This afternoon I went to the bathroom. I know, I know, when you're a mom you're not supposed to do that, but I really needed to.
First let me say that, before I had the nerve to go to the bathroom, my older kids (some of them) had gone out in the front to ride their bikes.
OK, so I went to the bathroom, and just as I came out the doorbell rang. I went to the front door, noticing that my kids were now back in the house, and there was my neighbor. This is a neighbor that lives behind me. Remember that we have an alley and so we do see those "back" neighbors once in a while. Anyway, she so sweetly says "I think your son got out and the police have him." WHAT!? I went outside and, sure enough, down at the end of my street are two police cars, lights flashing, and a bald-headed, tough-guy-looking mean man officer holding my bare-footed, chocolate-faced Conner. (It was only about 60 degrees out) The two officers came to talk to me about it all. The mean man and a nicer lady officer. The mean man officer explained that, not only had Conner gotten out, but he was wandering down the hugely major street one street over from mine. Mind you, this is at 6:00-rush hour. Apparently some very nice people stopped, picked him up, and called the police. The mean man glared at me with disgust. The nice lady officer told me to come in the house and get a picture ID. I took Conner and came into the house. When I went back out the nice lady officer and the mean man officer were getting into their cars, and a third police car with a mean LADY officer came. She got out, walked over to me, and took my information. Then she said "So how is it that a three-year-old not only gets out of your house, but all the way out onto El******o before you noticed?" I explained that I was in the bathroom, blah blah blah, but she acted like I was totally neglectful. She came in my house and wanted to explain to the older kids how important it is that they watch out for him. I was trying to be stern with them, explaining that they can't come in the house without being sure that Conner was inside. (For the record, Conner's not allowed outside in the front without me) Explaining it all to them made ME realize how serious it was, and that's when I started to cry. The mean lady officer didn't have any sympathy for me, though, and just did what she had to do. She left, but only after explaining that it was a good thing my neighbor happened to drive by and recognize Conner, because the next step would've been calling CPS to come and pick up the "unidentified child".
Then I came in, cried to my kids about how I have to be able to rely on them for help, and then came in my room and broke down. I just sobbed, thanking my Heavenly Father for keeping Conner safe on that busy road, for the nice, non-scary people who picked him up, and for the neighbor, whom I've never met, who somehow recognized my little boy.
Now I'm going to go snuggle with my kids and watch a movie.
Yesterday, two different times, the police came and sat outside a couple houses down. Creepy. Then yesterday afternoon Child Protective Services came. A very nice lady, just doing her job, but it still all makes me feel all funny. She talked to me for a while, then interviewed each of my kids, except Conner. She asked all those uncomfortable questions to my little ones. They don't seem to be bothered by it, but I am. Anyway, I've been ordered to "supervise my children at all times" and to get safety locks on all exterior doors. "Failure to comply with the guidelines of this safety plan may result in further CPS action, not excluding removal."
Talk about creepy.
So I'm being monitored. It sounds crazy to even say it. The CPS lady said the case will probably be open for 30-45 days, and in that time I can expect them to call or stop by.
Guess I'd better get those locks on the doors...