7.6 Wilson Case Study – Part 3

Wilson Case Study

12. Gloria was given her notice the following week citing a change in direction for their child-care arrangements for the family. Gloria was devastated and threw up for an entire day when she thought about Maya and how her life would be with Elizabeth, who barely had a relationship with her and Ryan, who was never home.

13. She also thought that Maya would not learn Tagalog, a common language spoken in the Philippines. Gloria’s last day was supposed to be Friday although Elizabeth didn’t go to work and told her she could leave in the morning. Elizabeth wouldn’t even let Gloria hug Maya goodbye. It was truly one of the worst days of Gloria’s life. Gloria had arranged to sleep on her cousin’s couch until she found another nanny job.

Baby from Mindanao, Philippines
Photo by Zeke Tucker on Unsplash


14. Ryan took a week’s vacation to look after Maya and told Elizabeth she needed to take the following week off if they didn’t get a nanny by then. She said she couldn’t possibly take a week off as she was preparing for a trial, and jury selection was starting at the end of this week and would go into the following week. “Well, we are in this together, so we better figure something out because Maya needs a nanny, and I can’t be off work longer than a week,” he said curtly. Will called the agency that recommended Gloria, who gave him the “fifth degree” about why they let Gloria go and needed another nanny. They explained that their reputation was paramount in recommending top-quality nannies. If Gloria was a problem, they needed to know about it so they could remove her from their list of recommended caregivers or even warn people about her. Ryan said there was a problem and would not recommend her again. When they wanted specifics, he could not give them and changed his mind saying it was more of a personality fit. It was not a good phone call, and he was agitated when it ended. Maya woke up from her nap crying, and he said to her, “great, this is a bloody nightmare, Maya.” “Here we are, just you and me, and I really don’t know what the hell I am doing.” “I just may have blown an opportunity for your next nanny, and I don’t have time to look after you.” He decided to go to the YMCA gym, where they have child-care. He worked out for an hour and a half, then sat in the steam room for twenty minutes and finally showered and dressed, returning to pick Maya up after a total of two and a half hours. He felt great, although starving. Maya was crying when he picked her up, a great way to wreck a great morning. The child-care staff were not happy. They said that he was gone much longer than he initially said he would be, and he did not leave any food for Maya. He said he didn’t realize that it was that big of a deal because they are there and not going anywhere and asked, “don’t you have backup food?” Maya cried most of the way home until she fell asleep. He quietly carried her in, and when he put her down in her bed, she woke up and started crying again. “Oh, for Christ’s sake, Maya.” Ryan brought Maya downstairs and put her in the high chair, and gave her cut-up cheese and organic fishy crackers, and cut-up grapes. He got online to the local grocery store and started a grocery order. “Screw Elizabeth he mumbled.” He ordered 24 jars of organic baby food. This included stews, vegetables, fruits, and blended fruits. He also ordered a bunch of organic baby snacks like little cereal circles, more organic fishy crackers, and baby oatmeal. If he was going to be feeding her, he didn’t need the added pressure of making food. He also ordered brown eggs, rye bread and 4 premade salads, cooked schnitzel, and roasted chicken breasts. He checked out with express delivery. It should arrive in two to three hours. His stomach was already rumbling. “Now that’s how it’s done,” he said proudly to himself.

15. Elizabeth arrived home at 8:30 pm. There were dishes all over the kitchen, with groceries still to put away, toys on the floor and a general mess in the house. “Geez Elizabeth, couldn’t you get home to at least say goodnight to Maya?” Elizabeth responded with, “what the hell went on here, what a bloody mess!” “Are you kidding me?” Ryan responded. “Do you even know how hard it is to look after a baby and run a house?” “Oh, that is a dig, isn’t it? You think I don’t know” says Elizabeth. “F–k you, Ryan, just F—k you,” Elizabeth says as she leaves the room and goes upstairs. She looks in on Maya from the bedroom door. Maya is sleeping soundly. Elizabeth has a shower and puts on a pair of leggings and cropped sweatshirt she bought at lunch. When she goes downstairs, Ryan is cleaning the kitchen with the living room already clean, and most of the toys are in the toy box or in the corner. Elizabeth says, “I am sorry about that. It’s just been a long day, and I already feel guilty that I didn’t make it home without you adding to it.”  Elizabeth walks over to the fridge and opens it, and then looks at Ryan.  “What did you buy all this for?  You know I don’t want Maya to eat this junk.”  Ryan said, “I know, but it’s organic, and I can’t make it all, and you can’t.”  “What do you mean I can’t? Of course, I CAN. I just don’t have the time right now. We need to hire someone to make it.  I don’t want Maya eating processed packaged food. You know that’s important to me. It’s like you are going against me all the time.”  “Yeah, well, it’s like you don’t even love her” Ryan says as he walks out of the room, now fed up with this whole evening.

16. The following week, Elizabeth took Maya to Childscapes Early Learning Academy. She gave the school a donation of $10,000 towards their fundraising campaign, and this somehow secured her an immediate spot for Maya. She boasted to Ryan, “money talks and always will.” The arrangement was that either she or Ryan would drop Maya off as early as 7 a.m. but she needed to be picked up by 6 p.m. So, Elizabeth arranged for Childride to pick up Maya at 6 p.m. and take her to Mrs. Delaney’s home on Temerest Blvd., about fifteen minutes north of where they live. She was recommended by a friend at work. She looks after kids in the evening.  She just needed to stay on top of when Childride was to drop Maya off at home or at Mrs. Delaney’s home. She booked a cleaner from a company; however, they were a ridiculous price of $250 per hour. She wanted to find a cleaner who could come in daily and clean up, buy groceries, make some food, pick up dry cleaning and, if possible, meet Maya after child-care. This was proving harder to find than she realized. Her trial was heating up, and she didn’t need the distraction of organizing everything for one damn difficult kid.

17. Ryan and Elizabeth fall into bed exhausted. Both of their jobs are demanding and now the added running around with Maya’s schedule and staying on top of it is adding another element to their lives. They both laugh at how their life has changed, but they seem to be managing things. Maya is going to be one in three weeks!  Ryan decides this might be a good time to tell Elizabeth about adopting a boy. She’s in a good mood. He got the call three days ago from the adoption agency that they will have boy in about four months. He hasn’t been able to think of anything else since. “Elizabeth,” he sings in a low voice. “No, I’m not into it.” “No, I am not asking for sex, I just have something I want to talk to you about. “What?” she says, rolling over to face him. “Now, promise me you won’t blow up.  Just hear me out,” he says. “What’s going on?” she asks. “Promise?” asks Ryan. “Ok, I promise,” Elizabeth replies. “I have been thinking about how much I love Maya and having a child in our lives that I want us to consider,” he pauses, “another one.” She rolls on her back, looking at the ceiling. “Wait, just wait, he says. I talked to the adoption agency and they have a boy we can have, he says excitedly, now on his elbows, looking into her face. We would have a perfect family. Think about it. We have a little Elizabeth, and then we would have a little Ryan.”

18. Elizabeth slowly rises and slides out of bed.  “What are you doing?” Ryan asks. “Not reacting,” Elizabeth says. “No, no, say something. Tell me what you think. At least give me something. I have been thinking of nothing else for the last few days,” says Ryan. Elizabeth asks carefully, “You have known about this for a few days?” “Yes, replies Ryan, I got the call three days ago. Just tell me this, have you been talking to the adoption agency and working with them to get another baby, like a boy this time?” Ryan says, “well, not exactly like that.” Elizabeth speaks louder, “like what, Ryan! Like what?!” He starts to say “well, um, well, just to”  and Elizabeth interrupts and starts yelling, “you know how f**king hard this has been on me? Maya has been a f–king nightmare, and you do nothing. This is the first f–king week you have taken off.” Elizabeth is rolling now, she is shouting all manner of things at Ryan, calling him names, swearing, pointing her finger. Spit is coming out of her mouth as she is shouting. He doesn’t feel like he even knows her.  They both hear Maya crying now. Elizabeth storms out of the bedroom. She didn’t come back, and she didn’t stop to settle Maya. Ryan lays there thinking about what to do, listening to Maya cry. He rolled over and opened his bedside drawer, and opened a small package of earplugs.  Once firmly in his ears, he settled himself and tried to fall asleep. Maya kept crying. About fifteen or twenty minutes later, Ryan got up to check in on Maya, who was still crying and had worked herself up. He had hoped she would exhaust herself and fall asleep again. As he walked to Maya’s room, he felt annoyed that Elizabeth had not sorted her out. Women know how to do this better than he did, and she knew that. When he walked into the room, he said, “really Maya… calm down!  Your mother is a piece of work. He walked over to the crib and picked Maya up. She had soaked through her diaper and sleep suit. Oh great, thanks a lot, Maya. He was not impressed. He was tired now and just wanted her to go to sleep. He had to turn the light on to find all the things to take care of this. After changing Maya and re-dressing her she was wide awake. It took forty minutes before he could get her completely settled again. Ryan did not sleep well.

19. They did not talk while getting ready for work. Ryan dropped Maya off a Childscapes Early Learning Academy and ended up talking to one of the ECE’s about the fight he and Elizabeth had.  It just came out and it helped him get some perspective. He talked about the escalating fights, nanny situation and how Elizabeth was so angry at him and didn’t help Maya when she was crying after the fight.  She suggested counselling which he hadn’t considered but thought it was worth a try.  Later that evening when Ryan came home from work, Elizabeth was sitting in the living room having a glass of wine.  “Where’s Maya?” he asked. “I left her at Mrs. Delany’s for the night so we don’t have to drive her in the morning. Besides, I need a break.” As much as that pissed him off, it was probably a good thing because they needed to talk. He sat down with her and apologized for suggesting another adoption. She looked at him, saying nothing.  He then said I think we should get some counselling. Things are just not going well, and I don’t want to ruin what we have. Elizabeth replied, I am not going to some bloody counsellor and spilling my guts. I don’t need counselling. Never! What I need is a husband who has my back.

20. Elizabeth got up and walked out of the room. About ten minutes later she called from the front hall, “I’m going to yoga.” “Hey, wait a minute,” Ryan called after her, “we’re not finished here.” But they were finished, as the front door closed shut.



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Child Maltreatment: An Introductory Guide With Case Studies Copyright © 2023 by Susan Loosley and Jen Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book