When you meet a BAD mom..
Okay.. so I don't judge.. but i'm judging here.. Long story short...
Was running groceries home yesterday after work before I picked my kids up from after school care.. I passed the back entrance to the school on my way and saw a little girl, that I've seen a billion times throughout the years standing on the sidewalk... about half a block down from the school.. I've seen her get picked up there before, but school was out an HOUR ago and as I'm looking at her in my rearview mirror, I feel like something isn't right and her look was scared.. So, I looped around the block to pass by her again.. maybe she was waiting to get into a car... Dunno.. and she's still there, looking scared.. So I pull over and I get out and I approach her gently, tell her my name and that I'm a mom there and I see her a lot.. and asked if she was okay, and she said her mom never picked her up.. this was an HOUR.. so We called her mom, who answered and said that she had gone that morning to pay for the after school super classes and that the school should have told her.. But didn't obviously..
I called the lady that I know who runs the after school classes and asked her about the girl and she said that they paged her on the school intercom, but she never appeared, (course not, she's OFF campus)..
So the mom is close by and I tell her I'll wait with her daughter until she arrives.. When she DID arrive.. she pulled up, rolled down the window and said harshly to the little girl, :WHY are you crying?".. and the girl said "I didn't know where you were".. the mom doesn't even get out.. she just starts ranting about how the school failed..
I just said nicely, well.. yes.. okay the school dropped the ball, but next time maybe go TO her class and tell her in person.. and the little girl is standing next to me crying.. scared still.. and the mom says, "Get in the car! Stop.. you're fine".. and I said NICELY.. "It's none of my business... but.." and she interrupts and says, "NO.. it's not"..
WELL... THIS triggered me, so I said a little MORE harshly.. "Actually.. you know what? It is now.. as I stopped to pull over for a 10 year old crying and scared on the street... SO... First, don't yell at her, she's scared.. she thought something happened to YOU and secondly.. I'm sorry, but she should not leave campus.. at all.. "
And the mom says she doesn't want to wait in the pick up line and I said, I understand it sucks.. so maybe come 15 minutes LATER and then you can pull UP to the gate and she can wait INSIDE the gate for you..
She ignored me and they drove off and I got in my car and cried..
OMG.. the look on that little girls face.. of fear and loss and standing there alone.. not knowing what to do, no back up plan.. nothing.. was HEART BREAKING.. The thought of my kids ever feeling like that... made me sink..
I got my kids and shared with them what happened and again, went over our rules. and different scenarios.. what If I'm late? What if the class isn't where I told you it would be? What if a friend picks you up but I never told you? etc. etc.. we have plans in ALL circumstance.. and they are to NEVER EVER leave the GATE.. ever..
Part of me wants to follow up with her.. but then I know that not all kids grow up in a family life like we have.. and not all moms are squishy and prepared..
I'm grateful for my life and my kids and my world...
This wasn't about me and what I thought was right or wrong.. this was about the little girl and keeping her safe and protected and the though DID cross my mind, but I was worried it would backlash to her.. and cause more problems and anger towards her.. I see her every morning walking to the gate from her drop off point.. and I see her every day.. and now I'm watching like a hawk... I called some friends that work in the school and hinted around to see if anyone knew her situation.. it's not great, parents are hard but show up...she's not abused and she's not treated how I treat MY kids.. But i see that all the time..
If I called social service on families that I think should parent differently or better, I'd be on the phone a LOT.. and a visit from SS is on the record for ever.. so, my immediate jump to that I stopped myself.. The little girl was not abused or left.. there was a mistake made and she was left standing on the street and then the mom wasn't warm and fuzzy to her like I would have been..
But i guarantee that the cops wouldn't have done a thing.. So, we have to be careful jumping to conclusions when HAD I been more aggressive, who knows what punishment that little girl would deal with.. So, I'm watching.. I'm on high alert.. I just saw her at drop off this morning and said Hi and she smiled and said Hi..