(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”
– 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.