Neighbor called the cops on me- VENT - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This happened this morning. It is long. Sorry in advance as I am crying here and freaking out.

So I have two boys, 4 and 2.5. I have a very large backyard which they like to ride their trikes around and so in the morning I go out with them and have my coffee and read the paper. They are playing and the day before my 2.5 year old had opened the back gate and ran off. In the back of the yard is a gate to the alleyway where we keep the garbage. So after that event, I put on a big lock high up.

So I am reading the paper, not worried about my kids opening the gate because of the new lock I put on it when my 4 year old tells me the 2.5 year old opened the gate (which he knows is a big no-no). I see that the gate is open and my dog and my baby are missing. I am in my nightie.

I run to the backyard and look out and don't see him, I am calling for him loudly from the instant my son told me. I see a man at the corner of the alley and street on a cellphone and I ask if he has seen my son. He said he went that way and pointed and then followed my son. I am running when a woman with a baby yells at me that this is the second time and she is calling the police (is on the phone that moment) and the man who was on the phone was her husband who was also calling the police.

What really gets me is that they are so busy calling the cops that the idea that maybe they should try to get my son escapes them?? They are so worried they just let him run past? My son got scared of the husband following him and ran into the house.

The only thing I said to the woman who yelled at me that this is the second time yada yada is, "I know!". I mean, duh.

Why they wouldn't talk to me first is beyond me. Why they wouldn't help but rather call the police is beyond me. After I got the kids together I fixed the gate with large rocks so nobody can open it. I have no idea what to do with the garbage, but whatever.

I am crying here because now I get to deal with CPS BS. Awesome. I have a runner. I thought it was secure. I don't like him running out and it gives me a freakin heart attack. I am watching them, but that kid is sneaky and fast. He is the epitome of a runner.

I just had to vent. I am sure everything will be fine and am not worried. Things happen. But it just upsets me that while in distress running after my son I get to hear that now the cops are coming. Awesome.

Dear fellow mama neighbor,

I see that you only have an infant and that you are probably so sure nothing like this will ever happen to you. But the sad fact is that kids are unpredictable and we do everything we can to make sure they are safe. It saddens me that instead of talking to me and working with me to find a solution (I would love some advise and help) you chose to have me persecuted by the police. I hope that if anything happens with your babe that I will be strong and wise enough to be there for you and help you.

Sincerely,
Purplemoon

Mom of two boys (7/05 and 2/09)
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#2 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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That SUCKS. I am sorry you are dealing with that. We were recently setting up for a yard sale and had a bunch of stuff in the middle of our lawn, and it was me, Dh, and both of his parents when suddenly my DD (3) went missing. It was terrifying! we were searching for her and screaming for like 5-10 minutes. About SIX of our neighbors came out to help us. Everyone was running in separate directions, looking for her. Turns out she was hiding- in the middle of the yard- under a comfortor : I could have wrung her neck, but gave her a huge tearful hug instead. I can't imagine how I would feel if someone called the cops on us! We were frantic as it was. I would definitely confront this neighbor.

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#3 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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I am so sorry mama. Your neighbors overeacted. In a few years they will realize it.

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#4 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 03:36 PM
 
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Why would CPS come if she called the cops? Wouldnt the cops come out and you tell them what happened and then they shrug and leave because the whole situation is ridiculous?????????????
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#5 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 03:39 PM
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I'm sorry. If they are so concerned for your sons safety, why not grab him as he's running by and bring him back to you?


Have the police contacted you?
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#6 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm hoping the cops just come and I explain and they move on. Most certainly that is what will happen. And seriously, all the concern they had for my son as they let him run by....:.

But now I wonder, do I sit here and wait? Do I go about my plans for the day? Do I get to sit and wonder if they will come or not? Fun.

I am hoping that the dispatcher or whatever heard me (I was yelling for my son in my mommy is terrified and I can break glass with this yell) and thought, oh good the mom is there, goodbye.

I am just ticked my neighbors happen to suck. First time meeting them and I don't think we will be hanging out anytime soon.

Oh, and the police take approximately 45 minutes to get anywhere (I know because there was a man threatening to kill a grocer because foodstamps wouldn't buy alcohol and it took an hour). So I should know soon if I can just tell my story and move on.

Mom of two boys (7/05 and 2/09)
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#7 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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im so sorry. She could have offered advise, but calling the cops and not doing anything to help in the moment... it seems like she just wanted to get on her high horse and feel superior or something.
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#8 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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Why would CPS come if she called the cops? Wouldnt the cops come out and you tell them what happened and then they shrug and leave because the whole situation is ridiculous?????????????
I am hoping and betting that this is what happens. If for some reason CPS shows up tell them what happened- they'll move on too.


If you saw a two year old running down the street would you just say, "he went that way?" Seriously? he knew that the child was yours and he still let him run away. I would have attempted to return him. I hope they get twin runners next time.

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#9 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:05 PM
 
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I don't think CPS would be involved after the police come and find out what really happened. Guess what? Kids are curious.. they are going to try to go places they KNOW they are not allowed. The fact that you are right there and not off doing your own thing is proof enough that you ARE watching out for the kids.

I'd say, wait for an hour and a half, and if the cops don't show up by then, it wasn't important enough, and just get on with your day. Next time you see your neighbors, wave and tell them "thank you so much for all of your help with my son running away." and leave it at that.. They can take it any way they want. I am shocked that they just let him run by and instead made phone calls. it was only the 2nd time right? I would have been more concerned if it was like a weekly occurance or something. Sometimes people now days just baffle me...

I'm glad your son is ok. How did he get the gate open with the lock on it??? LOL.. you got a little escape artist on your hands.

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#10 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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I think you should let them both know that you can only asume that they would want the same thing done to them if they were in that situation, so you will be sure to keep an eagle eye out as their child grows and spreads his/her wings.

Maybe you could let them know what YOU would have done in such a situation and ask why it didn't occur to them to react in a helpful way?(just out of curiosity?)
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#11 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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What happened is neither illegal or neglect. Your neighbors are idiots, and if CPS does get involved, they will quickly end the case.

Ridiculous.

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#12 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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How frustrating!

Happy to be married to DH and SAHM to Brenden (10/16/06) and Jackson (5/3/09)! Expecting baby #3 in July
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#13 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE

Cops came. I talked to the lady cop and she wanted to see the house. She said it was fine (it was messy a bit but good enough).

She has to file a report with CPS but thinks they won't investigate. But they may.

I am so pissed I am crying.

Mom of two boys (7/05 and 2/09)
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#14 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:21 PM
 
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oh i am so sorry

for what it's worth, a police officer once found my 3 year old nephew outside in his front yard at around 10pm, and nothing bad happened to his parents.
i am sure that if an officer even comes (which i doubt) they will see that you put a lock on the gate and made an effort to keep your child safe and that will be the end of it.

edit: oops i cross posted with you.

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#15 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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What really gets me is that they are so busy calling the cops that the idea that maybe they should try to get my son escapes them?? They are so worried they just let him run past?
this is what is most frustrating. people are morons. so quick to report, but so slow to act and just help the child (and you).

so sorry this happened to you.

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#16 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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Do you think that maybe because you were in your nightgown they thought you had been sleeping when your son got out?

I'm sure if you just show CPS the back yard and the lock they will understand. They have much bigger things to worry about.
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#17 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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If you saw a two year old running down the street would you just say, "he went that way?" Seriously? he knew that the child was yours and he still let him run away. I would have attempted to return him. I hope they get twin runners next time.
Seriously. Who watches a toddler run by, watches mom frantically chasing and stands there talking on the phone to the cops? What is wrong with people?:

Just wait until theirs is mobile. That's all I have to say.
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#18 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you think that maybe because you were in your nightgown they thought you had been sleeping when your son got out?

I'm sure if you just show CPS the back yard and the lock they will understand. They have much bigger things to worry about.
Hmm....maybe. Also they reported how my son was half naked. He's always half naked outside because he is being potty trained.

The cop was very nice. I was scared to let her inside when she asked but I did and she checked their room, the living room and the kitchen and fridge. She said she would put all of that down in her report to CPS so she thinks that it will be more likely they won't follow up. As in, she did what they would do and everything is kosher.

But I am having to work very hard on not hating my neighbors right about now. Very hard.

Mom of two boys (7/05 and 2/09)
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#19 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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I had something similar happen to me today too.

We live next door to a pizza shop. It gets really busy at lunch time. We walked over there to get a slice of pizza. Ds ran out the door. Two cops sitting at a table eating sees him run out and yells "he's out the door". Three adults were holding the door open. The one in the front yells back at me "do you want him out here?" I say "NO", but really I'm thinking why would I want a 2 year old running out into a parking lot unsuprivised? Then he runs up some steps to a second story deck. A teenager tells me that he can't go up there. I say to him that he can't go anywhere up there and he'll come down faster than I can get to him so I'm just gonna wait for him to come down. Now mind you I am 39 weeks pregnant and can not run after a 2 year old, but no one will help me stop him from running. They all must think it's funny to watch a very pregnant lady chase a toddler.

I know how frustrating having a runner can be.

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#20 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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I am so sorry this is happening and now there is bad blood between you and your neighbors. If they saw your son getting out, they should have helped you and not called the cops. Stuff happens, and you were dealing with it. You tried a lock...now the rocks. You are taking care of business.

Unfortunately they will not understand your situation until their infant is a bit older. Stuff happens. To all of us and our kids. Hugs.

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#21 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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Do you think that maybe because you were in your nightgown they thought you had been sleeping when your son got out?

I'm sure if you just show CPS the back yard and the lock they will understand. They have much bigger things to worry about.
I'm in my nightwear all day long, if I have nowhere to go. I'm lazy like that.

It's not illegal to let your children play alone in a backyard. It's not illegal to nap when they're playing either... not responsible, but not illegal.

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#22 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Called dh about it. He is not pleased with the neighbors and wonders what is wrong with them that they wouldn't help. It was so embarassing running and screetching for my son with my nightie that barely covers and they just glared at me. Who does that? UGH! Now I get to wait for CPS. What a great week. I don't even want to tell my friends and family.

Thanks to everyone listening. It means a lot.

Mom of two boys (7/05 and 2/09)
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#23 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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You didn't deserve that. I hope you don't feel ashamed. It's the neighbors who should feel ashamed of their actions. I believe I would be tempted to write a letter letting them know that their actions were hurtful and un-neighborly and essentially, everything that's wrong in the world today. I'd keep it short and simple. I wouldn't justify or anything.

"Your action today while my son was lost was very hurtful and un-neighborly. I hope it never happens to you. I was taught that the people who were your neighbors would be the people that you would hope could help you in time of need. I'm ashamed of your behavior."

It might be corny and they might care less, but I'd get it out and send them a letter.

And know that Karma's a beyotch.LOL


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#24 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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Wow, that sucks, I'm sorry If they really felt they had to call the cops, fine, but geez help keep the kid safe first That's just such backwards thinking on their parts. And kids can and do get away, no matter what precautions are taken, that's just life and I'm sorry your neighboors don't understand that.

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#25 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 05:32 PM
 
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"It's not illegal to let your children play alone in a backyard. It's not illegal to nap when they're playing either... not responsible, but not illegal."

I would be careful expressing this mentality. I think CPS can deem many things as neglectful that are not necessarily illegal.

Also, I am not wanting to defend you neighbor but is it possible they were inside and saw your son run by and he came out after him at the same time you did?
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#26 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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i'm so sorry. your neighbors are ridiculous. my ds1 was the same way last summer, approaching 3 years old, when we had just moved into a new neighborhood. luckily, we have kind and understanding neighbors. this year, ds is almost 4, understands more about safety and has better impulse control - so hopefully this will be a short phase for your little guy too.

as for not wanting to tell family and friends, i understand that, because i felt guilty, scared and ashamed. the first time he got out, i barely slept for days because i was so nervous (and cps never even got involved - i was just worried someone would report it). i really recommend talking to at least a couple people close to you. it will be reassuring to know you have someone irl on your side, supporting you and ready to back you up as a great mom.
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#27 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"It's not illegal to let your children play alone in a backyard. It's not illegal to nap when they're playing either... not responsible, but not illegal."

I would be careful expressing this mentality. I think CPS can deem many things as neglectful that are not necessarily illegal.

Also, I am not wanting to defend you neighbor but is it possible they were inside and saw your son run by and he came out after him at the same time you did?
It may be that is what happened, but he was closer to him either way and did nothing. My dh said if they wanted to call the police fine, but grab the kid first! I am going to find a way to calm down this week (I am more than upset) and talk to them succinctly about what happened.

I know the cop was looking for signs of neglect. Luckily, everything was fine. Also, just to let people know I had a basket of clean laundry on the couch, toys were all over the floor in my sons room and I had a couple dirty dishes and she deemed it more than fit. It's the icky stuff they care about, so if anyone wonders, it doesn't have to be spotless.

They were concerned I was just doing my thing with the kids doing theirs and me being neglectful. I understand the concern, but would have rather had the neighbors talk to me about it. I would have loved her husband (partner) to help me with the gate. But, no.

Mom of two boys (7/05 and 2/09)
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#28 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i'm so sorry. your neighbors are ridiculous. my ds1 was the same way last summer, approaching 3 years old, when we had just moved into a new neighborhood. luckily, we have kind and understanding neighbors. this year, ds is almost 4, understands more about safety and has better impulse control - so hopefully this will be a short phase for your little guy too.

as for not wanting to tell family and friends, i understand that, because i felt guilty, scared and ashamed. the first time he got out, i barely slept for days because i was so nervous (and cps never even got involved - i was just worried someone would report it). i really recommend talking to at least a couple people close to you. it will be reassuring to know you have someone irl on your side, supporting you and ready to back you up as a great mom.
I called my mom and she made me feel a lot better. I am hoping to not be a crying mess when I call my MIL who I am close to.

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#29 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 06:06 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you had to deal with that this morning!

DD did stuff like that to me before. She bolted one time while I was in the bathroom, thankfully only to the swingset in the back yard, but it was still scary. And then the one apartment we were at, I had a little herb garden on a cart out on our porch/stairwell, and I went out to water it-- she slammed the door and managed to lock it on me. The only way in/out of our apartment, and she was stuck inside. I had to run barefoot the 2 blocks (roughly) to the manager's office to get the door unlocked-- and put on my shoes, snatched up my child, and went to Lowe's (the closest store) for childproofing doorknob covers. Love my child, but she's hell on my heart!

Hopefully CPS sees it for what it really is: An adventurous child who escaped in the blink of an eye, and is very well taken care of by a caring mama.

Angie, proud Army wife to Dan, mom to Kat (4/00) and Gracie (11/09)!!
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#30 of 112 Old 07-16-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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I am so sorry this is happening to you. When my dd was 2.5 dh and I were doing something in the back yard and she wandered down to the front sidewalk and was in front of the next door neighbor's house. A lady driving by stopped, picked her up and called the cops. Of course her shoe had come off at that point.

I was already looking just after the police got there. He took my name and number and while he wasn't overly "this is fine" he did say "These things happen".

It was a huge lesson for me but they didn't notify CPS or anything. Don't be suprised if CPS doesn't contact you. I certainly hope you are left alone.

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