can only imagine one person doing that....

Brandi said...

I have no idea who called. And obviously THAT person crossed my mind (a lot), but I don't think it was her. I mean, SURELY she has moved on. I have a hunch about who it was, but no evidence whatsoever. If it was the person I think it is, it's a stranger who has issues with me because I bashed scrapbpooking (seriously--she went on a rampage over it). 10 months later she still harasses me. And she's a teacher, so her report would legally have to be investigated no matter how frivolous.

Stephanie said...

Funny, how you write such an innocent post, that doesn't warrant CPS being called, but other mommy bloggers, such as Dooce, use their children in such weird examples, and say things about their kids, that I'm shocked nobody has called CPS on them.. mainly because, if your simple post is all it took, then why isn't CPS at their house ALL THE TIME? Not saying they deserve CPS, but you get my point. If a simple, harmless post from you, warrants it, then why not the other mommy bloggers that post even worse things (but still not to the extreme of needing CPS)?

Brandi said...

Well, it's possible that CPS HAS been called on them, and they have chosen not to write about it. You never know.

lirielshine said...

Brandi...this type of thing has happened to me before! Although mine involved my son screaming for help when I put him in his crib at night....markers....and well...it sucked. Anyway...luv you! Sorry about all of that crap.

cherrymehome said...

WOW!I am so sorry! I cant find one thing you did wrong in that post?!!!! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! What is wrong with people these days?! I used to get smacked in the face and my hair ripped out! Just wow!!! And Brandi if your hubby is airborne are you in Bragg?? Just curious :) My husband is psyop and is in Bragg, he'll be deploying again for 9 months also in Jan. It really bothers me that even in the grocery store when my kids are screaming people seem to form a quick judgement on our parenting. HELLO I have 4 kids and im by myself! This lady should be absolutely ashamed of herself! What if they would have taken this more seriously? Its scary how they can take your kids with no proof of anything! And this lady with no clue could have been responsible for taking a soldiers kids away from their mother? Its terrifying!

Tanya said...

I'm a social worker and used to work for CPS in my state a decade ago. Things change, of course, but I can't imagine that my county would have even warranted that particular call worthy of a visit. We "screened out" referrals with regularity. But it oftentimes depended on the supervisor who was in charge of screening, many of whom took the better-safe-than- sorry approach for obvious reasons.

Let me tell you, people are strange and called in some weird stuff. To wit: I had a school aid call in once because she was concerned a sibling group didn't wear underpants to school.

Really?

On a completely different note, we just had to fork over (gulp) *one hundred dollars* for a calculator for our high schooler (graphics, high-level math, blah, blah, blah). Might want to warn your kid that if he trades that away, you're giving him to the circus.

Rhonda said...

There are so many comments, I had to jump to post my own. OMG!!!!!!!! I know this feeling. It's happened to us 3 times over 14 years of our autism diagnosis. So sorry you are having to go through this. Did I read this right? They interviewed your children at school? without ANYBODY notifying you? Do you know this is illegal?? I hope you're all doing better now that some time has passed. It never gets easy. The third call was just as hard to deal with as the first one.

Sihaya said...

My friend posted a link to this on her twitter feed and, I just felt the need to comment.
Its probably unnecessary since so many have already said what I feel much more eloquently.
I found absolutely nothing wrong with your original post, I myself would have acted the same way.
As someone who had CPS AND a police officer show up at my door one day after a substitute teacher harrassed my daughter about a bruise she got playing, I can honestly say my heart goes out to you, because I've been there and its one of the worst places to be.

From what I've read, you seem to be a loving and good mother, one who is there to guide but not to surround your kids in a bubble.

Whoever did this, I just, have no words that can possibly convey my utter disgust for them.

I wish you the best of luck.

Ludicrous Mama said...

In our co-op preschool's Parent Ed class, the teacher told us the following rule to help children know the difference between TATTLING and TELLING. Are they trying to GET someone in trouble, or are they trying to keep someone OUT of trouble?
Sounds like your troll needs to go back to preschool. Sheesh.
I am SO sorry your family had to go through this. As I child (5th grade, maybe?) I was yanked out of class for what I thought had been an innocuous question at a "McGruff the Crime Dog" assembly, but was apparently a big flaming red flag that something had happened to me. I was terrified. And it hadn't even involved my parents. Some older kid at daycare. But I remember being so uncertain and scared, and of course they couldn't have my parents there with me at first. Which made it worse, when the parents weren't the problem!

auntlala said...

I just came upon your blog tonight, having come to this story from a link at another blog. All I can say is that I am so very sorry that this happened to your family. People suck. I'm also sorry that your son Liam is sick. And, like Amelia, I also have trichotillomania. I pull out eyebrows & eyelashes, not so much the hair on my head. I'm so very sorry she had to go through all of that.

Assholes do this kind of thing to people. I hope the jackwagon who did this to your family is reading, and sees what they did to your kids.

Lorian Rivers said...

It's a damn shame that the CPS folks are tied up with frivolous BS. I would hate to think how the kids of the person that reported act..not much discipline there for sure!

BTW...I had a similar situation. When I was first separated my kids and I lived in a trailer park. The maintenance guy and I started hanging out. His ex-wife (who also lived there with their 4 kids) called CPS on me. A lady came out one day (gave me a stroke at the door just like you!). Once we had a chance to sit and talk and I told her who called (even though it was anonymous) everything was fine. But had my kids been old enough to be in school, instead of there at home with me, who knows?

She did ask my then 7 year old son "Does mommy ever tell you not to do something?" He responded "yes". "What do you do when that happens?" "I don't do it".

I will never forget the look he gave her, like she had two heads for even asking what he would do. (As opposed to fear that you would expect if there are problems at home.)

Stuff and Nonsense said...

not only am i seething with anger
over the extreme idiocy of anyone
calling cps over your blog post

i am furious that anyone

anyone

would dare to take your kids out of class
to speak to them without your permission
or presence

that should not happen

ever.

i am glad
however
that you were fortunate enough
to get a case worker who was clear-headed and fair

what a truly horrible day for you.

alison

Kristine said...

I read your post twice just to make sure I wasn't missing something...

The only thing I can find in it even marginally questionable (and totally unrelated to your son and any question of abuse) is that it looks like you outed another blogger over what you think was their bad behavior.

But CPS investigating you over this? That's crazy, and very scary.

I hope the person that reported you does some serious thinking about the long-term consequences of his/her actions and how this affected your children. I don't imagine getting called out of class for something like that will be soon forgotten, especially by your daughter. Honestly, the more I think about it the more pissed off I get.

As a blogger that writes about her kids, including one with special needs, it is frightening to think that it could be used against me.

Katie said...

Wow. I know there is a lot of controversy about parents posting too much information about their kids on the internet, and honestly I tend to agree that maybe it's not the best idea to expose your kids too much. It's a new idea, and it's hard to know how it will affect the kids later in life. However, this is absolutely out of line. I'm the child of divorce, and my father was a horrible, ridiculously immature person. He'd call DCFS (basically CPS) on my mom all the time JUST TO GET A RISE OUT OF HER. He didn't care or think how much it would affect US. How traumatic it would be for US. He just wanted to hurt HER. I can sympathize with the pain and anguish your kids had to suffer for this, and SHAME SHAME SHAME on the person who put in that call on you. This is the first time I'm reading your blog, so I don't know much about you, your family, or your post, but I cannot imagine that ANYONE would ever write ANYTHING on their blog that would necessitate a legitimate call to CPS. I'm sorry this happened to you and your family, and I hope it serves as a reminder to people that bloggers are real people, and your actions have consequences. That you need to THINK before you act because you could really do harm even if you somehow think you're doing good. I hope your family can move past this incident. I know I've had a really hard time of it, and I wouldn't want anyone else to have to go through this.

mommasunshine said...

Absolutely disgusting. Particularly when you consider all the children out there being abused and nothing is being done about it. This makes me sick! I'm so sorry you had to endure this.

T said...

Well it appears that this person needs to call CPS on all of us because we all agreed with how you handled your situation.

Kudos to you.

sallyallbright said...

OK, just read the post you are referring to and I didn't see where someone would have had any reason to call CPS. Then I started to read your comments...seriously?! Scary thought that people would call CPS over that. And it was not like you said you called him an asshat. Keep doing what you are doing... from just one post I can tell you are an awesome mom. Not too many moms would have argued for the lower grade.

Kathleen said...

I would venture a guess that the accuser read only the first bit of the post where you mentioned stupid behavior (it was, and he's old enough and smart enough to understand that as you have pointed out) but didn't finish reading the post where you explained just how smart your son is and understands that he made a mistake... In other words, someone made an ill informed decision and the horrible part about it is YOU, YOUR KIDS, and YOUR HUSBAND have to pay the consequences.
I cannot say enough how disgusted I am by the actions of this troll. I believe, in cases like this, anonymity should be denied and (as mentioned above) the accuser should have to pay reparations to the state for lost time and resources that could go toward helping kids that NEED help... Also, any medical bills that would come up because of the effect this has had on your children.
I'm sending good, happy, relaxing thoughts to you and yours.

reluctantmom said...

I would like to first congratulate what ever society you are in that has such an efficient CPA - really. If we could have a CPA that reacts that fast and that efficiently when a whistle blower peeps that would be great.

So big props for child protection.

But seriously, where exactly is teaching your child the consequences of his actions a problem for someone?

There are way too many molly-coddling parents who give their children too much, but forget to teach them manners, good behaviour and suitable consequences ....

I am a bit amazed at what exactly you said that pissed someone off that badly ... maybe I am missing a key component.

My son is presently on dog-poo-duty so he can earn money for a computer game. I also sometimes bribe him to be "quiet for an hour" so I can get a break, and then pay him pocket money.

No doubt, that will have CPA in my yard.

But I am okay with that.

I just can't quite get my head around why insisting your child pay for a replacement calculator would get up someone's ar*se.

But at least you have a loyal troll.

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