Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The brattiest teen on the planet

I know I said that I would get back into journalling and actually make a proper effort... added three then ran away.. here's why..

The Tale of the Brattiest Teen on the planet.

G is my girl. My beautiful girl who is a pleasure to be around most days. Other days I want to plant her in compost, head first and only get her out when she's 18 and can leave home. She's not had it so easy lately. She witnessed one heck of a row between her father and I and the fallout from that hasn't been easy for any of us to cope with. Least of all her. Sadly, the children haven't been able to see daddy as much as any of us would like, contact has been reduced for a while to a couple of hours on a Saturday, and she doesn't like that. And decided to make me pay. The following is a tale and comedy of errors that she and her friend decided one night on msn. G no longer has msn. Or any sort of life.

Last Tuesday, G didn't come home from school. At all. Nothing. 4.30, no child. 5.30, no child. 6.30, no child. That isn't like her. It was dark, and cold and raining and nothing. I rang all her friends, fortunately she'd forgotten her mobile, and nothing. They'd last seen her walking home, through the park by herself. I'm afraid I did what any self respecting over protective mother would do, and called the police. They came. Looked around the house and garden in case she was hiding somewhere there, took a picture of her to circulate amongst all the other police in the area and called the Dog Unit to search the park.

By 7.30, I was hysterical and convinced that she was dead in a ditch somewhere. K was out looking, my father was driving the streets looking, my brothers were on various trains coming back from London looking, and I was sat with three phones repeatedly dialling three of her friends who hadn't answered the phone when I initially called. Nothing. The child had vanished.

At 9.30, one of the numbers I was calling, I had no idea who, finally was answered. The parent of the girl, after a very long pause, eventually deigned to tell me that she was there, and had been since 4.30. Nice of them to let me know, huh? Or to answer the phone before. 19 missed calls. pfft.

I rang the police, told them where to find her and expected her home within the hour. Again, I was mistaken. Young Miss G decided to inform the police that she was being beaten. Not smacked, or hit once, beaten. Actually beaten. Apparently she had a red mark on her arm. No one thought to question that she hadn't actually been home for me to have given her the red mark... no one considered the possibility that she was ever so slightly scared she'd be in trouble when she came home. Beaten! *sigh*

I reacted well to the accusation I must admit. I *didn't* tell the police that if I was beating her, it'd be best if she went into care then. I *didn't* go straight upstairs and pack every last item she owned into suitcases. No.. I wouldn't do that.

One sleepless night later, and I started to receive the phone calls from Social Services. And visits. The visit went well... epically well. My opening gambit? "Yes, I suppose I do beat her. Isn't it lucky that my parents paid for me to have lessons from the SAS, so i could learn how to beat her without leaving a mark..." and "I don't beat her.. I am using the Deadly Nightshade that's growing in the garden as a nice salad garnish though." Seriously. If anyone has a brainfilter going spare, I'll pay anything. I never know when to shut up.

Social Services have decided that G isn't an abused child - she will be soon though - and that they are able to close the file and just send her back to me.

The police however, still need to interview me regarding the alleged assault. The nice detective lady told me that I have nothing to worry about ( as I wan't anywhere near her to have actually hit her) but I stil need to go down to the station. This is where my watching programmes such as The Bill and Law and Order don't help... an excerpt from my conversation:

"So, when I come to see you, do I need to bring a solicitor? It's only, on The Bill.. if you're innocent and bring one then the police think you're guilty.. and if you're guilty and don't have one then you drop yourself in it. Not that I have anything to drop myself in... but you know, umm.. do I need one?"

She laughed.

"Ok, I'll be there at 10 on Thursday.. now can I bring Lal with me? He's 21 months and will stay still for a little while, or should I have someone look after him?"

Have someone look after him...

"Right.. so does that mean I'm going to be arrested and charged and sent to prison? Oh God.. he doesn't like staying with people overnight. Even when I went to London baby (Yep.. I said London baby, ffs) my parents had to move in here and he was ok, but now has a bit of nappy rash...he's in cloth most of the time, but he reacts badlt to disposables at the moment.. "

She laughed again. I'm not being arrested. I just have to confirm that I don't (yet) beat her.

The end of the story? Are you now picturing G sitting at home, loved, cuddled, all happy in the family again? Cos you'd be wrong.

My father went to collect her - after being the best dad in the world and cleaning my kitchen ceiling.. well that's what you do in an emergency situation, you clean ceilings... - and the family she was staying with wouldn't let her go!! They advised him that G was going to be living there now, and wouldn't be coming home at all.. not where she was in danger of being beaten. The father and brothers of the girl then chased my dad up the road. Poor man, he rang me from the car asking what to do.. my advice? Reverse!

Another police call and G came home. Unrepentant and uncowed. One of her gripes is that I am too old fashioned. The example she gave to the social worker was that I expect to "know where she is, who she's with and when she's coming home.." Far too old fashioned.

The upshot is that she'll be spending a little more time with her dad, a lot less time near any computer and no time at all out of the house.

Oh, and if you ever do have the misfortune to have any sort of involvement with social services, it's not the best idea to tell that when she comes home, you're going to kill her. They don't have a sense of humour about that.

The last thing Gordon the SW said to me, "Right.. so now we have a cunning plan as to where we go from here..." I tried so hard to stop myself, I pinched my thigh, I tried zipping my mouth closed, I tried.. but I failed... I responded with "A plan that is as cunning as a fox who has just been made Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?" Damn that Blackadder. And damn my lack of brain filter.

K (and the child named G who used to have a life but now has a mere existance)

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