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CPS showed up at my door today. - Page 2

post #21 of 100
Thread Starter 
oops double post
post #22 of 100
Thread Starter 
Ok 3 door lock, I do have door alarms on the inside doors, and yesterday when they "escaped" it wasn't through a door at all per se.

They did go out into the back yard which is fenced in. It has 2 gates which we've securely locked as well.

So how did they get out? We discovered that they've figured out how to climb over the fence!

So what now? a car battery hooked up to the fence? Or perhaps barbed wire mounted on the top of the fence? Both are kind of dangerous.

We have locks on doors, baby gates, cabinet locks, fridge and freezer locks, and if I could I'd install an invisible fence and attach a monitor to the boys so they never run out into the street again I would but it's kind of unethical don't you think?

This has happened 3 times now. Apparently the 3rd time was enough for someone to call on us even though each time it happened we stepped up our security measures.

I'm sorry you don't hink my "best" is good enough, but I do what I can with what I have at the time. How in the h#ll am I supposed to know my boys would climb over the fenced in yard? They are only 2 and 3 and I had never seen them do it before until yesterday after the fact!

After the second time it happened I went out that same day and got more locks and tearfully cried to my husband about this CPS scenario happening.

But I guess I am just a bad mom compared to some. I love them, feed them, clothe them, house them, educate them, bathe them, monitor their health, and then when they get themselves into dangerous situations I try to rectify the problem ASAP NOT knowing the future of whether or not they'll be able to adapt to our security step ups and break out again. But like you said my best just isn't good enough I guess. Maybe they should take them away. I'm pretty sure the foster car house won't have doors or fences my boys won't figure out and escape through.
post #23 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by siennasmom View Post
Where was the naive judgment? That toddlers shouldn't play in the street? That it's possible to keep toddlers from *repeatedly* escaping into the street without locking them in a closet? If that's naive, boy howdy. I don't know what to say.

As far as my post being cringe-worthy, you know what makes me cringe? The idea of toddlers repeatedly getting out of the house and running out into the street.
She does have a point. If the kids have gotten out the same way more than twice, there is a problem. Surely there is also a solution.

But, if neighbors are having to repeatedly bring pre-schoolers and toddlers back to the safety of their yard or home, there IS something going wrong here.

The OP didn't say how many times the kids have escaped though. Maybe it was only three or so times. But, maybe it was seven or ten... that means that the kids aren't being supervised properly.

In Arizona, it only takes once, to get in the backyard, and your kids are dead within five minutes after they fall into the pool. Other people judge those parents for not securing the doors. Or for not having a locked pool fence. Or for leaving the pool fence open.

But, nothing has happened to these kids, so we can say, "Oh that's O.K". But, if this same two year old wanders three blocks away, we would say "You should have known they were out of the house"

Kids DO get outside. It happens, no matter how diligent we are. Just Friday night, I found a two year old riding a trike down the middle of the road singing "Life is a highway" at 10:30 at night. I had never seen him before. So, I stopped him, and another neighbor and I tried to figure out where he came from. Turned out, he was visiting his cousins for the weekend, and wanted another turn on the trike, so he snuck into the garage, climbed on the little tykes car, opened the garage door, and stole a bike. (pretty clever)

It just happens.

I am not bashing the OP, but it is time for her to get some kind of alarm on her doors.
post #24 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by UCmamaToMany View Post
This has happened 3 times now. Apparently the 3rd time was enough for someone to call on us even though each time it happened we stepped up our security measures.

.
Now, to me, three times isn't really all that bad. I wouldn't have called CPS for three times.

The battery on the fence sounds good!!:

If they are finding new ways out, I don't know what to tell you.

My only advice then, is to take them out A LOT. Seriously, take them out, and go wherever they want (within reason) so they don't need to see what they are missing. Go to the park every day. Take all the kids, and have the biggest kids bring school work if they need to keep working.

Get some pools and water things in the backyard. I buy a blue tarp, and some painters plastic then run the hose on that, and the kids use it as a big slip n slide. Have them play in the water after the older kids have finished their lessons.

Basically, wear them out.
post #25 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by siennasmom View Post
Where was the naive judgment? That toddlers shouldn't play in the street? That it's possible to keep toddlers from *repeatedly* escaping into the street without locking them in a closet? If that's naive, boy howdy. I don't know what to say.

As far as my post being cringe-worthy, you know what makes me cringe? The idea of toddlers repeatedly getting out of the house and running out into the street.
The judgment from someone who isn't experienced with multiple children was cringe-worthy.

The judgment that all you have to do is watch them at all times, which btw is impossible once you have multiple kids, is cringe-worthy.

The judgment that you can just do xyz to make certain that an escape artist/climber can just be contained easily is cringe-worthy.

The idea that you can just tell an older child to close/lock the door and they will comply every time is naive. You may have one in the bunch that never forgets (my nine year is like this), but then you will have others that remember sometimes (my 10 year old), and then there are the ones that rarely remember (my 12 year old).

What do you think would be a good idea for helping the other kids remember to close/lock the door?
post #26 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
I am not bashing the OP, but it is time for her to get some kind of alarm on her doors.
I do agree an alarm system of sorts is a good idea. I wonder how to help the older kids remember better to shut/lock the doors.
post #27 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Houdini View Post
The judgment from someone who isn't experienced with multiple children was cringe-worthy.

The judgment that all you have to do is watch them at all times, which btw is impossible once you have multiple kids, is cringe-worthy.

The judgment that you can just do xyz to make certain that an escape artist/climber can just be contained easily is cringe-worthy.

The idea that you can just tell an older child to close/lock the door and they will comply every time is naive. You may have one in the bunch that never forgets (my nine year is like this), but then you will have others that remember sometimes (my 10 year old), and then there are the ones that rarely remember (my 12 year old).
I am about to lay a cringe-worthy judgment out there right now (this is NOT about the OP but just a general cringe-worthy judgment): if you have more children than you can keep safe, you have more children than you can handle. You (again, general you) need to either get more help or change how you're doing things.

If you think that's a cringe-worthy judgment you are more than welcome to cringe away. I'm sticking with it. I'm not too far away from where Tristan White and Avery Stately died (they were the 2- and 4-year-old brothers who went out to play and never came back, because they drowned in a lake about a half mile from their house). I am also in the same state as a little girl named Leanna Warner was when she wandered away from home and never came back, and four years later she still hasn't been found. Very bad things can happen to kids, and it makes me sick to think about them.

I am not one of those people who believes that everything will be okay and the kids will be fine. Some things don't turn out okay, and sometimes the kids end up hurt or worse.
post #28 of 100
Six months ago my two youngest left the house hand in hand to cross the street to where my eldest dd was visiting a friend. I was frantic, & thats an understatement. All that I could imagine was that someone drove by and took them. But they were across the street at the friends house. I couldn't breath right for at least three hourse, though they were pretty proud of them selves. After that we made it imposssible for them to leave the hours without an adult. However this morning my ds left the house to fetch a shirt from the car. I thought he had meant my car in the driveway, only he actually meant his dads car which was in front of the house and across the street. I went out yelling for him and a lady answered, she had driven by and saw him standing on the street! I felt awful, thinking about what "could have happend", anyway my point is that with small children, one must be repetative, with everything. the OP didn't say that her kids ran out three times, three days in a row, or weeks or months apart. I agree that toddlers do not belong in the road, but who would disagree with that? WHO? However, I think that the OP was asking, that is, the clear point of her thread, was for help with CPS, not a repremand on her parenting skills, she's already got CPS on her back.

I am : so I can & again....and we :
post #29 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Houdini View Post
The idea that you can just tell an older child to close/lock the door and they will comply every time is naive. You may have one in the bunch that never forgets (my nine year is like this), but then you will have others that remember sometimes (my 10 year old), and then there are the ones that rarely remember (my 12 year old).
Or, you can have one who never forgets...ever...except once. DS1 left the patio gate unlocked when he went out with a buddy - ONCE. That happened to be the evening that dd decided to go after him. Fortunately, we checked on her quickly enough that she hadn't gone that far when we realized she was missing...but it still took almost 10 minutes to find her.

My nephew was the master climber/escape artist. I don't know how my sister coped with it at all. She had CPS called on her by someone who saw him get out once. He had woken up from a nap, shoved a chair to the door, unlocked it and left...straight down the apartment stairs and into the street. My sister was running water for dishes, and didn't hear a thing. The first she knew was when a woman yelled in her door, after chasing my nephew back into the building. This all took no more than a few minutes, as my sister hadn't finished running the water yet. Her son was sound asleep in his room when she went into the kitchen. He was 2. She had to take down the baby gate in his room, because he kept climbing it and knocking it over and hurting himself.

Some kids really are nearly impossible to contain.
post #30 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuraiMom View Post
However, I think that the OP was asking, that is, the clear point of her thread, was for help with CPS, not a repremand on her parenting skills, she's already got CPS on her back.
I was specifically responding to her statement she tried but wasn't "perfect". It sounded awfully cavalier to me. Since then she has added more detail and it's clear that she's taken a lot of measures, but if they're not working, they need to try something else. That's all I'm saying.
post #31 of 100
If you take all those measures, as in locks and alarms and so on and so forth, good. CPS will see that. Still doesn't absolve you from having to be more vigilant so they don't get out. It did sound cavalier to me. As others have said, it only takes ONE time for something deadly to happen. A drowning, a car accident, a kid wandering off into harm's way. Doesn't take having five kids to understand that watching your kids all the time and ensuring their safety isn't easy, but regardless of how many kids we all have, it's our job as parent to ensure our children's safety, and if you can't you need to change things to make sure that it does happen.
post #32 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by siennasmom View Post
I manage to keep my kids out of the street without locking them in the closet. I only have two and one of them isn't walking yet, so it's a lot easier for me. But still. Toddlers in the street is not okay, period.
I never get into conversations like this, but I could have wrote what you did oh so easily 2.5 years ago. And that is with having one child and watching countless others, many rtimes at a time. But after the birth of ds2, I can assure you I can totaly relate to the op. You really just have no idea how time consuming a child like that can be, shall she not ever go to the bathroom? I mean seriously, to expect that you can watch any child non-stop without ever looking away 24 hours a day as long as they are your responsibility is absolutely ludacris.

And if you think it is possible it's because you don't have one like that. And no kidding toddlers in the street is not ok, I am quite sure the op knows this and takes every step to prevent it from happening, but when you put older kids in the mix who do forget things, no matter how many times it has been drilled in their heads, they forget and kids sometimes get out. I know mine has, and yes it scared the panties off me and I had made every effort to make sure the door was child proof, but there is a funny thing about these kids, they are absolutely ingenius, no matter how many deadbolts and chains and no matter how high you put them, they figure it out.

I can't say it enough, until you have had a busybody escape artist like these kids, you really have no idea. I know I didn't. I really have yet to meet a parent, good or bad, who thought it was ok for a toddler to be in the street, I think that is so super judgemental.
post #33 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
If you take all those measures, as in locks and alarms and so on and so forth, good. CPS will see that. Still doesn't absolve you from having to be more vigilant so they don't get out. It did sound cavalier to me. As others have said, it only takes ONE time for something deadly to happen. A drowning, a car accident, a kid wandering off into harm's way. Doesn't take having five kids to understand that watching your kids all the time and ensuring their safety isn't easy, but regardless of how many kids we all have, it's our job as parent to ensure our children's safety, and if you can't you need to change things to make sure that it does happen.
She is changing things. She said quite clearly that they add more measures every time this happens. I doubt I would have anticipated my kids climbing over the fence if they'd never done it before, either. I had no idea that precognition was now part of the job requirement for parenting!

Why are people coming down on the OP? She wasn't being cavalier...she was simply stating that she's not being negligent and doesn't think it's okay that her kids are getting out of the house. Is she supposed to completely abase herself before she gets support?
post #34 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by studentmama View Post
...there is a funny thing about these kids, they are absolutely ingenius, no matter how many deadbolts and chains and no matter how high you put them, they figure it out.
I'll never forget ds1 when he was about 18 months old. We were camping. We knew he could easily wake up before us and slip out of the tent, so we put a small padlock on the tent zipper. I woke up the second or third morning, to find ds1 down at the zipper, with the key to the padlock (it had been in the tent pocket by my head), trying to get the lock open. He was using the key upside-down, but he had the idea. I suspect he could have opened it, given enough time. I don't even consider him to be a real escape artist - not even close to being in my nephew's league, for example.
post #35 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by siennasmom View Post
I was specifically responding to her statement she tried but wasn't "perfect". It sounded awfully cavalier to me. Since then she has added more detail and it's clear that she's taken a lot of measures, but if they're not working, they need to try something else. That's all I'm saying.
I know I have said it, not because I was trying to be oh so cavalier, but because we as mamas spend so much time feeling guilty about stuff that happens to our kids even if it is totally out of our control.

Again, not to hammer home this point, but since the judgements keep flying,
you are constantly trying to devise new measures without being cruel to the child, because they are really just a very spirited child, to keep them safe. Sure, all it takes is once for something terrible to happen(again with the flying guilt trips, sheesh), but you know what, you can be the most safe driver taking the most safety precautions possible and something still can happen. Life is risky, you do the best you can to keep your kids and yourself safe, but stuff can still happen. I am pretty sure the op wasn't coming here for a guilt trip, I am quite confident we as mamas are very good of doing that to ourselves without any extra help.
post #36 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by siennasmom View Post
I am about to lay a cringe-worthy judgment out there right now (this is NOT about the OP but just a general cringe-worthy judgment): if you have more children than you can keep safe, you have more children than you can handle.
So then, what are you supposed to do, return a few? Do you get a full refund with a receipt or just store credit?

I'm sorry to be flip, but this is so exceedingly unhelpful it amazes me. Yeah, it's nice to say "get more help or change how you're doing things", but it seems to me that unless you're willing to BE more help or have some actual and concrete ideas about what to try next, you're just being nasty to be nasty.
post #37 of 100
I am the mother of a runner as well. (Thankfully mine hasn't figured out how to open doors yet. Oh but I am sure my day is coming : )

When we are out in public I have to keep a constant eye on him. He will take off like a shot and be out of sight in no time. I try my hardest to keep up with him but he still manages to get away from me from time to time.

I will pass no judgement on a woman who manages to keep up with 5 children, two of whom are runners as well. She is a better woman than many I am sure.

TO the OP: I have no advice to give. (((HUGS))))
post #38 of 100
As a homeschooling mother of 4 boys who are close in age, I am *not* feeling judgmental of the OP. I do have a few tips (some of these would make Alfie Kohn angry, some might get me thrown off MDC, but the OP is in a crisis so I'll help if I can and let the chips fall where they may).

A child under the age of 4 *can* be kept in sight at all times. If you go upstairs, he goes. If you go to the garage, he goes. If you are loading the washer or hanging laundry or going to the bathroom or taking a shower or cooking supper: so is he. Have something for them to do in each room or area, but always keep them with you. I've done it, you can do it.

In the yard, if he doesn't stay near you, then explain to him, "You didn't stay with mama. Outside time is over, let's go in the house." Next time before you go in the yard, remind him. "We may not go by the street. Stay on this side of the tree (whatever) with mama or we will have to go right back in the house." and then enforce it.

As he gets older, lengthen the apron strings. Give him chances to prove he can stay where you left him without escaping. Use rewards, charts, stickers or whatever to get it into his little head.

Concerning the older kids: any kid who is too young to understand that he's jeopardizing his baby siblings life when he doesn't lock the door is too young to be allowed to go in and out without mama. You and/or your oldest and most responsible child will have to be the gatekeepers. You want out? Ask mama, mama will lock the door.

Use alot of language around the whole family to reinforce rules. When you go to the bathroom (taking the toddlers with you) remind everyone in the house, "I'll be in the bathroom for a minute. Don't go out until I get back, and don't open the door for anyone." Say that every single time, and the toddlers will soak up the rules, too.

This all sounds awful but it is not too harsh or extreme when you have babies in the street and neighbors calling CPS. And you can do it all lovingly, with a gentle voice. I did it, for several years. The boys are older, they don't even remember those days, and all they do remember is our fun, games, playtimes, togetherness, outings, etc.

I did not punish them for leaving doors unlocked or escaping. I took it as a warning to myself that I wasn't watching closely enough if that could happen. So I'd return to the previous level of supervision, and try again to expand his freedom in a month or two.

OP, I wish you the best. If I were your neighbor and I saw your babies in the street, I wouldn't call CPS. I'd run out and get them and bring them home. And invite you and your kids over to play. Large families need support, and it can be hard to find in some neighborhoods!
post #39 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
So then, what are you supposed to do, return a few? Do you get a full refund with a receipt or just store credit?

I'm sorry to be flip, but this is so exceedingly unhelpful it amazes me. Yeah, it's nice to say "get more help or change how you're doing things", but it seems to me that unless you're willing to BE more help or have some actual and concrete ideas about what to try next, you're just being nasty to be nasty.
Pretty sure I said that you need to get help or change what you're doing. I'm not sure what's so "nasty" about that. If that's nasty, then I guess it's nasty to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't have a bunch of kids and/or one who tries to get out all the time.
post #40 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
If they are finding new ways out, I don't know what to tell you.
See, that's the deal with these kinds of kids, you are constantly thinking of new strategies and they are constantly thinking of new ways to get around them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
My only advice then, is to take them out A LOT. Seriously, take them out, and go wherever they want (within reason) so they don't need to see what they are missing. Go to the park every day. Take all the kids, and have the biggest kids bring school work if they need to keep working.

Get some pools and water things in the backyard. I buy a blue tarp, and some painters plastic then run the hose on that, and the kids use it as a big slip n slide. Have them play in the water after the older kids have finished their lessons.

Basically, wear them out.
Good luck with that. I think this is funny, like it's not something people with kids this active aren't already doing. It is a physical impossibility to not keep them super active, it is your only saving grace, and yet they still have energy to spare. My son literally could spend 24 hours a day outside, but you know, when it gets 20 below and he's got frostbite, it's time to bring them in, and he will still have mountains of energy back inside, after hours of running through two feet of snow.

I just really can't say it enough, unless you have had a kid like this, you cannot even phathom how one small precious baby can get into so much trouble and have so much energy.

I think honestly we need to move away from judging this mama and try to find a way that we can tap into these kids' energy, who knows, maybe it will solve the worlds energy crisis.
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