I had completely planned on making my first real post a positive one; however, after work today, I don’t think that’s entirely possible. While it started off a little bit funny, I learned that no matter how many appalling parents I meet in this field, I will never cease to be amazed.
As an SLP, part of my job description is to evaluate children to determine whether or not they qualify for speech and language services. I prefer to do this either at my location or the child’s school, but sometimes we need to go to their homes. This is always a little sketchy because you never know exactly what you are getting into. Especially in podunk towns in the middle of nowhere. Not to hate on small towns or stereotype- that’s just where we seem to get the most interesting stories from.
It started off normally, the school psychologist and I chatting away on our drive out ; although this was an hour long drive, which is not typical. We arrived at the apartment in “Small Town”, NY- a banana yellow Victorian era house with grass green trim- only to walk into the wrong apartment. Oops! Once pointed in the right direction, we quickly discovered that no one was home. How wonderful. Several unanswered phone calls later we finally made contact and were informed that Mom forgot about our evaluation and was over a half hour away. Okay, no biggie, we decided to wait since we drove an hour.
On our way, we passed this beautiful, little antique shop. Why not waste some time there? Nope, opens at noon.
Alright. Check out antique shop #2! Nope, closed.
Apparently the only thing open at 10 a.m. in Small Town, NY is a liquor store. Darn, guess time will have to be wasted there. We were easily convinced by their fantastic sign out front.
After meandering through the store and purchasing our adult beverages of choice, we headed back to the apartment and waited for another hour managing to see a horse and buggy pass by before Mom and kids finally arrived. We entered the living room and settled onto the toenail clipping littered carpet to begin our evaluation while trying not to overtly gag. Throughout the next two and a half hours, Mom told us some distressing stories.
- Directly in front of the child in question, Mom stated that she never wanted him and didn’t love him until he was 10 months old.
- She was currently on hydrocodone tablets. Couldn’t tell whether she took enough to be high or is just typically that spacey. Doctor prescribed, so unfortunately nothing we could do there.
- Mom was arrested a few weeks ago after her 3 year old was playing in the street while she was inside.
- Several comments implying older son is the golden child and this one doesn’t get nearly enough lovin’.
Little guy ate up our attention and was amazingly well behaved through hours of boring standardized tests. Situations like these break my heart and make me think, “I am going to steal your child.”
Do you ever have these moments where you are astonished at how some people treat their children? Each child is a miracle that should be treasured and treated like the beautiful little soul that they are. How can I not feel sad after days like today?