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Continue caring for my nephew, or stop? (UPDATE post #75) - Page 4

post #61 of 115
Just wanted to add that it sounds like he is a child of abuse and neglect. I'm wondering if you are afraid to report it b/c this would alienate yourself from this family & child, and ultimately social services may not really intervene. You are in a tough situation. Any deficits this kid is facing could be related to his environment. Being kept in a car seat all day w/ a drunk grandfather could definitely lead to sensory processing issues.
post #62 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle View Post
If a baby was being cared for by someone who was drunk right upstairs from me and she knew about as she says she did, I would do something about it, not come here and gossip about it. If I felt ing that the baby was continually be neglected by everyone in the family, aside from OP, and he is showing signs of that neglect, I would do something about it. I am not sure we are getting a clear account of what is actually going on, I think the OP may be assuming a lot and embellishing a bit based on being judgmental of her dn's parents, as she has clearly said she is.
I think she's clearly stated... the devil she knows.
post #63 of 115
I think there's just a whole lotta' drama involved in the whole DN saga.
post #64 of 115
I don't think CPS could/would do anything here - the inappropriate care by the grandfather would have been something they might have been interested in, but that's not going on anymore. There are lots of kids who are neglected and suffer from it, but not to a degree that it warrants some kind of intervention by authorities.

OP, I think your plan is a good one.
post #65 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by pregnant@40 View Post
Just wanted to add that it sounds like he is a child of abuse and neglect. I'm wondering if you are afraid to report it b/c this would alienate yourself from this family & child, and ultimately social services may not really intervene. You are in a tough situation. Any deficits this kid is facing could be related to his environment. Being kept in a car seat all day w/ a drunk grandfather could definitely lead to sensory processing issues.
This. OP does seem to be in a tough situation. If she were to report than she could potentially face being put out of her home (if MIL is vengeful) and she has to think about her own kids. Also, child services very well may not intervene as this sounds like one of those cases where there are a lot of blurry lines (for them not for me). Child services is usually overworked with cases of kids that are physically abused, starved,etc. Would they rush in to try and help someone who is not dressing their child properly and leaving him with extended family?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
I don't think CPS could/would do anything here - the inappropriate care by the grandfather would have been something they might have been interested in, but that's not going on anymore. There are lots of kids who are neglected and suffer from it, but not to a degree that it warrants some kind of intervention by authorities.

OP, I think your plan is a good one.
And this. All of us cringe at some of the things this baby has been through but in reality it is a small blip on the screen for child services.
post #66 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by pregnant@40 View Post
I agree about the gender and age differences, but the lack of eye contact is concerning. Also, she's around him a lot & probably has just given us a snapshot description of this kid. Her gut is telling her that something is wrong here.
Based on previous posts by the OP I don't think she is clear on what her gut is telling her. She seems to have a vivid imagination and IMO tends to exaggerate things and jump to the worst and most judgmental assumption.

If this abuse/neglect was going on for real, as a parent I would not hesitate to do something about it by calling CPS. I would also not stay in an apartment below people who are supposedly abusive, harassing and manipulative. They are paying rent, so move and go pay rent somewhere else where you can live in peace. I'm sure there will be a million excuses why that can't happen.
post #67 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
OP is living in her IL's basement (illegal apartment, still paying rent). Her MIL does stuff like knock on her window at 2am, and there are other major boundary issues.

I think the OP should definitely call, but should do it after getting her own place. Which is in the works and last I read due to happen within the year.

Again, move if the situation is as bad as it is being described. Pay rent somewhere else. If the child is being abused, it seems it went from neglect to abuse somewhere in this thread, waiting a year to do something is irresponsible and neglectful in its own right. The OP also thinks her neighbor girls are being sexually abused, because they kissed her baby too much. I think the lens through which she is viewing every other parent is very clouded by youth and judgment.
post #68 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle View Post
Again, move if the situation is as bad as it is being described. Pay rent somewhere else. If the child is being abused, it seems it went from neglect to abuse somewhere in this thread, waiting a year to do something is irresponsible and neglectful in its own right. The OP also thinks her neighbor girls are being sexually abused, because they kissed her baby too much. I think the lens through which she is viewing every other parent is very clouded by youth and judgment.
I agree, 100%. I have read a lot of the OPs posts and this is an ongoing theme, she's an amazing parent/person and everyone around her is just awful and she wants everyone to tell her so.

OP, I think it would be best for you to concentrate on your own children and maybe try to find a hobby. Do not buy your DN a new carseat, do not buy him clothes or shoes, put that money towards getting a place of your own for your family. If things are really as tight financially as you say and if your living situation is half as toxic/ridiculous as you say, you are doing your own children a disservice by spending money on your DN and spending time with your ILs to be around your DN more.
post #69 of 115
Thread Starter 
Oh wow. Excuse me? I cannot believe what I'm reading. I came here for support because I wasn't quite sure what I should do. I already stated that I AM going to continue caring for him (plan has changed though). I am and HAVE been afraid to call DCFS about it because I myself am in an illegal living situation that I am slowly working to get out of. My DH is still trying to get a better job, and once he does so, I will get a part time job, because I need to know his schedule and work around it. I will most likely be back in retail. I don't want to call DCFS and endanger my OWN situation. I also don't want to call DCFS and have DN taken away and put into foster care or placed with a similar family member (which might even be my MIL, because she is his Godmother). I want to work with him and whatever needs he may have and maybe open his parents eyes about it.. I want to be there to care for him more and advocate for him when he needs it. I don't think calling DCFS would resolve the situation, I think it would be harder on him.

And as far as the neighbor girl situation happened- something major happened, and I do not care to discuss it on here as I have already discussed it with the girls parents, it is an extremely sensitive issue.

Now, something huge came up between MIL and us yesterday and it turned into a huge family feud, so we're now trying to work faster at tying up all of the financial strings and getting out.

I have decided that we will bring DN to and from gymnastics only. MIL asked me to get the car seat from target and handed me the money for it on the spot. I'm not going to buy anything else for him- you all are 100% right in that I need to get my act together and get out of here. I have no business putting my own children behind another child that is not mine. It is unfortunate. If, when we leave, I see that similar thigns are happening to DN, I will not hesitate to call DCFS because I won't then be able to do anything for DN. I need to get out of the way first, because I don't want to end up in their crosshairs for living in an illegal apartment.
post #70 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhf View Post
I agree, 100%. I have read a lot of the OPs posts and this is an ongoing theme, she's an amazing parent/person and everyone around her is just awful and she wants everyone to tell her so.

OP, I think it would be best for you to concentrate on your own children and maybe try to find a hobby. Do not buy your DN a new carseat, do not buy him clothes or shoes, put that money towards getting a place of your own for your family. If things are really as tight financially as you say and if your living situation is half as toxic/ridiculous as you say, you are doing your own children a disservice by spending money on your DN and spending time with your ILs to be around your DN more.
Look.

She's not going to post here about how much she loves another person's parenting because she's probably telling them to their face.

This is her CLOSE RELATIVE. Of course she cares. Jeez.

I dunno, maybe it's because improperly-fitted shoes kill me? Or because I also think that hours in a carseat in front of the TV is really borderline neglect? Or because I know what it's like to only post about the drama, without posting about the good times and good people?

I just don't see how it's supportive to say, "Either back off or call CPS, there's no in-between."

IMO there is a LOT of in-between, where you provide support and help and negotiate delicate social networks and balance your own needs and the needs of other very needy people and still care for your kids. IMO there's a lot of gray area between special needs resulting from neglect and those that could not have been avoided. It's hard to tell and she is not judging them. The age she's talking about is a HARD age because kids are all over the map in terms of development. Some are talking in full sentences, others seem more like babies, *even with great parents and even with normal or above-average intelligence*.

So it might seem like drama to you, and maybe it is a small family drama.

So what? Sometimes we really can't escape drama. Sometimes we need outside perspective. Speaking of judgmental!
post #71 of 115
post #72 of 115
OP -- I sure hope you can get into your own place soon!
post #73 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post


I have decided that we will bring DN to and from gymnastics only. MIL asked me to get the car seat from target and handed me the money for it on the spot. I'm not going to buy anything else for him- you all are 100% right in that I need to get my act together and get out of here. I have no business putting my own children behind another child that is not mine. It is unfortunate. If, when we leave, I see that similar thigns are happening to DN, I will not hesitate to call DCFS because I won't then be able to do anything for DN. I need to get out of the way first, because I don't want to end up in their crosshairs for living in an illegal apartment.
I think this is a good plan. It sounds like you were taking care of DN at the expense of your own family (spending money you didn't have, your DD was suffering emotionally) so I think you are making a very smart move here in that respect. I can also understand not calling DCFS, and unfortunately, I doubt they would do anything anyway. I hope you can get out of this situation soon. I know times are super tough (DH has been unemployed for over a year now) so I hope you can do whatever you can to get out of there. I hope things get better for your family soon, and this little boy.
post #74 of 115
To the OP, i just wanted to say that from the outset i was moved by the love you show to your dn. He's lucky to have you. Good luck to you and your family, and may you dn find the care that he needs.
post #75 of 115
Thread Starter 
*sigh* I thought I was done with this thread, but there is something else that I need input on.

DN is regularly bathed, as far as I know (he only occasionally comes to us a little "greasy"). I mentioned that we had issues with him not being bathed in the past. Today, he arrived to us and it was clear that he had probably not been bathed since we'd last seen him (a week prior). DH noticed it when he was taking him out of the car seat. His fingernails had dirt caked into them (and he doesn't really go outside to play at all...my DD regularly has dirty nails that I clean nightly but she's almost always found digging in the dirt) and food (or something yellowish orangish) stuck in his cuticles, it looked old (from longer than the last meal). I wiped his hands and face with a few baby wipes and they looked like I'd been wiping a not-so clean floor with them. DN just felt dirty, and after tagging along with him at gymnastics, I could feel the grime on my own hands. The straps on his car seat's harness are now a little greasy, and it's the first time he used the new seat. There was a pretty obvious smell. I feel SO bad. We had to care for DN all day today, because GMIL had to have minor surgery and wouldn't be home, MIL took her, and no one else was home. We had errands of our own to run today, so DN was along with us. We were out all day. We met up with his mom while we were out but she was extremely rushed (had to go make dinner) and we didn't have any time to talk. But how exactly do you tell someone that their child needs to be bathed, especially when this problem has happened in the past?

In the past we weren't caring for him much, it was an every so often kind of thing. DH told them about it, and we were responded to with a "Oh he's just a sweaty kid." No. There is a huge difference between an unbathed DN and a clean DN. I'm afraid that someone at his gymnasics will call DCFS if this happens again (it's a park district- are they mandated reporters?), so I want to make sure it doesn't happen again. I would feel so awkward bathing him, just because it's not my job. I feel that it might be the right way to go, but I know that the family will be in complete denial about the non-bathing thing and tell me not to bathe him.

In retrospect, I'm wondering if I should have had DH stay in the car with DN while I took DD to gymnastics. He likely would not have known what was going on. I guess I could have even sent DH home to bathe him and bring him back, even if he did miss class. I also think I should have done this because DN came to us with a cold (why my DH didn't notice this when he got him and put him in the car, I don't know) and I feel totally irresponsible for bringing him around other kids while sick. I'm going to request that they not send him along with us while sick, but either way I still had to care for him today because no one else could.

I AM happy to report that he is picking up a ton of words and is not not hitting DD very much..(twice the whole day) I am slowly learning how to better redirect him and guide his learning.
post #76 of 115
Thread Starter 
**I don't want to call DCFS on my own. I feel that it would cause so much chaos in our own family if anyone were to find out. We need to live here right now, we are without other options until the beginning of next year (when debt will be significantly paid down and I will have a job, hopefully).

If things worsen and things warrant an intervention by DCFS, I suppose I could speak with the gymnastics instructor and ask her if she could call for us (especially if she's a mandated reporter). She has to hold DN and help him do certain things and I'm sure that she noticed something today.
post #77 of 115
Just to comment on the bath thing...

In my world giving another kid (esp a young one like that) a bath while they were in my care would not be a weird thing. In fact it's happened before. I'd say something like "the kids got really grubby/muddy/messy while they were playing/eating, and we tossed them all in a bath". I've even found old clothes of one of my dc to put on a kid I was babysitting if they happened to get their clothes really dirty or wet and the parents had forgotten to leave a change.
post #78 of 115
Sometimes kids just are dirt magnets.

My nephew took two baths every single day. These baths involved large amounts of soap and shampoo, as well as quite a bit of scrubbing. Yet he was constantly sticky and sweaty and even sometimes there was an odor. DN was just a messy eater and sweated quite a bit.

I frequently skip baths with DS. It is completely unnoticeable. he is a fairly neat eater, and doesn't sweat all that much. When I pop him in the bath, it is mostly for fun and I often don't bother with soap at all.

Basically dirtiness of the child is not necessarily a reflection on how much effort the parent puts into caring for said child. My sis put in a ton of effort bathing DN, b/c it was needed, but probably had strangers thinking she was lazy about baths. I get away with putting very little effort into bathing DS, but he is always fresh and unsticky anyway and strangers probably think I put a lot more effort than I do into keeping him that way.

Since this unbathed thing is new, I would suspect that it was related to the cold. They may have old fashioned notions about not wanting to let him get chilled by being wet while he has a cold. It was how I was raised, and I was actually really surprised when DS's pediatrician recommend letting him sit in a steamy bath when he was congested (at first I thought she just meant for me to let him play on the floor in the bathroom with the doors closed and the shower running.)
post #79 of 115
I don't think lack of bathing to your standards is CPS worthy.
post #80 of 115
Why would he need to skip gymnastics just because he wasn't freshly bathed?
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