Ostrich

Ostrich

On Friday Bob had his parents evening. We intended to speak to the teacher about our concerns and our plan and then Bob’s dad would go and speak to the mother about our concerns about his care and that we’d like to change the arrangement so that we have him and extra 3 nights a week during term time.

We’d use this time making sure he got sleep, good food and homework done.

Unfortunately the mother found out about the appointment and decided to attend also.

Bugger.

So, I took Bob to a friend’s and his parents went to the parents evening. The teacher said what we already knew. He doesn’t do any work, he’s disruptive and the openly heckles the teacher.

His mother proceeds to tell the teacher about how she talks to Bob about astral projections and parallel universes and then the parents evening comes to an end.

As they are leaving the class, Bob’s mother accosts father because he was very quiet in the meeting. He hands her a formal letter with our concerns, our wishes for the sake for Bob’s future and out intentions if we cannot agree by Friday (3 days from now).

Later that evening we get an email, she doesn’t understand the letter but she wants Bob’s passport as she has a holiday to book for him.

She has no money and we’re not idiots so we left that.

On Saturday we spoke to Bob and explained the situation and our wishes and he was more than okay with them. In fact he’s excited to spend more time with his step brother (My son) and also the childminder who, after only a month or so, has become very fond of her.

On Sunday we dropped Bob back and his mother acknowledged Bob, let him in and then shut the door. That’s no great surprise. We were expecting worse to be honest.

Today is martial arts and since Bob started, the childminder has got him (and my Son) from school, I’ve then collected them, we’ve taken them to martial arts and then his mother picked him up. We texted her the usual reminder to put tracksuit bottoms in Bob’s school bag.

This is the response we got:

“I’d like to thank you both for your support over the last 2 1/2 months but I am now back on my feet. I will take him at 6.15 and I will collect him at 7.15 :)”

She doesn’t get it.

We texted her back saying that was unfair on Bob as he likes the new friends he’s made and she needs to respond to the letter by Friday, this isn’t going to go away if she ignores the situation, if she doesn’t agree, it’s going to court.

Her response was he sees his friends during the day, she will let us know what she decides by Friday.

Bob is going to be upset. We’re going to visit him at martial arts tonight to check hes okay.

We’ve sent her an email advising that we feel her actions are to punish Bob’s father, is not in Bob’s best interest and asked her to reconsider.

We shall see. 3 days and we’ll have a direction.

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Birthday Week

Birthday Week

Bob went back to his mothers on Monday as expected but we’d forgotten to give him his tablet, so Bob’s father took it to him after work.

Bob’s father got there and Bob was upstairs on his own. He heard that his father had arrived, ran down the stairs, took the tablet from him and ran straight back up again. I can see from the logs that’s where he remained until the tablet cut off at 8pm. Standard.

Whilst Bob’s father was there, the mother spoke of her planning her next big birthday celebration where she would be going abroad. Her birthday is in December, so it’s a way off yet. Bob’s birthday is this coming Sunday.

The next day was martial arts so we (Via the childminder) get Bob from school. He was tired again.

He was nice and polite with the childminder, and told her all about the father of his oldest brother and how he shot himself (There are 3 main stories about this father killing himself that Bob’s mum cycles between, and someone completely different (not the father, and very much still alive) on the birth certificate – no one except the mother really knows what the truth is, or who he is – either way, not really something a 9 years old boy needs to know)

He ate everything I gave him and we played with maths – converting fractions, percentages and decimals between each other and both Bob and my child did well, Bob even asked for another number at the end which was music to my ears.

His mother collected him from martial arts and the conversation was thus:

  • She’s bored of the house
  • She needs a job
  • Can we recommend a childminder
  • She’s bored of decorating
  • She cannot afford to buy Bob a birthday present (His birthday is this Sunday)
  • She’s glad she’s not in the city anymore because St Patrick’s day will be better at her new hometown, the city is “Just full of Plastic Paddys”

Now, forgetting the fact that she’s spent the last few weeks buying DIY supplies and decorating the house, and forgetting that she’s just spent the last weekend at the other end of the country at a 3 day family celebration, and forgetting that she has enough money to go out drinking for St Patrick’s day this Friday, She has no money and Bob will miss out on having a present.

I’ve made him a gift and I can’t wait for him to open it. The wool cost me about €2, and a lot of time.

Presents don’t have to be expensive.

She also forgot to hand out Bob’s birthday party invites until very late so we’ve had very little uptake, I’m sure Bob will have a great birthday nonetheless. Because he’ll be with us.

Still no change, and this is after 2 talks.

Still no change, and this is after 2 talks.

Got Bob from school

  • Unwashed
  • Teeth not brushed (He forgot, apparently)
  • Hair still dyed black
  • Tired. So tired he has a headache in fact.

His teacher reported that there is a marginal improvement in his behaviour and no change in the work he produces.

He has biro all over his hands where he’d coloured in his knuckles. When I asked where that came from he said “I got bored of my <maths> homework so I started doing this” He scored 29% on this homework. So she didn’t do it with him, she must have just stuck him in front of it and left him – either that or she watched him colour himself in instead of trying and didn’t intervene.

He hadn’t done any spellings. “Mum said that’s your fault for not texting her”

He had a school report in his bag. All red. All of it. He’s gone from being one of the brightest pupils in his class who tries really hard to being “Cause for concern” in every single area. All in the space of about 6 weeks. The 6 weeks he’s lived with just him and his mother.

I looked at the usage report for his tablet. He’s still on it from the moment he gets up until he goes to school and as soon as he gets home until it shuts off.

His mother was out drinking with family this weekend so asked for us to take him to school today. I had him and my son up, dressed and ready to go inside of 25 minutes – Having Bob extra to my son had zero impact on the schedule and I got them both out of the house on time.

There is nothing wrong with Bob. It’s absolutely the environment.

 

It’s started

It’s started

(This was posted 6 days after writing)

Husband went to take Bob home last week and spoke to Bob’s mother about his performance at school. We think he’s not eating properly, he’s not getting enough sleep, he’s not doing his homework and his performance at school is suffering.

Her response was thus:

It’s all Bob’s fault.

He never goes to sleep when she tells him
He never washes
He never brushes his teeth
He never gets off his tablet, all he ever does is stay in his room and watch videos
He never sends time with her, she’d like it if he did

His twin brothers don’t live with her anymore after the unspeakable things they did to her (They left of their own accord, but this is what she’s told Bob)

So on and so on. Bob ended up in floods of tears and his mother promised to start making changes.

I’d looked through Bob’s tablet he has at our house over the weekend and I wasn’t happy with what he was watching so I locked it down – I’ve always periodically checked their tablets and said if they do anything I’m not happy with, I’ll lock them down.

He and his father have been swapping jokes over the last week or so by text, we realised something was amiss when he started sending his father rape jokes.

I also asked to be able to lock down his devices at her house. She was more than happy to oblige, as long as we gave him something to play with in the meantime, like his tablet.

So that evening I set to work on sorting our his phone and laptop.

What I saw was shocking.

His mother has been parenting him by text (These are over the course of a couple of weeks, and all on school nights):

– 22:23 – “Go to sleep now I’m tuning the WiFi off”
– 21:54 – “Do you want a crisp and butter sandwich” (This was sent an hour after texting him to turn his laptop off and go to bed)
– 23:35 “Are you okay”
“You woke me up”
“Are you laughing or crying”
“I was probably laughing in my sleep”
She thought her Son was crying so texted him from the next room to see if he’s okay and subsequently woke him up, rather than go in herself and check he’s okay
– 17.19 “Food”
“okay, coming”
– 22:30 “It’s nearly 11pm son, can you turn the volume down”

– He’s been on twitter Effing this, that and the other, including one post “Scare isn’t fucking gay you retard get a f**king grip you autistic motherf**ker” – the language is vile, we’ve never heard him say anything like this – ever!
– He’s been setting up online open chats with strangers over twitter
– He’s published his Roblox username on twitter so completely available to the public, and Roblox has been in the news recently for it’s limited child protection
– He’s been making up rap songs with his friend that involve the N word and typing them out into text documents
– He’s been sending WhatsApp messages random people to speak to
– He has a list of Akronyms for sentences that have the F work in (WTF, FIGJAM – F**k I’m good Just ask me, TOTGAF – Too old to give a f**k, and so on)
– His YouTube history – Murder, Zombies, Violence, Hold ups, 911 calls, several “Don’t look away challenge” videos (Which are as gory as you can imagine) and one video which looked like it had a stripper.
– A photo of himself in a hoodie and beanie hat with a gun pointed towards the camera. I still can’t get this out of my head – It’s horrifying.

I took a lot of photos of these and started the process of locking the devices down.

The next morning the very first thing Bob did (06.30) was go to a website with animal violence including the beating and drowning of dogs. He didn’t google it, he typed in the web address directly. It was blocked and reported to me, I can see everything he’s doing.

So husband decided to invite her to our house and gave her an ultimatum. Either he lives with us straight away, or we go through the local authorities and then he lives with us.

Her response was nothing short of gob smacking.

– There was a lot of crying
– How is she supposed to know what he’s watching? (I know within 10 minutes of looking)
– He never listens to her
– He’s more scared of <me> than he is me (Bob’s dad even said that’s because I parent him and we spend time with him, she had no response to this)
– He doesn’t even want to be here, all he talks about is <Bob’s father and myself>
– He can’t live with us, he’s all she has
– If he lives with us she may as well kill herself
– She’ll make him come downstairs and watch TV with her
– She said if we want we can have him one extra night a week but not any more because it’ll be a win for her other ex husband (The twins’ father)- He’s always saying she’s a bad mother, she’s fed up of everyone saying she’s a bad mother.
– We can have him on the days we take him to an after school club, she has a friend over the anyway (This friend she accused of rape some years back and he still doesn’t know she did that)
– She asked him to promise he won’t go to the authorities, try the 1 extra night a week.

All about her. Absolutely no remorse, no taking responsibility and no promise of change. The blame is squarely all Bob’s.

She’s going to sell his phone and laptop, but can they keep the tablet from our house. She left with the devices so we’ve lost all of the evidence that I didn’t manage to take photographs of which is a shame.

I urged Bob’s dad to go and speak to the school, and set up an appointment with the welfare contact and the deputy head also attended. I spoke to her on the phone and I gave her a brief overview and she asked if 3 hours from then was too early for a meeting. Absolutely not. Husband and I had already written a list.

The school were horrified. Their first response was to go to the authorities ASAP. They cannot act without concerns and on the face of it, he has no outward signs of abuse or neglect, to them he’s just a disruptive boy who doesn’t do any work. It is their opinion that we have a very strong case for custody and should absolutely go to the authorities. That being said, They will be speaking to Bob.

We received a text later in the afternoon (about 4/5pm) to say she has had a “Protective mother” chat with  him about the bad things he’s been doing and the repercussions. He is currently doing hour of maths homework and an hour of tablet and then bed.

At 20.15 we got a text asking for the username and password for the homework website. The username and password is in Bob’s school bag. So he hadn’t done any homework at all. In fact, she sent us a photo of a Wikipedia page about something really random like condensation she was having him read instead. She also thanked us for nipping Bob’s behaviour in the bud before it started. She just doesn’t get it. it’s not him.

I have spent this morning printing the pictures I took and also this blog and the twitter account ready for when we need it. I’ve also removed every toy gun, sword and mask from our house.

We are slightly underwhelmed by the response from the authorities so far. The school gave us the first response number. The first response team weren’t interested unless immediate police attendance was needed ‘Please fill out the online form’. Watch this space.

Lunch

Lunch

I spoke to to the teacher today, she really isn’t happy with Bob’s behaviour. 

He’s barely doing any work and he’s generally disruptive… 

Hardly surprising given his packed lunch.

For reference the sandwich is chocolate spread. 

Additional: Bob’s dad had a chat with him – this is pretty much what he has for breakfast dinner and tea. 

This can’t continue. 

Holiday delights

Holiday delights

So Bob had his half term and I asked what he got up to.

They left the house once the entire week. She showed him her favorite new pub, took him to the local BB gun shop and that was it.

The rest of the week he spent chatting to ‘friends’ on WhatsApp.

One of these groups had 6 people in, only 2 were recognised contacts, the others were not known to him. He also chatted to people he did and didn’t know on Roblox. Free babysitters.

His mother has a new boyfriend so she’s permanently on the phone to him.

A week wasted.

He did like playing with his toys for a bit. And watching the film The Crow, which is an 18. He’s 9.

Still no toys

Still no toys

The weekend just gone we went out for dinner. It’s half term next week so I asked Bob what his plans were for the week.

“Probably nothing” was his response. The following conversation followed:

“Will your mum not take you anywhere?”
“No”
“Does she not take you places?”
“Not really”
“Will she make things with you?”
“What, like my dinner?”
“No, things with you – drawing, or crafts?”
“Definitely not”
“Does she play with you”
“No”
“So what does she do?”
“She replies to her emails on her phone, she gets a lot of emails”
“Really?, That’s all she does, all day every day?”
“Yes”
“Right… Has she bought any toys for you at your new house?”
“No”
“Is that not going to be a bit boring?”
“No, I can play on my laptop all day”

They’ve been there 4 weeks, she’s bought new furniture for the living areas, ordered the internet and painted the house, but not bought toys for her Son. In his room he has a bed, a wardrobe and 3 action figures.

So we went and spent £60 on toys for him. At least he has something else to do now – providing she doesn’t sell them, which is why he never wants to take toys from ours to his other house.