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Monday, October 9, 2017

Corset strings


Like any problem, it’s a matter of identifying the boxes and ticking them off. I inserted myself into the childcare situation across the street, and then became the adult who would resolve it. Cathy is doing much of the legwork. She knows everything already, just doesn’t know how to put it together.

I was most of the morning gathering all the names and relationships involved. Cathy had a talk with the one father we know, who talks the talk and may walk the walk, if prodded enough by Cathy. He says he will “turn the mother in” to child services. Whether he makes the call or not, other cogs and wheels have begun turning.

We have one father for two of the children, and a grandmother for the third.

Boxes and tics:

No supper for the children: There is no propane for cooking (or heating, or hot baths!). Solution: propane is ordered for delivery today. Dad is paying, and taking responsibility for keeping the tank full.

Breakfast for the children: All cereal, milk and juice is transferred to the caregiver’s kitchen (Cathy).

Cigarettes and weed in the house: The Health District will make a visit one day this week. I know the agent; he solved the smoking in the office problem. He’ll solve this one, too.

Drug dealer at the house: This one was fun. I know all the officers on the force. I called the chief and said I had a job for his new detective. The new detective, plus side kick, spent one hour with the mother yesterday. The chief tells me the dealer will no longer be on the street. If transactions occur other places, the Health District cog is turning, and at minimum will keep the smoke outside.

The boys in school:  Tough. The older boy bullies the younger. They are half brothers. I have close to a graduate degree in “pass it down” bullying, so I’m sure the older is bullied himself. He tells Cathy he will be dead by 20, of HIV. What the hell. He is eight years old.  I have an appointment tomorrow with the school social worker to tell all I know about these two boys. The older boy has the grandmother. I don’t have her name yet, but the school may.

The school social worker is a knowledgeable and kind woman. She and I worked with the three grandchildren I brought into the school system, to help them adjust and assimilate.  If not, and you know I had one and a half abject failures to correct, she can to move these children along to another authority.

And I still played cards with the Methodists this afternoon.

If some suit from New Jersey shows up on my porch with a bogus complaint, what an earful he’ll have this time. My grandma says I can loosen the corset strings now. And, I'm not doing this any more.


32 comments:

  1. Nothing like a project to solve to keep a mind and body active!

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  2. You are these kids hope and they probably don't know it...we do, you go girl, you are an amazing lady!

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  3. How I love your determination and your values. And those red shoes.

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  4. Bless you Joanne. You took the hard road for those kids, but as the old saying goes, "no good deed goes unpunished." I don't expect their mom will appreciate it. Hopefully, it will make the difference that changes their lives.

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  5. Replies
    1. Yeah. I think she never had new shoes. Pretty pleased.

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    2. Oh, poor little thing. The scars on the knees look like they will be there for life.

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  6. You certainly know how to get the wheels turning...

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  7. Hari OM
    Brava ol' gal - the fight's still there! above and beyond... YAM xx

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  8. I suspect the kids welcome your intervention, knowingly or unbeknownst to themselves.

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  9. Wow - that didn't take you long . . . "and I still played cards with the Methodists this afternoon"!!

    And as with most problems, it's not a one-dimensional solution. You've teased apart the things you and Cathy can do, and the things the relatives can do, and the things you need to pass on to authorities. I admire you so much, Joanne. You don't know how much.

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  10. You're a courageous and determined woman, and the neighborhood is lucky to have you.

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  11. Way to go. I would like to know those hildren are being cared for and given a shot at good lives.

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  12. Well done! And thoroughly. Such tough problems.

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  13. Our world is so much better for you in it, Joanne!

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  14. Glad to see this update and to see things progressing to get the kids the help they need. Glad one of the fathers is involved and providing the propane so meals can be made. Great work by all!

    betty

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  15. I'm glad to see wheels have begun turning to get things straightened out. Well, as much as they can be. It's so sad to hear an eight-year-old declare he knows he will be dead from HIV at twenty. I sincerely hope that doesn't happen, that he learns a better way of life.

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  16. You are amazing Joanne.The little girl must be so happy with new shose.

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  17. Some people are talkers and others are doers. You fall into the latter group.

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  18. some reason the father doesn't take custody of his kids? was he that clueless about the condition his kids are living in? wtf. everyone wants to blame the mother and she is certainly not blameless, but where is the father? good for you for having the brain (see, still works, injury and all) and the gumption for action. you are my role model.

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    1. I have no sympathy for the mother and less for the father. He has a decent job in another town. He minds all the court decrees. Takes his kids on Friday nights, brings them back Sunday, and waits a couple hours in the car until the mother shows up. He's a clueless fool who just moans about what he should do and says he just doesn't know what to do. I sound like I'm preaching, but only from experience. I looked around at the desert once, long ago, and said OK, this is where I start from. I don't get these spineless boobs, men and women. If you can be the assistant manager of a store, you can manage kids. If you can sweep a floor and clean counters, you can keep your kids clean and dressed. They make me angry enough to slap them silly, but I can't. They need backed against a wall, like Hamilton, and not verbally released until they admit the poor grades were from not studying. I can't do this any more, even if I wanted to. I have no idea what will happen, but I suspect the boat is in the channel now and enough other people will be in charge to make it work. We can put away the soap box.

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  19. It takes a village! So grateful that you and Cathy stepped in.

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  20. You are putting a jigsaw puzzle together but you have to find all the pieces first...quite a job...but you've done it before and you're a pro. Those kids are going to get their lives straightened out and the mother won't know what hit her.

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  21. The greatest statement "I made a difference in the life of a child."

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  22. Good , old fashioned common sense and pure determination ... and you're working miracles !

    With any luck when the father sees what a difference he can make , he might be tempted to do a bit more .

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  23. The world is so full of many, many kids just like these. It is sad! Thank you for helping!

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