How many times?

Yesterday went a little haywire.  I went upstairs to workout on the treadmill.  Decided to make some adjustments to compensate for the long absence.  I slowed the speed to 2.8 mph and raised the incline to 3%, raising it to 4% after about ten minutes.  I actually felt pretty good and made a goal of 45 minutes.  I decided to avoid the step workout for a few days and just stick with the treadmill.  About 30 minutes into it, DH came upstairs and said Child Protective Services was on the phone.  Crap!

I came downstairs and spoke with Joy, the case worker assigned to investigate.  She said she’d been trying to call DS and hadn’t gotten a return call.  Said she called Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and then went out to the house and left a note on the door.  I told her that DS didn’t get his phone back until late Wednesday night and any messages she might have left had been deleted.  I told her DS had called me late Thursday night and told me he had gotten home and found the note she left and I knew he was intending to call her Friday.  She wanted to know if he’d be bringing the kids over because she wanted to talk to him but she also wanted to speak with the kids.  I told her I was expecting him to bring the kids over but I wasn’t sure what time it would be so we set a tentative time of 3:00 for her to meet them at my house because I was fairly certain they’d be here by then.

Following the call, I had to do a frantic cleaning blitz.  I wanted the house sparkling!  I scrubbed the bathroom top to bottom and put out nice towels and rugs and new soap.  Mopped and waxed the kitchen, vacuumed all the carpets and did some spot cleaning in a few places.  Windexed all the pictures on the walls and dusted everything.  You get the picture.  After the house was glowing, I hit the shower and did a frantic cleaning and polishing on myself.  In the meantime, DS had called to say he’d have the kids over at 2:00 and that he’d talked to the caseworker about meeting with her.  Said he told her his job was at stake because he’d already missed work on Sunday and Monday and she said if he could be here, fine.  If not, they’d meet later.  He was really upset about putting her off but I told him if she said it would be okay to wait, I didn’t think she’d mind.  God knows, he doesn’t need to be in any more hot water at work along with everything else.

The case worker didn’t get here until 3:45 and then she asked DH and I to step outside so she could talk to the boys privately.  She spoke with them for almost an hour and then called us back in.  She didn’t elaborate on what the boys said and I didn’t expect her to but I did tell her that DIL had them for almost three days after the incident before she was vacated from the house and DS got them back and she has a history of trying to “coach” them.  Luckily, she had seen reports from previous interviews with the kids where they had admitted under questioning that “Mommy told them not to tell” or “Mommy told them daddy was bad”.  Anyway, she said the boys told her that Mommy and Daddy fight all the time and some man was trying to hit Daddy with a board so Mommy could take them out of the house last weekend.  Scout told her Mommy and Daddy fight 99.999999999999% of the time.  Thanks Scout, for the Scoutism.  I don’t even know if he understands what a percentage is but I’m sure he understands that’s a LOT.  She wanted to know what I thought needed to be done and I said they needed to be apart.  They did not belong together.  I told her DS was a wonderful, hard-working father and I did not understand why he kept letting DIL come back into their lives.  I told her DIL had lost two children from her first marriage under the very same circumstances and had signed over all parental rights in order to avoid paying child support and she didn’t know that.  She said it didn’t show up when she looked over the paperwork from the past.  I told her I had no doubt that DIL loved the kids but they would never be top priority for her.  Her wants/needs will always come first, followed by her friends, followed by the kids.  DS is way down on the list: after her family, her job, and her dogs. We talked for quite a while and the gist of it was exactly what I expected.  She said DS was in the wrong because he continually allows the kids to be exposed to the fighting even after the courts have given him full custody.  She said she doesn’t doubt that DIL has serious problems.  It’s all been documented in the past but she said she has serious concerns about DS as well because he’s the one who’s allowing the kids to think that this kind of behavior is the norm and continually exposing them to the dysfunctional relationship between him and DIL.  She said, on the one hand, he’s telling them how unpredicatable, vicious, and self-centered DIL can be and then, on the other hand, he’s letting her live there and be a custodian to the kids.  He has full custody, she has no claim on the house, she’s never paid him one cent of child support, and yet he has her living in their home.  Yeah, Joy, I know what you’re saying.  I’ve already said it, and said it, and said it.

In conclusion, she said she still has a lot of work to do before she makes a recommendation but she doesn’t see anything changing in terms of the relationship with DIL and DS and she suspects things are not going to go easy.  She asked if I would be willing to take custody of the kids if it came to that and I assured her I would.  She did a tour of the house to make sure we had a spare bed and didn’t have a meth lab hidden somewhere and said she’d be out of town next week.  She said DS has every right to be in the home and to have the kids in his custody for the time being and we’d just have to see what the court says.  I told her I was concerned because DH and I are supposed to leave for Florida on the 20th and we were planning to be gone for two weeks.  I didn’t want to head out of town and have the court decide to take the kids and not be here to provide custody for them.  I told her I didn’t have a problem with cancelling the trip or taking the kids with us if it came to that and she said she really didn’t want to disrupt our vacation and felt that she wouldn’t have a problem holding off on doing anything until after we were back in town.

Gads!  This thing is turning into a book.  Today is just another day in the continuing drama.

3:15 – I’ve been busy with the grandkids and working on something for school and just realized that I didn’t set up my menu page or record my weight today.  Weight is at 186 which is three pounds less than it was at the beginning of the week (when? so much is going on, time is acting strange for me).  I still haven’t had a chance to workout but I won’t go to bed until I do.  In the meantime, I’m eating good and behaving myself.


Sunny says 13th June @ 10:55

sounds like you’ve gotten a gem of a caseworker: thank GOD. Now, this is making it clear to your son: he must kick her to the curb for good, AND CHANGE THE LOCKS. Not necessarily in that order, either. That, or he will lose custody of the kids. It’s showtime for him; how badly does he really want custody? Hope your vacay doesn’t get altered, but then again, how much of it will you enjoy with this hanging over your heads? What a mess. Big ole hugs all day long for you, sweetie.

Joy says 13th June @ 13:57

It sounds like you have actuallt been blessed with a RARE good caseworker Patty. I worked in the system a lifetime ago and this is rare.
Sunny is right. He needs to kick her to the curb forever! It might look better to the courts if he gets a therapist ‘on his own’ BEFORE it is court ordered. This shows his willingness to get help for particpating in a toxic relationship, his willingness to move on for the kids ……
Patty YOU are so wonderful!!! My goodness you are an awesome mom and grandma!!!!! I truly hope that your DS knows what a treasure he has in you!!! I wish you were my mom! I mean that!
take care Patty
Your DS and DGK as well as you and your DH are all in my prayers.
God bless you

brseay says 13th June @ 18:24

It sounds like things are making a tiny bit of progress and I agree with the others, this caseworker sounds like she has common sense. Now let’s just hope that the system allows her to use it.

Had to laugh at the meth lab comment! You have a wicked sense of humor to go along with your angel wings.

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