Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Legend of Bat Girl

If you are new to my blog you may not be familiar yet with my oldest daughter Biggest who was a problem teenager.  It took some time but we have reached the point where we can look back at some of those times and find the humor in them. I wouldn't have believed that then, but feel very blessed that it is true.

The one thing Biggest never managed to do was get arrested. Even at her worst she never resorted to actually being a criminal though she was sometimes in situations that brought her in to contact with the police. She did however have a special relationship with the local police department. My town is about 3 square miles so this is a small force. Because of the way we are set up there are actually 4 different towns and police departments within a 4 mile radius and she had run ins with all of them but this story concerns our towns officers.

Halfway through ninth grade we took Biggest out of school in an attempt to separate her from the people she had fallen in with. After a short unsuccessful stint at a small private school I began to home school her.

One morning I woke to "one of those days". Both the little girls had become sick over night and were stuffed up and running fevers. I had enough Motrin left for one dose. I had to head to the store but it was kind of nice because Biggest was going on 15 and I could leave the girls with her for a few minutes instead of dragging them out sick. I was gone a total of about 15 minutes at most.

As I pulled in to the driveway I noticed that all three girls were on the front porch in their pajamas. I immediately was annoyed, what were they doing outside? I got out of the car to see 5 year old Littlest holding a stick of bamboo, 7 year old Middlest clutching a mop handle and Biggest resplendent in pink plaid pajamas with her unbrushed hair flowing wildly, a look of pure murder in her eyes, wielding a baseball bat...and a steak knife. My eyes fell to the driveway and the twisted carcass of a fallen and bludgeoned purple bike.

What was going on here!

  Bike thieves. They picked the wrong seemingly empty house on the wrong morning. She saw them sneak on to the back porch from the windows. They had been surprised by Biggest who chased them from the back yard and halfway down the street with her baseball bat. They were lucky she didn't catch up. She had a lethal swing. Biggest explained that they had gotten away with my sister in laws bike that was parked out front but had abandoned one of their bikes in the hurry to escape her. She informed me that she had killed it. The tires were suffering from multiple stab wounds so that if they tried to come back for it they couldn't get away fast. She had her army on the porch waiting to launch an offensive. Her eyes were narrowed and her nostrils flared. She may have been hanging out with a bad crowd but how dare another bad bunch come to her home and attempt to steal. I could only imagine the look on the boys faces when this unexpected vision came blowing out the door headed in their direction.

I called the police and  proceeded to lecture Biggest about bringing her sisters outside much less going out herself in that situation. She informed me they were just middle school aged kids, 12 or 13 and she could have took them all out. An officer came and I told the story from my end and then he questioned Biggest. "You chased them with a bat, he asked?" I thought I saw the corners of his mouth turn up. She told him everything and led him to the abandoned bike. "It's probably stolen too" he told us. "I'll take it and see if it's been reported." As he lifted it up to roll away he said "the tires are flat".  Biggest explained how she had attacked the tires with the steak knife to sabotage any rescue attempts. I thought I saw a struggle going on in his face as he took this in and then repeated my warnings about not confronting people. After she went in he actually did smile with an expression of pure admiration and told me "Well, I bet they weren't expecting that. She's a brave girl."

Crazy was what I was thinking but didn't say it, I was kind of tickled at her too.

It was some time later I realized that I had given birth to a Local Legend.

The first time Biggest ran away my husband went to the station to report it.  The officer who had come about the bikes began to take the report. He looked at the address and asked my husband, "This isn't Bat Girl is it?" My husband was confused for a minute and the policeman explained, "the one who chased the bike thieves with the bat."  He told him yes. My husband said he seemed very disappointed and told him that was a shame.

Over the next few years things with Biggest deteriorated and more than once we needed the assistance of the police. One time after she had disappeared for a few days she called to say she had a place to stay and was coming by for some things we wouldn't be a problem right? Because she wasn't going to stay. "Yeah. Right. Come on honey and just get your stuff that would be fine."  In this case it was the "mother" of a "friend" who had been harboring her. While she waited out side for My Child my husband went out and told her Biggest would not be going anywhere, please leave or he would contact the police. She was drunk and started screaming and cussing him and then tried to run him over with her car.  After she took off,  Biggest started having a fit and we called the cops anyway to report the whole situation. When one arrived he told my husband there wasn't much they could do but he would talk to her. As they walked in the room where she sat he paused for a minute and whispered something to my husband and my husband answered "yes". The policeman talked to her, telling her she was a lucky girl to have a nice home and a family that cared about her but it fell on deaf ears at that time.

Afterwards I asked what he had whispered. My husband answered, " he was asking how old she was and then he asked "Is it Bat Girl?"

Then there was the night I have written about before that was very bad. It was 2 A.M. She was extremely impaired, had physically attacked her father and was threatening to kill herself and us. We needed to call them in for an emergency Baker Act. When they arrived Bat Girl had disappeared. She got out the door and we weren't sure where she went but she wasn't capable of getting far. They began searching our property and then called my husband to "look at this" trying to stifle their mirth. Bat Girl may be able to navigate in total darkness while mere humans need light but as she crouched hidden deep in the trees she had forgotten something. A tiny red beacon flashed in the underbrush to point the way. She was smoking a cigarette. Bat Girl was Busted. One warned the other they were dealing with Bat Girl, be ready. She proceeded to fight them and make things as difficult as possible but her kicking and screaming and calling them names didn't thwart them. They knew Bat Girl was tough and they had sent two who were tougher, and very kind to her as well. I think even they were surprised though at how bad she looked at that time.
From time to time if they saw my husband out somewhere they would ask how she was doing.

In time things had calmed down considerably and the last time Bat Girl put in a public appearance was when she was 17 and we got a call at 11:30 PM that she had been with a group who had gone to a strip club for someones 21st birthday and the guys had been involved in a brawl. She was sober, but some of her friends were going to jail,  did we want to just come pick her up? Well sure we did, this was an episode of Little House on the Prairie compared to just a year before. I had to laugh at the idiots who ran the club and had let her in, they were in more trouble than anyone.

Bat Girl grew up and went into semi retirement. I sometimes wonder if the police recognize her. The lovely young woman walking down the street in her work scrubs going to lunch. The very personable and efficient professional with the incredible smile if they happen to be clients at her place of business. She is in disguise and has been laying low but.....

  Bat Girl has a mission in life. To be the savior of all animals. She now lives in her own small bat cave that is a haven for all creatures great and small. An unseen watchful eye on the lookout for speeding and careless drivers on her street. Recently she found an injured squirrel in her yard. It had been shot. There have been sightings lately of a pack of  tween aged boys who  have been seen strutting around, scouring her neighborhood with their BB guns.
Unbeknownst to them, at a sunny little house, beyond a neat and cared for little yard bursting with flowers and greenery, hidden from view on a tiny screen shaded porch hung with cheerful hanging plants...she sits.....
..... quietly..... patiently.... she watches.......and.......she waits.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved


  1. You know that old Chinese curse that goes 'may you live in interesting times'? I guess 'may you have interesting children' is a correlation. Wow. It's pretty cool to have your own legend, though, considering that she came out alive at the other end of it all.

  2. This sounds like, "Bat Girl II: The Sequel"-LOL, I couldn't resist! Thank goodness for time in this case...

  3. Oh, I so enjoyed reading this! :)

    Hope you're having a nice weekend!

  4. Katie: I understand, sometimes all I can say is Oh Dear Lord...

    Bibliomama: I tried everything in my power to make them average or even boring. You may be on to something with the curse....

    Susan: LOL, I love it! You're right: )

    Buckeroomama: Thank you, I hope you're having a nice weekend too: )

  5. Wow that is quite a history of tough times with your daughter. But I guess it is better if you need to be a rebel to do so when you are young and have a loving caring family to fall back on (maybe not so good for you the parents involved!) then turn into the now lovely young woman you describe her now to be, as opposed to growing up and then it all happening. I think those squirrel hunters are in for a hard time sometime soon though :-)

  6. Oh, oh, oh! But you need to spread this story out there to parents going through this right now.

    There is a glimmer of hope, isnt' there?

    Sometimes, that's all we need, for someone to throw us a bone, just give us some thread to hang on to.

    I loved this.

    I'm sorry you went through it, and I'm happy there's a happy ending...but I loved this.

    Thank you.

    I think of the saying, "She would've relaxed more in chapter 3 if she had known everything was going to be alright in chapter 5."

    This was excellent, and you sound like dream parents. You kept your perspective.

    Me? I'd a been hiding under the covers, unable to cope with adult life.

  7. Wow....I see a lot of my Diva in this, even if she IS only 6 still...God bless both of you for making it out the other end, & you gotta admire a girl as tough & strong as your Bat Girl...I always say, my Diva is the one who I will never worry about out there, she will never take any sh** or be a victim, & she will some day take the world by storm...BUT, she WILL be my hardest to raise, of that I have no doubt!

  8. Oh, Man, I totally get this. What I would like to know is, what the he HECK is wrong with a parent who takes in a teenager who says their mom is mean? Its so frustrating. I'm glad you're on the other side.

  9. Man, the adventures of Bat Girl. This is actually a brilliant story of redemption. A rebel turned to the good side. I am glad she made it to the light (I always enjoy her stories, because they remind me of my growing up years with much less aggression). I hope those tweens are shaking in their boots!

  10. Aging Mommy: Yes you are right!The hunters are probably in for a good scare but that's about it!

    Empress: Yes there is Hope!! But dream parents, no. Many times we totally lost it. Been under those covers myself more times than I can count!

    Mayor: She's a toughie on the outside and pure mush on the inside. But yes she can take care of herself and tries to boss everyone else around too!

    Ann: In this case it was a woman who really was seriously messed up herself. But I know what you're talking about. Usually it is the kind who could care less what their kids are doing.

    Angelia: I can't imagine you being mean even during the hugest teen rebellion ever.

    And our Bat Girl might still be a little "batty" but we are very proud of her.

  11. Having raised a 'bat girl' of my own, (except a boy, not a girl) I can really relate to how after a few years you can look back at these times, smile, and see the humor in the crazy situations they get themselves in. Congratulations for making it!

  12. You always have quite the stories and lots of experience!

  13. Wow - Sometimes I think 4 year old's are tough! My little guy is also very strong-willed - I can see him giving us a hard time as well. Good for you and your husband for standing your ground and staying strong & I'm happy Bat Girl turned out to be so lovely. I'm sure it's because you never gave up:)

  14. AMGiB: Bats in our Belfries what else can we do? Congratulations to you too!

    Dalia: I have stories but I still don't really have a clue what I'm doing: )

    Pamela: Sometimes we did have to give up the fight but the trick was to never let go : )

  15. Hey lady, we're celebrating in Crazy Town! Gettin' drunk, stumblin' down the red carpet, pinching cheeks on all the sweet arm candy we picked up for the occassion! SO get your acceptance speech ready & head on over, it's award season again!! :-D

  16. What an incredible story. And so fantastically told. It kind of reminded me of all the things my sister and I put my parents though when we were teenagers. And how I wonder if they had as relaxed and realistic a perspective as you do. I also love the way you weaved in what an awesome adult Bat Girl has become and how sweet and kind she is to animals. You are such an amazing writer, MOTPG. Can you write my life story and make me look as good and heroic one day?

  17. Oh, I hope I still know you when mine are teens... and this reminds me of all of the things I did that my kids will (hopefully) never ever hear about. Even during our heart to hearts, I think there are some things that will be left unsaid. I wonder what details Bat Girl will tell her offspring!

  18. Organic Motherhood with Coolwhip: I'm not really relaxed I'm crazed most of the time. I'm sure even a Pulitzer Prize winner would fall short describing how terrific you are Naomi: )

    Parenting Ad Absurdum: Oh gosh, we will have to pretend she was abducted by Aliens for 4 years. But really, even in pictures it is very obvious that something was really wrong with her, so she will have to be open about some of it. Our bet is she will be the most strict overbearing mother in history or have the most straight laced children on earth because that will drive her nuts.

    For me there is plenty mine haven't heard about. And they never will;)

  19. Oh wow, you've got a lively one over there now don't you.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  20. This is a brilliant post. Bat Girl sure had some times now didn't she. I love that she punctured the bike. I also love that the officers repeatedly called her Bat Girl. Glad she is doing well now!

  21. Redbonegirl97: Rolling in the grass or hiding in the's always something...

    Holly Renee: Thank you Holly, she gave us a time, that's for sure! Now if I can just get her sidekicks through highschool I can retire : )

  22. If there is ever a name to get branded Bat Girl is the best!!! How many grey hairs do you have?!

    How many heart attacks have you had?

    I love her feistyness - she has a lot of character and I am sure she is more mature than her age.


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