The city’s police department called first, at 7:30 pm when he was getting his teeth brushed, on his way to bed.
“A case is opened with DCFS…”
His pediatrician called the department of child and family services after seeing the slap mark on his cheek, after he said his dad held his neck.
His dad choked him.
Child protective services is involved.
Fuck. This is real.
The police came by the next evening, at 7 pm. Chocolate chip cookies were just coming out of the oven. My son was playing with a gravity maze, making marbles drop. They knocked on the door. He ran to get it, then got squirrelly in front of the two detectives.
“Can we ask you some questions?” they asked.
(Who asks a four year old if they WANT to do something, when they NEED to do it. “We need to ask you some questions, and please answer truthfully” would be much more likely to get them the answers they need. )
My son got so squirrelly, he knocked over his milk, ran around the house in circles, jumped on the bed, jumped on the couch.
He wouldn’t sit down to answer questions. Behavioral decompensation, after being so cool and collected the previous day.
“I’ll give you a business card if you answer two questions,” said the detective. Suddenly my son was interested. He likes names and addresses and categorizing people.
“First. Do you want to go back to your dad’s house?”
“Second. Have you ever felt pain there?”
(what? what kind of question is that?)
(really? never? not when you fell off the couch or got scratched in the car?)
And that was it. They were hoping he would tell them if it were safe to go back.
He said, again, he wanted to go.
He wants to be with his dad.
He had the DCFS interview the next day.
“He says he wants to go back” the investigator told me.
It still feels scary. His dad choked me too. I hated it. I kept going back. I left him after I read about a Canadian physician power couple, the neurosurgeon dad choked the family physician wife to death then went down for breakfast with his kids and mother-in-law.
“That could be me,” I thought. Just three minutes, no oxygen, I’m dead.
And now, that could be my son.
And still he’s going back.
How did you handle going back?