Yesterday was a frustrating day. I woke up late, rushed the kids through getting ready, yelled at them in the process, packed out of the hotel we had been staying at (piling belongings atop their laps in the process), showed up a day late to a doctor appointment I was then forced to reschedule, and then got the girls to school.
Freya had started at a new head start and Luna was on her second day at back at the same school she attended for the latter half of kindergarten through the first half of first grade. Their new teachers seemed okay, except that Freya’s insisted I sit down with Freya while she ate breakfast even though Corvid was with me and Moroni was in the car.
Afterwards, I drove to WalMart and parked, calling a local boarding house far too many times in one hour before he finally answered saying he was not a morning person. I’m not either, but I have three needy alarm clocks.
The boarding house is obviously old, converted from a possibly once beautiful two-story single-family home. It is drafty, creaky, and pests come in from the cold. Stray cats and broken glass aren’t uncommon sights. We have to use a communal bathroom upstairs and have access to a communal kitchen if the microwave in our room isn’t enough. Still, I was happy to pay the man $100 to get a roof back over our heads for another week.
I made quick work of unpacking, and soon it was time to get Freya. I brought her back to our new home, where she and Corvid watched TV til it was time to get Luna.
When I picked up Luna from Boys & Girls Club where she goes after school, a vehicle followed us to the house of some church members who’d invited us to dinner. A woman got out and tapped on my window. She said she was a DHS Children and Family Services worker and that I had been reported for environmental neglect.
Since my now ex husband’s arrest in December 2012, DHS has been called on me five times.
The first time was immediately following his arrest. As the mother of a child who had been sexually assaulted by her other parent who was still my legal spouse, I had to prove that I was fit. I took parenting classes. I had to let a worker tour my home once a week when she randomly showed up, sometimes during family mealtimes and on weekends. It was degrading, but I endured and the case finally closed after about five months.
The second time was three months after the other closed. Environmental neglect was the accusation, with inadequate clothing as a side note. My dryer had been broken. I was hang drying clothing indoors due to a clothesline ban in my trailer park. The worker had a guy fix my dryer free of charge, spoke with my daughter’s counselors, and closed the case in less than a month.
The third time was a couple months ago. The worker claimed to be there to help me, saying someone had reported us as a needy family and that she’d help me fond resources. She didn’t.
While I was cooperating with the requirement to meet with her once a week at her leisure and justify my life choices,the fourth call occurred. This time, I was accused of environmental neglect and medical neglect. I had to get my children back to the doctor they had been to two weeks prior and get paperwork to prove it. Both cases concluded simultaneously.
That was maybe three weeks ago. When this lady ambushed me yesterday I was livid. I didn’t cuss or yell, but there was an obvious edge to my voice. I told her about all the other workers and cases. I told her about my children’s medical issues. I told her about my childcare issues and work history. I answered those and all her questions whole standing on the freezing cold outside my church family’s home, even though I had informed her when she first accosted me that I was late for a church dinner.
When the husband came outside to see why it was taking us so long to enter and invited the worker inside erroneously assuming she was a friend of mine. She surprisingly politely excused herself, leaving me to explain the embarrassment that had just unfolded in their driveway.
I tried to concentrate on scripture study, prayer, dinner, and conversation, but my mind was off in the stratosphere. I was too peeved after that to get much done, but still did some distracted shopping for laundry supplies before heading home. The kids went straight to bed when we got home. I hadn’t remembered to leave the heater on when we left to get Luna, so it never really warmed up all night.
I slept fitfully, dreamed frightfully, and awoke with a migraine, once again running late.
This morning, I got the girls to school late again, acquired a roll of quarters, then got to spend a few hours at a dilapidated laundromat with a cranky toddler and my migraine.
By the time I got most of the laundry put away, Corvid had fallen asleep but had to be woken up to get Freya, whom we were late getting. Between getting Freya and getting Luna, though, I was able to get the rest of the laundry put away in an organized manner.
A package arrives today at the friend’s house I had been staying at before, and when I went to pick it up I opened it to discover four packages of FREE dog treats and a FREE dog toy. If you are on social media and not using Klout you should be. I forgot I signed up for that particular perk, but basically perks equal free stuff and you can’t get them if you aren’t both active and signed up on Klout.
After I got Luna, I took her, her siblings, and the dog to WalMart again to get dinner. We got a precooked brisket, macaroni, amd sweet peas, then cupcakes for dessert. We also got stuff for other meals.
We came home, unloaded, ate, bathed, put kids in footed pajamas, took medicine, read a bedtime story, turned out the lights, and they all fell asleep pretty quickly.
Tonight, it is warm in here, so I think the heater works best if never turned off, but I will still dress them warmly for bed every night.
That worker will stop by the house in her own sweet time, hoping to catch me off guard, but I am doing right by my babies as always. Cosleeping and communally living aren’t abuse, and we are sheltered and clothed. It should be irrelevant where and when the money comes, as Heavenly Father provides what and when we need.
There may be a few stray roaches wandering in from the cold, which I condemn to death at first sight, but there are also a few stray ladybugs, which some superstition insists are lucky. Either I lead a charmed life or God’s grace often shines upon me, because things always have a way of working out. When they don’t, the disasters precede amazing new adventures.