This was Seth’s visitation weekend. It began at 1:02am when Seth pocket dialed me from a bar and left a wonderful voicemail which is great timing given that our custody evaluation hasn’t been completed and his frequent hangovers during visitation is one of my ongoing complaints.
We arrived to the local coffee shop on Saturday morning at 11am and temperatures were already soaring. Our local temperatures were predicted to break records (and did). As the girls were walking to Seth’s car, I heard him mention that he was taking them to the beach. Piper immediately said, “We will need sunscreen, dad.” At just 8 years old, she has learned to be the responsible one in the equation. Obviously, I wish that she didn’t have to take a parental role, its just the way it is for the time being.
They drove off in Seth’s car and headed for the beach. I received a call from Seth at 3:40pm asking if we could meet at a different location- one that was obviously more convenient for him. I stated that I wanted to adhere to the court ordered pick up location and he promptly hung up on me. At the end of his visitation, Piper got into my car and proceeded to tear up while explaining that she doesn’t like it when her dad speaks poorly about me to other people. Seth had spent the day at the beach with a local business owner and proceeded to complain about how ridiculous I was when I refused to comply with his orders.
I immediately noticed that Piper’s face appeared to be sunburned. Temperatures had been around 102 degrees at the beach where Seth took them so I assumed that she was merely reacting to the heatwave. Surely he thought to keep them slathered in sunscreen given their fair skin. Later that evening, I proceeded to start the shower for the girls and Sarah mentioned that her back hurt very badly. I was mortified when I pulled up her shirt and saw the burn on her lower back. Her complaint quickly turned to tears and I was up until midnight trying to make her comfortable. Our night consisted of aloe vera, Motrin and many tears. Piper explained that at one point, she noticed that her own arms were red and went to reapply sunscreen on her own. Five hours in 102 degree weather and he never thought to re-apply sunscreen yet an 8-year old took it upon herself to do it. Sadly, Sarah is only six and is still dependent on adults to have enough common sense to use sunscreen.
At midnight, after finally getting Sarah comfortable and on her stomach, I emailed the photos of Sarah’s back to the appropriate people. I also forwarded emails and photos from past visitations (2011 and 2012) where this has been an issue. Sadly, they have been burned multiple times while in his care. This by far is the worst.
* The picture shows her lower back- you can see the color variation from where her little bikini bottoms were.