Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's wrong to judge parents, right?

We have new neighbors, and they have a very cute little girl who has down syndrome. They also have an older kid who doesn't, and I think the mom likes her best. The younger one is about four or five, and always out in the hallway with a toy playing by herself. Sometimes one of us going out there to play with her. Today Alex was baking and heard the girl outside, so she went to knock on their door and ask if she could bring her in to help bake. I was in the living room and overheard the conversation.

Alex: Hi! I'm Alex and live across the hall. Is it okay if Lily comes over to help me with some baking? I won't let her use any knives.
Neighbor: Oh! Let me go get Violet (older one) - she loves to bake!
Alex: Um, I meant Lily? Because she's just hanging out in the hall?
Neighbor. Oh, well ... I guess. Are you SURE?
Alex: Sure! I can bring her back in two hours.
Neighbor: Okay.

So Alex brought Lily in, and they had a blast making all different cookie shapes. An hour and 58 minutes later, Alex had Lily by one hand and a bag full of cookies by the other as she knocked on Lily's door. Nobody. Was. Home. Alex came back with Lily and the cookies, and wrote a note to tape on their door saying "Hi! We had a great time baking and Lily is ready to come home now. Please knock on our door to collect her as soon as you get back!"

FOUR hours later, Violet came knocking to collect her sister. So we spent the afternoon with this little kid and that's it - no apologies or thank yous or anything. Lily was here for so long that she helped to make dinner too. I'm sure it's really hard having a kid with all these problems and I can understand wanting a break, but you can't just dump your kid on people. Josh gave Alex a big talk about not being taken advantage of and what to say if this happens in the future.


Suzanne said...

Okay, I am not usually a judger of parenting BUT this is some AWFUL parenting. If they had to leave for something important, they should have knocked on your door.
It sounds like they are overwhelmed and need some help. Is Lily in school? If there was a way to let her school know that her parents seem overwhelmed, they can get them some help.
I wouldn't leave my children for 5 minutes with someone unless they knew I was going, where I was going, my cell number and when I would be back.
Honestly, when you can, let that family take advantage of you. That might be the only positive adult interaction that child has at home each week. :(

One crazed mommy said...

Oh my gosh...I am a parent, and never in a MILLION YEARS would I just leave to go off somewhere without letting someone watching my children know. Even when my daughter is at her best friend's house 3 doors down, I will text her mom to see if it's okay if I run an errand or go to the store first. Leaving her for that long is just plain rude!! Glad she had fun with Alex, though - so sad what she has to deal with from her family each day. :(

Abby said...

And she'd never met you before that? Alex was introducing herself for the first time? Holy crap. Keep an eye on that little girl--doesn't seem like anyone else is doing it. :(

Nancy said...

Sam, it is NOT wrong to judge parents...this was an example of an epic fail at being a parent. I can't imagine allowing my child to go into someone's apt whom I did not know fairly well, in the first place!!! And then to disappear? Borders on child abandonment, if you ask me...if not abuse. Thank you for being there for Lily...believe me, she will remember your kindness and the fun she had with Alex for a very long time. And to Josh's point...well, sometimes "being taken advantage of" is trumped by simply being there for someone in need. I do get his point...but I also look at it from Lily's vantage point, and I am sure she felt loved and appreciated, so who cares what her family did/didn't do to take advantage. Thanks Alex for lighting up a little girl's life! :)

Amber Peace said...

Damn that's pretty horrible of her.

Sam, I use to read your blog, years a go, like, 2006 is when I started.

I don't think I'll be able to catch up with what's happened since you started college (that's about when I disappeared. I remember you moving into that apartment for the first time with Josh), but I'll do what I can.