Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Out on the Lam

What a horrible Friday the 13th I've had.

The day started with a first-class migraine of epic proportions; the kind that involves seeing spots and flares of light accompanied by clashes of cymbols boxing the eardrums.

It got even worse from there.

Peter, hoping that his Ebay legos had arrived in the mail, went outside to check the mailbox, but when he came back inside he shut the door only partially, and it didn't latch all the way shut. The door looked shut, but wasn't.

My other son Gabe the Runner somehow noticed this slight crack in his prison and made a bid for freedom. (Meanwhile, in my migraine-induced haze I'm still thinking he's watching TV with his brother and sisters.)

Imagine my shock when a policewoman knocks on the front door. I had to hastily get some matching clothes on (because I was still in my nightie) and stumbled down the stairs. "Excuse me, ma'am, but are you missing a child?"

Of course I'm missing a child. If any woman on the block is missing a child, it's most likely me, and it's definitely going to be Gabe the Runner.

Horror of horrors, I find out that he not only got out of the house without my knowing, he also had gotten four blocks down the street to a very busy intersection. To add to my sense of impending hysteria, it was also raining.

My two-year old cherubic looking son was happily running down the street (past sex offenders and pshychos, no doubt) in the rain heading for a busy intersection with speeding cars.

The policewoman wants to talk.

After the very well-deserved stern talk and shake down, during which she is no doubt thinking I'm hung over, despite the fact that I told her I have a migraine ("sure it's a headache. Right.") She informs me that she is coming back on Wednesday to ensure that we've installed door alarms, and that she has to file a report with DCFS.

Great. My Friday just can't get any worse. I'm now a felon with a record.

It did.

An hour later (with the migraine dancing the conga on my cranium), the DCFS lady shows up on my doorstep, reeking of cigarette smoke. She took a statement from me about what happened, and then questioned the kids. Peter happily informed her that, "Yes, Mommy sleeps all the time, and I have to babysit my brother and sister while Mommy is sleeping all the time."

The DCFS lady then inspected my house, something about which I still feel creepily violated. It's a horrible feeling knowing that someone with the potential power to take away your kids is walking through your home looking for something amiss. It's a good thing she didn't find the chains and manacles in the basement.

(Just kidding.)

After her inspection, she told me that I had to install a gate at the top of the stairs, install door alarms (which I do agree is a good idea), cannot let the kids play in our fenced-in back yard unless I am physically out there as well (being in the kitchen five feet away is too far, apparently), and not to sleep until the kids are 12. (She seriously said all those things.) She asked for references to call, said she might speak to my new neighbors (great, talk about giving me a good reputation in the neighborhood), and that her report will be on file with DCFS for FIVE YEARS.

Along with the policewoman, the DCFS woman is also coming back on Wednesday to inspect that her recommendations were followed and to interview Handyman (no doubt to ascertain how frequently and to what degree he beats his children. If she asks Miss Boo, I can only dread the answer; "Yes, my Mommy beats me all the time.") She will also let me know whether or not I'm going to be indicted for neglect and if I'm going to be put on the DCFS watch list, meaning that a DCFS employee can drop by unannounced whenever they want.

We now have a Valkyrie screeching door alarm that goes off whenever the door is open, three bolts on each door, and combination locks on the fence gates.
Our house is now battened down like Fort Knox, minus the gold bullion.
(This is a video of Gabe the Runner climbing the apple tree in our back yard. You might want to pause the music player on the right sidebar first.)


Harris Hawaiian said...

I'm so glad I got to talk to you yesterday Rach - I only wish I could've reached through the phone and given you a big hug!!! As I told you yesterday, the positive to all of this insanity was that Gabe is healthy, back home with you and probably plotting out his next escape (LOL ok that one isn't so positive) I love your pics of him on here...he is soo adorable but I'm sure you want to chain him up at times...good thing the DCFS lady didn't find your leash for him, she'd probably tell you to keep it on him at always). No sleep until they're 12? does this woman have children? well if she returns, tell her what I told you yesterday on the phone ("I realize you're doing your job; I love my children and would die for them; if you doubt my unconditional love for them, then ask any of my family/friends to supply a testimony for you"). I love you Rach! Hang in there! and keep Gabe locked up....(I'm still laughing about the climbing the ladder to the roof story while you're standing a couple feet from him - he's a serious escape artist)

Cleo said...

You weren't kidding when you said "escape artist" in past conversations & posts! Oh my... jeez... am so sorry you have to go through this ordeal, my sweet friend. :( My mother is a CPS (Child Protective Service) Worker for the state of West Virginia where she lives. She's discussed some of the crazy rules they have to enforce! Every call-in has to be followed up with...no matter how ridiculous. Usually though, when they run across an obvious "accident", they investigate that one time and that's it. Sounds like this lady is stretching it to its limits! Keep your chin up. And keep in mind that you are one of God's children and if He brings you to it, He'll bring you through it. Will keep you in my prayers. PLEASE keep us updated!

BTW, so sorry to be a stranger to blogging lately. Life is FULL!!! Good news about it being "FULL!" though: have more to blog about when I get a few spare moments! ;)

TuttleTime said...

I am glad we were able to talk the other day...All I kept thinking was, "Thank God Gabe was safe!" Don't worry everything will be fine. You are a GREAT mom! Nothing to worry about. We will all get a good laugh about all this when Gabe is old enough. I have a feeling this story is going to go up with the one of me tubing.

Ellen said...

Everyone who hears your story has a similar story of horror to tell for themselves. Yours beats them all though. Keep that little guy behind bars until he's old enough to go to jail!! You are in for it with him I'm afraid. Oma wasn't kidding when she said "you will pay with interest for what you did when you were a kid."

All Natural Mama said...

Not sure if this will help, but thought I'd share. When Evan was a newborn & Alex a toddler just like Gabe, Nate was on 3rd shift so he slept all day & wasn't around to help like he is now. When I needed a nap, I rounded us all up to the basement (you could substitute any of your rooms here since your basement isn't finished) and I installed a hook & eye lock very high up on the inside door. I would lock it from the inside so no one could get out without my knowledge. Then Evan & I could nap and Alex could play with toys, climb the walls, watch cartoons, nap, whatever, while we were all still in the same room and only I could reach the lock.