Thank you again for your input.
"If you think your DD is safe and happy in your ex's family's care, then the problem you need to address is strictly between you two.
She's happy. I'm not too sure about the safe part sometimes. He bought a new (used 1995) Caprice. He threw the car seat in. I asked him to take it to the police station for a car seat check. He drove her for a week without me seeing him (he'd pick her up from the sitter and I didn't see him). Yesterday he picked her up at my house. He had the car seat in the middle. None of the seat belts "locked". He tied a knot in the belt to "secure" the seat. When I bumped the side of the seat, it moved 6 inches across the back row. I refused to let him drive her. I took our daughter to work with me while he went to the police station to install the seat. It took all of 30 minutes and he picked her up at my job and drove off in a properly installed car seat. All he could tell me was that he hadn't had time to get the seat installed.
When he dropped her off last night, her chest straps were so loose that I could have fit 2 children in the car seat. Today, I taped the lever that releases the straps. I told him and our daughter that whoever is loosening the straps needs to STOP! (It *could* be daughter loosening it. But she doesn't do it in my car. Either way, I taped it so fingers can't lift the lever to loosen it).
This is a common occurance. Her car seat is always wrong one way or another. It's like he doesn't care. *I* care. I don't want my daughter killed or badly injured.
At his house, the bedrooms are upstairs. There is no fire escape. There are windows, sure. But the only way out is to jump and land on concrete from a second story window. I've requested a "fire ladder" to be used upstairs when and if my daughter spends the night. He doesn't care. (That's where my daughter was, the night he lied to me. Upstairs in an old farm house with no fire escape. Had I known our daughter would be at his house, I would have requested (for what it's worth) that she stay downstairs in case there was a fire. These are things we had talked about previously, anyway. I care about my daughter. I plan for what-if's. Maybe I'm weird?).
My daughter has told me that his house is dirty. My daughter has contracted MRSA. Doctor's orders are bleach batch twice daily to try to alliviate her from the painful boils all over her bottom. He doesn't bathe her. Last week, his mom bathed our daughter in the kitchen sink because the bathtub was too dirty. MRSA can happen to anyone. It can happen to people where houses are really clean. But it really makes me wonder where/how she contracted it. And nobody is helping me "care" for her and get rid of the problem, except for his mom I guess who bathes her in the kitchen sink.
She had bread for dinner last night. Just bread. I asked her if she ever eats fruit at his house. She said no. I asked if there IS any fruit. She said no. She packed her lunch box with a banana, apple and yogurt to take with her.
There is a long list of problems with him. I've bit my tongue. I've only complained about major issues, such as the car seat. I stressed to him how important a fire escape is, if our daughter would ever spend the night upstairs in his house. He apparently doesn't care.
My best girlfriend told me to find another sitter, to not let him have our daughter anymore if he can't be responsible (bathe her to keep the MRSA at bay, secure seat well, etc). I don't want to tick anyone off. I don't want to keep our daughter away from her father. I don't want a legal dispute. I really don't know what to do most of the time. My gf also told me that I should perhaps involve dcfs? That would make his blood boil. Sigh. I just don't know. I'm low-income. I make pennies more than minimum wage. I'm a student. I've called lawyers for consultations. They charge $225/hour. I turned to Legal Aid but I haven't been able to get thru on the phone.
Maybe I'm just uptight? Should I not voice an opinion about her carseat or having a way to escape a second story fire? Not care if she's being bathed to help care for the MRSA she has? Is this what you're supposed to do with visitation issues? Just cross your fingers, pray and hope everything will be well? Or do you speak up when things like this are not right?