I have been faced with such a dilemma of whether to mind my own business or get involved in someone else's matter.
A few nights ago, The Girl came to me and told me that a 3 year old kid jumped on The Ginger and started punching him in the stomach. The Ginger, being 7, was shocked and didn't know what to do because, in his own words, 'I didn't want to hit a 3 year old.' Understandable. The Girl pulled the little boy off of The Ginger and they came and told me what happened.
So, this 3 year old, to put it nicely, is a hellion- a hellion with parents who obviously don't care about him. Yesterday he started throwing rocks at the other kids, and one of the neighbor girls, 13 years old, went and knocked on the little boy's door to tell his mom, and no one answered the door. She asked around, and someone told her no one was at home. She picked up her phone and called 911 on this 3 year old (another reason, in my opinion, kids should not have cell phones). The Ginger came and got me, and I went outside immediately to find out what had happened. That's when they told me that the 3 year old's parents were not home, and that he was being watched by his 9 year old brother. This disturbed me greatly.
Did I agree with the 13 year old calling 911? Hell no. She should have gone and gotten her mom or The Girl
should have gotten me before her friend dialed 911. But, considering the police were on their way, I figured I'd have a talk with them about how the 3 year old is outside by himself every day (and I'm not exaggerating on that).
The police came, and were filled in on what was going on by the 13 year old girl and her mother. The police went and knocked on the 3 year old's door, and the mother answered, meaning she was there the whole time, and not only wasn't watching her child, but didn't answer when the 13 year old tried to get in contact with her (What if her kid was hurt?). She said her sister, who lived in the apartment next to her, watched the 3 year old for her during the day (for the record, I've never seen her, her sister, or anyone watching this child outside). The police had a few more words with her, then came over to let us know what was going on.
There was, of course, nothing they could do about the 3 year old throwing rocks, or even hitting my son the day before. As far as the child wandering around the neighborhood by himself, they could do something about that, as long as we report to the apartment complex's office each time we find the child wandering around. Then, the apartment complex will call the police, and if the woman continues to not watch her child, or have an adequate babysitter during the day, the police will step in with social services.
Here lies the dilemma. Hubby and I had a long talk about this. We are moving out of this apartment complex in 2 months. As of right now, this problem is not ours, and in 2 months, will definitely not be ours. He takes the standpoint that since it is none of our business, and we're out of here in 2 months anyway, that we don't need to get involved. Let the kid wander around the apartment complex all he wants, it's not our problem. If the mother cared about the child in the first place, then she'd watch him (which she wasn't doing today), but since she doesn't watch him, she doesn't care, and we don't need to get involved. I see things differently. This kid could wander out in the street, could be kidnapped, could get hurt. I feel that while, yes, technically it's none of our business, and I agree that the mother isn't doing her job correctly, that the authorities need to be brought into it to help make a better life for this kid one way or another, even if that means him being taken away from his mother. I feel that I need to do what the police officer said and inform the office when the child is wandering around by himself. If nothing else, maybe it would be a wake up call for the mother to care a little more about her child.
What would you all do? Mind your own business and count down the days until you are out of this apartment complex, while watching a 3 year old wander around by himself each day? Or would you get involved into someone else's life, knowing the end result could be a child being removed from their own home (not truly knowing one way or another if this is better for the child or not)?
This is where I need my highly opinionated readers who I love so much to share their thoughts with me. I want to hear it all- the good, the bad, the ugly, the logical. Let me know what you would do in this situation- get involved or mind your business. Leave your comments below!
Addendum: Later on in the afternoon on the day this post was written, my kids were playing outside, and they came inside to inform Hubby and I that the office lady had told all of the kids outside that they couldn't play out there anymore unless their parents were right beside them. Hubby and I marched right to the office, where the woman said that because of the complaints lately, that no children were allowed to play outside without their parents with them. We asked if this had to do with the cops being called on the 3 year old and she said yes, because the child was unsupervised. We informed her that our children were 10 and almost 8, they were not 3 years old, there was a big difference, and asked her if this 'rule' as she called it (which she said has always been policy at the apartment complex) was in our lease agreement. She said no, so we informed her that until they added an addendum to our rental agreement saying that our kids couldn't play outside unless we were standing right beside them, that they were going to continue to play outside. She told us to take it up with management on Monday. I have already researched Arizona state laws and have my rebuttal ready if the office tries to enforce this 'rule' that no one has ever heard of before or has ever been told.
Two more freaking months and I am done with this place. I can not wait!!!