Lucy Wainwright is one of my favorite musical people.
I actually feel like there is some sort of spiritual tether between her family as musicians and my family as fans, but there is too complicated an explanation to that crazy thought for this post because this is Throwback Thursday 3, in which I will reveal the many ways that it sucked to be a mandated reporter, or actually to report to a mandated reporter, how someone can be simultaneously delighted with and disgusted with oneself, and how someone can find themselves conducting the express train toward losing everything they’ve ever worked for and somehow choosing to step on the gas. Because my metaphorical trains are driven much like my physical Kia is driven: with a gas pedal and a lead foot.
DaBoss began rapid firing questions at me in a tone that made me feel scared and guilty at the same time. Her brusque tone seemed to be frightening poor little Amaya even more. Every time Daboss spoke Amaya cringed on the desk and kind of reached for me at the same time. Finally, when I was sure the kurt physical examination was done, I scooped Amaya up and held her to me as close and cuddly as I could. I tried to think reassuring thoughts at the sweet little one in my arms while still trying to give my boss the impression of sitting up straight and giving all of my attention to the obviously serious matter at hand.
Amaya had always been petite, kind of small for her age, and she was light as a feather compared to some of her peers. Still today, whatever trauma she had endured seemed to have made her smaller somehow. Maybe because her vibrant personality, the dynamic it factor that got her noticed easily amongst other equally adorable 1.5 to 3 year olds, whatever made her multiple staff members’ favorites, even though we were repeatedly admonished not to show favoritism. I felt a surge of white hot rage at whatever monster could do this, this criminal act, to the baby child now curled up in my lap, apparently trying to be invisible today, when she used to thrive on attention.
When did I notice the blisters? Had anyone else seen them? Who pointed them out? What was the child (she glaced quickly at some papers before continuing) Amaya’s father’s frame of mind when he dropped her off this morning?
You mean did he confess to how the hell his 18 month old got blisters on both palms? No, we somehow missed that tidbit as he dropped off his little one. Come to think of it he did seem in an usual rush to head off to wherever it was he went each am.. Not his normally chitchatty self. Her mother picked her up in the evenings.
Damnit! I had really liked both of them. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions of either one of them being the perpetrators but if she had somehow achieved those blister burns through some spectacular accident, why wouldn’t he say something? I’d found parents to be anxious to point out any possible health concern from a sniffles to diaper rash to lack of morning appetite and youre gonna tell me burned palms don’t make the cut for a daycare provider’s need to know? And if she had been injured as she so obviously HAD, why was she even being dropped off at daycare? Why the hell couldn’t one of them take a sick day? What the hell was going on here?
More questions. They had started to repeat 2 maybe three times before Daboss finally had me sign something.
“So what happens now?” I asked. I was intimidated, by DaBoss and the whole situation but I also felt a compulsive need to know something right was going to happen to babygirl who had been wronged.
DaBoss sighed. She gave me a tired looking smile with no actual cheer in it. “Now you can get back to work. You did the right thing by telling me what you noticed.”
I knew that. I also knew that that wasn’t an answer to what I had asked her and furthermore, that she knew she had not answered what I had asked her. “I mean, what happens to Amaya? Does she just go home, or do they question her parents? How can we be sure that she is getting taken care of.. like medically, and like keeping her away from whoever the hell did this to her?”
She sighed and stopped pretend smiling. “We will follow proper protocol. You can get back to work. Leave Amaya here for the moment. Nurse needs to look her over before she can play anymore right now and I have a few calls to make. They need you outside, we have the puppet show today.”
I hated her then. Protocol?! What. The. Fuck. As if Amaya were a stack of challenging paperwork instead of an injured toddler with a dangerous living situation.
The rest of the work day somehow managed to drag and blur at the same time. At one point during the puppet show, Amaya was deposited in my lap. I held her close and tried to install as much protective love and comfort as I possibly could. I felt more and more sure that I wasn’t going to see her again. And about that I was right. All to soon during the hellish puppet show on that horrible day a troop of three awkwardly formal strangers wove their way through the crowd of crosslegged toddlers and staff on the grass.
Suddenly shadows fell across my lap. I looked up and before my eyes could adjust to make out the figures framed by bright sunlight..she was plucked off my lap and from my life forever. She sobbed heartwrenchingly and reached her injured hands out for me. There was nothing I could do. I felt both furious and like the biggest pussy on the face of the earth for not intervening, with the LAW.. Like I could have done anything.. It didn’t stop me from feeling horrible though.
The rest of the day dragged miserably. At long, long last it was 5 pm. Normally, I’d take my time about leaving, shooting the shit with other staffers. Not that day though. Two reasons.
First: It was obviously a horrendous day I wanted obliterated from my consciousness, preferably with aid of alcohol..
Second: J had been paging me 911 for 3 hours. (This was the ’90’s. no texting or cell phones or Facebook messenger or even AOL..
I walked quickly toward the nearest payphone. My heart was pounding and I wondered if she had figured out that we were fucking like rabbits behind her back every night. Or if he had somehow lost his mind and told. Or what? What? What?
“Nnhelloo?” Ugh! I hated the way she answered the phone. She thought it made her sound sexy and sophisticated. I thought it made her sound slutty and brain damaged.
“Hi. It’s me. Just got out of work now.. sorry.” Sorry? Why the hell was I apologizing? For working hard while she and S lay under the covers in her parent’s guest bedroom, eating Bagel Bites and watching BET and cartoons. “What’s up?”
“Thank God it’s you! I’ve been needing a friend all day!”
Not as much as I needed one. But knowing you I will not get a word in edgewise while you perceive yourself in crisis. At least I’m not busted for the fling I’ve been having with your man, why do I somehow feel let down by this fact?
“What’s the matter, sis?” Yeah, we called each other sis.
“Lately… no matter what I do, S won’t fuck me.. He comes over, has me make him breakfast and then crashes in front of the tv. It’s like I’m a fucking throw pillow that can scramble eggs. I tried everything. I’ve jerked him so much it feels like I should fucking get stock in that lotion he likes. Nothing. Even that thong he loves and the push up bra that gives me porno boobs. I’ve even tried going downtown. No FUCKING WOOD!”
“Ok, first of all, EW! I do NOT need the gory details of your sex life or lack thereof.” But I only said that part for appearances, because it was actually delightful that they weren’t doing anything. It meant our strenuous nightly adventures where just as fulfilling for him as they were for me. I did feel a teeny bit bad that this was making my “sis” feel sad and sexually inadequate, but nowhere near bad enough to give up the incredible sex.
Ok.. I wildly overtaxed my abilities to write while sleep deprived and flared in the upper extremities..
I’m going to have to pick up with this next week, THANKS FOR READING!