3.24.2006

for all the babies in all the world

I just witnessed something awful. it's almost 11pm on friday night. justin, our neighbor to the right, recently had a girlfriend move in with him. I haven't seen much of her or her child - just have seen the stroller and various toys. apparently, all day they've been having a falling out...if that's what you want to call it. what I heard was justin being loud and screaming and cursing and stomping and banging - and the girlfriend too. while the daughter, a little girl probably not much older than bella, cried, tried to play, and mimicked the adults.

he just threw her out and she took the girl into the street. the woman called justin a fucking asshole, and the baby repeated it. she came back a few times to argue some more and get more of her things, while the baby shivered with her coat not zipped all the way and no socks on. at one point, the woman was mad at justin for not letting her in the house so she violently kicked at the door, which was when I opened my door to let them know that I was there. I kept wondering if I should offer to take the baby into my house while they sorted things out, or if that would be worse. and unfortunately in our stupid town, even though the police have nothing to do, it takes them upwards of a half hour or so to get to any domestic disturbances (we know from experience) and it appeared as though the woman was getting her things to leave.

she came back with an older woman - probably her mother. the older woman shushed the baby while the baby looked into justin's house and said hello to the kitty just like bella does. she pointed to things she thought were interesting out on the porch while justin and her mommy said unspeakable things, accused each other of doing too much coke, and came close to blows. finally, the woman got all of her things in the car and jerked the baby into her carseat and left.

the baby wasn't much older than bella, and she is so innocent. I know I should have either called the cops immediately or maybe I should have told them to be careful of the baby or maybe I should have just gone to sleep and put it out of my head. I keep seeing that little girl and thinking about how many other times she's been in that situation and how many more times she'll be in that situation and how many other babies are in worse predicaments right now...and it's more than I think I can bear at the moment. I have never in my life wanted to reach out and hug a baby who is a stranger to me more than tonight and yet there I stood, clutching the phone, not dialing, not keeping the door open...not doing anything, just frozen, watching this baby with snot running down her nose from crying seeing the kitty at justin's house and forgetting for a minute that the chaos was happening and just wanting to pet the cat...but not being able to because she's outside on the porch with her coat unzipped and no socks held by her grandmother who is telling her to be quiet and stop being a baby.

the world is more than I can bear sometimes.

10 validations:

NME said...

Sad. So sad. Poor little girl. And unfortunately it's not uncommon for little children to witness that sort of thing and much worse every day. It's heartbreaking.

Your story also reminded me instantly of some fights my parents had before they split up - I was five. One in particular where my Mom was locked in the neighbors house with me while my Dad screamed and pounded on the door. Not fun. I have few childhood memories, but that one is pretty clear.

It really is WIERD that when you called yesterday that I was yelling out the window about calling the cops at a couple fighting on my corner. It must have been something in the air yesterday.

~A~ said...

That's a very difficult and fragile situation for you to be in and it sucks. It's hard to tell when to step in and when to just let other people screw up their own lives and unfortunately the lives of their children. It's a shame that they had birthed them to begin with but then again what would have been the alternative.

We can only hope that mom does better in the future, but having seen and heard about similar parenting skills from My honey, I highly doubt it.

amandak said...

That made my heart hurt. I'll be saying a prayer for that child and all the children like her that have to grow up in chaos and violence. It shouldn't happen, but we all know it does, and there's just not much we can do about it other than love the children we've been blessed with and send our prayers to the ones who need them.

Missuz J said...

I hate not knowing what to do in situations like this. I hate thinking about the future for that baby. Hate her parents for being such selfish fuck wads. Hate knowing I could do more to make the world a better place. Hate knowing that really, I couldn't make all that big of a difference if I really tried.

KATIEmagic said...

How completely awful. It's so hard to know what to do in a situation like that. I probably would have done exactly what you did. I can't even think about how so many children are treated in this world. It's too dark a place for me to go right now. But then I think how will it stop unless people who care do think about it. Uhg.

Steph said...

Oh my heart... Would Child Protective Services respond more quickly than the police to a domestic disturbance? God, that would be a hard call to make. There's no right answer.

Jen said...

That is just terrible. I have never seen a baby in such a predicament, but I have had the same feelinings about innocent pets that have equally horrible "parents." I just want to scoop them up and make everything better, which is I am sure what you wanted to do with the baby.

Kodi said...

That poor sweet little girl. I can't believe anyone could do that to their child. It makes me sad. More than sad. More than I can express.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

Sad part is momma is teaching her that this is an acceptable way to be treated and treat others so not only will her childhood BITE but so will probably her children and grandchildren etc...........

I've a big mouth I usually get involved and have found that running my mouth doesn't help a child/wife in need it just makes it where the abuse happens inside in private - so I'm not sure your doing anything would have helped. My prayers are being sent for both your peace in freezing -and that poor baby girl.

shawnak said...

I just got an email today which read "don't marry a woman bigger than you" it was sent to me as being funny, but it wasn't to me. It showed a woman beating the hell out of her boyfriend/husband in the street while her two small children watched.
At one point the 2 year old told her mom to kick him and mimicked it. A police car drove by and DIDN'T stop! So the woman continued beating him.
As a Social Worker it made me ANGRY as a mother it made me SAD beyond words.
I am sorry you had to experience this, and everyone is right the police take too long to respond and CPS only gets involved in "Imminent Danger" which is too broad of a definition if you ask me!