Saturday, July 21, 2007

Like a Good Neighbor

My neighbor Trudi is killing her fifteen-year old daughter. Trudi's daughter - whom we'll call Britney - is a chain-smoking, obese girl who is drawn to all the shady neighborhood characters; her boyfriend, equally corpulent, dresses all in black even in 103 degree weather. I don't really have a problem with him, though I don't think Trudi would approve of his visits when she's away from home. My issue is most certainly with Trudi.

The way I see it, Britney is too young to purchase ciggies and mom knows Britney's a smoker, so whether mom purchases Britneys ciggies or not is a moot point. Mom is still complicit in her daughter's dead-woman's float down cancer creek; I can already hear strains of the tell-tale smoker's cough coming from Britney's room.

And, Britney's weight. My goodness! Britney is all of five-foot three and has easily pushed past 200 pounds. All that weight cannot be good for her heart! So, I worry and I ponder and I pick up the phone to dial CPS, but then I stop because is it really my concern? Is it really my business? I am not Britney's mother. I have my own three children to parent and to keep on the straight and narrow. My own three children from whose hands I wrench cookies and replace them with fresh fruit in an effort to stave off the fat. But...still...not my child and not my problem? That's not too accurate an assessment of my feelings, but, nevertheless, aren't my hands tied or at least seriously proscribed by my classification as stranger, instead of as family?


Zuska said...

I think that if it was a CPS-worthy issue, it would be your business. I just don't think that CPS will intervene with a parents' custody and decision-making on account of eating habits (unless, perhaps, she were lacing her daughter's food with bleach).

Not sure if I think that's right or not, though.

PT-LawMom said...

Well the obesity thing is a problem, but as a former morbidly obese person who ate the hell out of veggies and grilled chicken and STILL gained weight, you just can't know for sure why she is that way. But aren't the ciggies more of a problem and the illegal part? Going the CPS route is pretty hard core, but perhaps this mother (and the kid) needs a wake up call?

LawSchoolMom said...

I am more concerned about Britney's chain-smoking habit, but I also feel that CPS is a hardcore route to take.

I'll probably stay out of it, but the whole situation is just so sad to watch. This kid is self-destructing and her mother isn't doing a damn thing about it.

Proto Attorney said...

I try not to judge, but every time I see an obese woman pushing a grocery cart with a couple of fat kids behind her, and her cart is filled with nothing but junk food, it makes me really sad. Good dietary and exercise habits are insanely difficult to keep as an adult (at least in my opinion), I really don't see how it's a good idea to give kids a head start into obesity. And if this girl's doing nothing all summer but sitting around and chain-smoking, I agree, I think her mother has failed her.