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Mom to (12), (7), (5), (4), (born 7/8/11), , and
So DH had to go out of town late Thursday night, about 11pm, to make a 4 hour drive to his parent's home. His mom isn't doing well and he's helping his dad out. He left me with the little girls (9, 2, newborn) and of COURSE all hell broke loose.
Our 2yo has been having MAJOR separation anxiety since I had to stay in the hospital with our new baby (she was born at home, but at a week old developed cyanotic apnea and severe GERD and swallowing/feeding issues so We were in the hospital for a week.)
Since then her sleep schedule has been totally erratic, and she has panic attacks and MASSIVE temper tantrums.
So she woke up at 2am Thursday, realized DH wasn't there, and proceeded to scream. And scream. And scream.
She fell asleep in my bed at 7am and woke up at 9am Friday. She was reasonable for a few hours and then something didn't go the way she wanted (she's a normal 2yo after all!) so she started screaming again. She screamed this blood curdling scream for HOURS. Nothing worked. I tried EVERYTHING. And, of course I forgot the windows were open. In the midst of this she wet her pants and I had to clean her up, which set her off even more.
She would stop screaming for a few minutes here and there, and during the breather (as long as we left her alone) she'd start to calm down. She also managed to find the paprika, dump it on the living room floor, find her sister's nail polish and paint her foot blood red (and the wall, of course), and get into her dad's cable ties, hiding them everywhere. She's not normally like this, and of course once she did these things I'd take something away and she'd flip out again and start the screaming.
Because of the upset, my newborn was a mess, fussing and crying constantly from 2am until about 8pm, other than when she was sleeping amidst the noise. I was wearing and/or holding her as much as possible, but it was pure chaos.
At 5pm someone rang my doorbell. I had JUST gotten 2yoDD settled enough to let me lay down with her and was trying to get her down for ANY nap so I could catch a break. DD came and told me it was the same neighbor who had seen her take out the trash earlier and asked her who all was home. Since I was home alone with the girls, I had no interest in getting up w/DD to possibly get her screaming again and deal with some nosy and/or creepy neighbor. The door rang twice and then stopped.
5-10 minutes later the ringing continued, then the pounding on the door started. It was LOUD and I was terrified, so were my girls. I thought the door would break! I texted DH and he said to stay put and not go to the door, and if they didn't leave to call the police.
DD looked out her bedroom window and said "Mom, it's the police!"
I texted DH that it WAS the police, got 2yoDD to stop nursing (she started bawling again) and headed for the door. It'd been about 20 minutes since the first doorbell ring.
We have a security deadbolt on the front door. You have to lift the handle and turn the knob just so or it 'resets' and there's a whole other combo to do to get it to open correctly.
Of course I didn't do it right and it 'reset'. The whole time I'm talking to the police through the door and they're telling me to 'get outside right now'. I said "I can't get the door open!" and the officer said "there's officers downstairs at the back door, go outside NOW"
I was TERRIFIED. I had NO idea what was going on, so I look in my basement and there's an officer peeking in through the door (so he's IN my garage) saying 'is anyone home, hello, police!"
I said I can't get the front door open and he told me to come outside with him, I said I've got kids upstairs alone and he said "we know".
We stood in the garage and I asked "what on EARTH is going ON?" at which point the officer (there were three in my garage and three out front) says there was a call out of concern for my children's welfare.
I immediately said Ohhh I have a toddler who's been screaming nonstop, and I offered for them to check on the kids. Immediately SIX officers came in the house.
Please understand my house is usually clean and under control. Not that day. They immediately see a massive red stain on the carpet by the stairs, where the paprika incident occurred (made worse by my 9yo helpfully trying to wash it out with WATER). The officer goes over to look at it and I said "it's paprika' and he didn't say anything. There was two big baskets of clean laundry, one on the coffee table and one that had dumped over on the couch, because I'm washing clothes from being out of town all last week (we got in Tuesday night). We're out of granola so there's two big batches of granola dishes, plus breakfast, and lunch dishes on the counter in the kitchen and I've got dinner cooking on the stove. I went to the grocery store late Thursday night, so there's still some things out from that on the kitchen table that need to get put away.
The Memory game that had kept my 2yo entertained for a few brief moments was still scattered in the hallway (that was the compromise, she wanted it in the bathroom ). My room didn't have the bed made, and there's 'unpacking stuff' all over my room as I was trying to get it all put away from the trip. So it's ziplock baggies of bathroom supplies, baby stuff from the trip, that sort of thing. It's not really cluttered, definitely not dirty, just more messy.
They check EVERY SINGLE ROOM looking for....I don't know what. They ask to see 2yoDD who has FINALLY fallen asleep on the bed. Of COURSE there's no sheets on the bed, 2yoDD yanked them off in a fit of unholy terror and she was collapsed on a naked mattress with her blankie. Asleep. Finally.
Remember the blood red nailpolish all over one foot? Yeah.
And the (cali-king) mattress is on the floor because we're trying to help DD get used to sleeping in a regular bed with her big sister, and she rolls off the bed easily. So for now, the mattress is on the floor. When she's sleeping more calmly we'll put the mattress on the box springs (all our beds are like this, we're kinda short so it's easier than climbing up into a bed). But all the cops see is a toddler asleep on a naked mattress on the floor in a preteen's room. Now THAT room is a mess. 9yoDD has clothes on the floor, stuff everywhere, messy kids room.
Oh and my bathroom. It's clean, no worries there. The house was clean, actually, just 'new baby, just got back from trip' messy. BUT. In the bathroom? A quart sized ziploc baggie of herbal bath soak blend for postpartum mamas sitting on the back of the toilet. Except that's not what people would really think it is, on first glance, now is it? A cop was in my bathroom for about five minutes, and it's a TINY bathroom. TINY. If he turned the baggie over he'd see the homemade label (Postpartum Herbal Soak), but I don't know if he did.
Next to the bag were...of course...the 'bracelets' DD makes out of the cable ties. Two tiny little wrist sized cable/zip tie bracelets.
They start asking me questions, what happened, why didn't I answer the door, who all lives here, how many kids are there etc. Once they look through the whole house they all come back down the hallway and congregate in my kitchen doorway. Then one officer tells four of the others they can leave. His partner asks my 9yo what school she goes to (homeschooled) and what she did for school today (she said NOTHING! We were writing and playing math games while DD was watching Kipper that morning!), what happened to her face (red popsicle-EVERYWHERE around her mouth), what her sister's names are, how old they are, who else lives here, do we have any pets, what does she do for fun, etc. The whole time the other officer is asking me questions too.
I did say repeatedly that 2yo's having major adjustment issues with the new baby, and that she doesn't normally do this, I stressed that we don't hit, we don't spank, nada. I said I'd tried to calm her down, but the only thing she wants me to do is hold and nurse her ALL DAY LONG and I can't when I have to feed and care for the baby, and make meals, at the least. So at some point she's just going to scream and there's nothing I can do. He said "I understand"
He filled out an index card with my name, dob, social security number, drivers license, the whole nine yards, and said he had to write a report, then they left.
Should I be concerned about a CPS visit after this? They didn't ask ANY questions about the bed or anything, but I was in a sleep deprived haze so my answers weren't really the best. Example-"Why do you think she's screaming so much" Me-"Because her dad just left". Nope, didn't explain he's coming back THAT NIGHT. Just said he'd left. Nice.
I *did* manage to say that I couldn't clean with her screaming and tearing things up, so that's why laundry wasn't finished and dishes were everywhere. He said "I understand". When they left he said "Sorry for disturbing you" and I said "No problem, I understand you have to check these things out".
So how concerned should I be that CPS is going to show up? Once DH got home he played with 2yoDD and I got the house clean in an hour, even took pictures (his idea) so it was obvious it was clean the same day they came out. They didn't seem incredibly concerned, didn't wake up 2yoDD, but then again that just means they didn't see anything criminal to be concerned about.
Thanks if you made it through this massive wall-o-text tldr...today (Monday) came and went without hearing from anyone, which seems to be a good thing. But jeezus THAT was stressful. Ugh.
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