Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Independent Play...A Felony

I let Addi watch an unusual amount of TV this morning so I sent her out in our completely and securely fenced backyard to play while I sewed the elastic straps on her tap shoes (a 5 min. task). Addi immediately started crying because she wanted me to play with her, I told her I would come out in 5 min. but that she could go ahead and start playing.

[aside: Theo was asleep and I was planning on leaving the back door open so I could hear him if he woke up]

She then continued to cry now saying that she had to go to the bathroom. I came to the door and took her in to the bathroom, when she was done I took her back out and pointed out that there were electrical workers in the tree in our neighbor's yard and that it might be fun to watch what they were doing. She did not see the fun in that but I went and finished the tap shoes when she started saying she was scared, I asked her (through the window) what was scary and she pointed to a brown spot on the paint. At this point the door bell rings.

I run through the house to answer the door and there is a Police Woman standing there (I recognized her as the Police person that was with the workers (in Massachusetts almost all out door or road projects must have a police officer on site-tax dollars at work). This is how our conversation went:

PW: how old is the girl in the back yard
A: almost 4
PW: there are other forms of abuse than hitting your kids.
A: she is not abused
PW: she has been crying out there for 15 min.
A: it wasn't 15 min.
PW: it was at least 15 min.
A: did you time it?
PW: no
A: So you don't know...did you see me take her in to use the bathroom?
PW: no.
A: did you see me talking to her at the window...I was reassuring her
PW:no, but you can't lock your child outside
A: the door was not locked she can open it (Addi had already opened it by this point and was now standing by me)
PW: you can not leave a child outside unsupervised.
A: She was not unsupervised I was talking to her and I could hear her
PW: You don't know if she was crying because she was hurt
A: our yard is safe, it is completely fenced and locked no one can get in or out. (also, I didn't say this but any mother worth her salt can tell if HER child is in pain or just crying)
PW: But you weren't watching her.
A: So if I'm listening to my child on a baby monitor they are unsupervised because I cannot see them?

She did not answer this question but went ahead and threatened to call DSS and Medford PD (she is a trooper) saying that she was a "certified reporter" and I couldn't stand up to anyone with authority and convince them I wasn't doing something wrong.

I told her that her accusations were unfounded and she finally "compromised" and said that it doesn't look good to neighbors and passers by to hear a child crying and that someone would probably call the police or DSS on me.

Here are my thoughts:

-If I were a police person and heard the cry of child I would probably go check it out too. I hope I wouldn't be so aggressive and condemning.

-I have had 3 encounters with Massachusetts Police and they have all been terrible. I AM NOT A FELON...they are all, aparently, on the loose!

-It came up in the conversation that she was a mother and I was wondering if day care counts as "unsupervised" because she can't see her kids, she's just hoping someone else can.

-The irony kills me because I am truly concerned with children in dangerous and abusive situations and they are often in my prayers.

-I hope she doesn't turn me in...it would just be a hassle and a waste.


Meg said...

OH MY GOSH! Lily is crying right now. In her room. Unsupervised. She put her feet on the table. . .again. TURN ME IN!!!!
And yes, a mother can tell if it is whining or the 'hurt cry'.
I realize that this is more than a little insulting as a mother, but seriously, it is hilarious because the PW was so out of line!

bostonshumways said...

So ironic Angi. You should be turned in, alright, but for being the worlds most amazing, attentive, creative, invested mother. Seriously, I'm so happy that my tax dollars are at work here in MA.

Rhiannon said...

i can NOT believe that!!! that makes me so angry! how did you manage to keep your cool?! I wish you would have made that daycare comment to her.

RJsharp.blogspot.com said...

What a joke! I was thinking the same thing from the beginning... that SHE was probably a mother and that her kids were being "watched" a whole lot less than yours. Well, sorry about the pain! I absolutely love you. I wouldn't have been as brave to point out the truth. So... 3 run-in's with police huh? I bet the other 2 were just as much fun as this one? We miss you guys!

Ashley said...

Holy CRAP! What is that lady's name? I want to report her for being the stupidest person in the world. Saydi was right, if she only knew the kind of Mother she was attacking! She would feel like quite the idiot. I CANNOT BELIEVE this story. Now I'm so riled up I'm not going to be able to fall asleep. Thanks a lot.