Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I wonder whether there is something in the water or the air, of this particular area of Richmond. There are two homes that make me wonder. The one I worked in 12 years ago!!! I have devoted an entire chapter to this estrogen-ful family in the book I am forever writing, about the children I work with. That first family is african american. All women, from the vibrant matriarch to the tiniest little premature girl I worked with. There must have been men, but the grandfather,  one of the progenitors, is in prison for life. The father of the girl I worked with was also incarcerated for a long period of time, in fact, he is still in prison. I saw another man, occasionally, apparently he is the father of one of the little cousins, and now has fathered her sister, a girl of course. I only saw him once, early in the morning, he was leaving as I arrived. That is it for the men. The women, on the other hand, are vital, bright, attractive, loud, full of the joy of life. They are active in their church and all of them work.  The sisters and the cousins and the aunts constantly came by, in various stages of pregnancy. They brought along their adorable little girls, their hair in braids and colorful barrettes.  It seemed entirely natural they would bear girls. Only once did one of the cousins have a boy, and he was, tragically, very damaged in childbirth, and died.

The family I presently work with are Latino. It is situated very close to the other family, and again, it is full of females and female energy. Again, I have only seen one man, the grandfather. From the grandmother onward it is just girls. The mother of the girl I work with has 2 daughters, her sister-in-law has, as far as I can tell, at least 4 girls. All the girls are very pretty with long thick dark brown hair and equally long dark lashes. The flit around the house which is full of flowers - artificial, but who cares. There are pots of artificial palms and ferns and vases of artificial lilies and roses. The bright faces of all the girls appear round corners, or over the tops of the plants, all curious at what I am doing on the floor with their little cousin. They smile and giggle and when they think she needs help they will guide her hands or point to something.

If I were of childbearing age I would have walked out of both these homes pregnant - with girls! As it is, I am filled with wonder  by the time I leave, an enigmatic smile on my face.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Today is the second time in as many weeks that I have sat sequestered in my office for a couple of hours. The reason for this is that the truly insane mother of a little girl with whom I worked, and who now attends one of our programs, comes for her parent education sessions.

She meets with a parent educator in the office immediately next to mine. Last week when she came in she announced that she hates me!  I guess she should. While I was working with her daughter  I had to report her to child protective services. Sadly, I have to say, nothing came of my report. This is usually the case. As health workers in the home we are mandated reporters. These reports are not made lightly. They are followed up, usually much later after the fact, because, as with everyone else, child protective services are overworked and do not have enough workers. Almost always when they do visit, the parent is on their very best behavior and they close the case. In this particular case the positive outcome is that the little girl is attending one of our programs. Her mother drops her off and picks her up, and it has not escaped the attention of the teachers that this woman is really not okay. At least the little girl is out of the home for 4 1/2 hours each day. I feel somewhat vindicated in that every involved understands the mom is not okay. However, I have to deal with the fallout, and because she is really not a balanced being, we all feel it is better for me to remain sequestered while she is on the premises.

So I remain quietly inside, doing research, filing paperwork, and reflecting upon the insanity of this situation.

In the meantime, nothing has been resolved with the weird two I previously blogged about. The case manager has not arranged for a meeting. I told the mother about our program and gave her all the details as well as the name of the person she should contact, and she has not done this. Last week she informed me she would be going this Wednesday (today). When I inquired whether she had made an appointment, she said yes. However, none in the program had heard a word. I thought maybe she hadn't understood me, and got a Spanish speaker to speak to her. She had understood me, but just decided to come with the kids without telling anyone. We told her again she needs to make an appointment. She promised to call on Monday, but didn't. Tomorrow I go there and will check why she has not followed up. She did ask the Spanish speaker whether she would have to pay anything, and we told her she wouldn't, so that fear has been allayed.

When we were with the County we had a medical social worker, but have had no one for 8 years.

Oh well, it is hard, what can I say.