I've mentioned before - either in this blog or in my old one - about a woman who lives in my building. She is a single mom and has a daughter the same age as Max. This woman has no boundaries. She says horribly innappropriate things. All the time.
Lately we've been on the same morning schedule. We all bump into each other in the elevator. For some reason I have offended her & she has been pointedly ignoring me. Which is fine. Except that a few weeks ago it kinda freaked out my kids as I was YELLING to get her to answer a question as to whether the bus has come or not. Imagine: She is about 10 feet away from me. I am asking her a question. SHe does not answer. I should have left it alone, simply because my kids were there -- but I didn't want to have to walk to the bus if I didn't have to... so I was just asking if it had already come... and she ignored me. Absolutely and totally.
At the bus stop all the kids play together. Tag. Hide and Seek. Except for her daughter. She keeps her close to her. THe other day, it was raining & she just said "The other kids will get sick, you stay with me under the umbrella..." the little girl looks out at the other kids & just watches them all have fun.
One time X brought the kids to the bus stop & he called me. He could not believe this woman. She came up to him: "I hear you're getting remarried. YOur old marriage was so bad you have to get married again so quickly?" He responded that his other marriage was not SO bad & that we have been apart about 4 years... He was freaked out. He quickly moved away from her.
Other times, when she used to talk to me, she would express how worried she was that she would lose her job - because she had to bring her daughter to the bus stop. And how horrible it would be if she lost her job. And how horribly difficult it is to get ready in the morning & get herself out to work. ALl on her own. (And yes, oh how I want to say: "but you only have ONE! I have TWO! And somehow I manage.." but I know that would not really help at all.) But imagine her daughter being there? Hearing all this? Hearing what a horrible burden she is, and how her mother might lose her job - because of her?
This morning I, again, bumped into them on the elevator. The kids were with X so I was by myself. I smiled. Mentioned again how we're on the same schedule. She starts muttering... "It's so hard. So hard being a single mom. YOu know how it is. He's so awful. I'd take him to court but it would stress me out so much I'd get a heart attack. I don't want to get a heart attack. YOu're lucky - you have it so good! Can you imagine, her father didn't call her for Valentines Day! What sort of father is that?"
I look over at the girl... my heart breaking that she has to hear all this... "But you had a good day anyhow, didn't you?" I say. Her mother responds: "Of course she did! I'm a good mother!"
But... um... she's not. I've been thinking about this all morning. I think about it a lot, actually. Because if you see physical abuse there is something you can do - somebody to call... but really. What can I do here. This is abuse. The way she is in front of this girl. The things she shares with her.
That poor girl. It just breaks my heart.