Real LifeTwo little boys, 12 months and 3 years, came to the Bay Area Crisis Nursery (BACN). Their mother, fleeing from an abusive partner, came to us in the hopes of relocating and starting anew in a safe environment. She wanted her children to be in a safe place while she worked to secure housing, find work and find daycare for her children
They fled with the clothes on their backs and not much else. The bottle the baby was drinking from looked as if it were filled with soda or some other sugary drink that curdled and looked strange. We found out that the mother's WIC allotment had ended; she had no formula to give him so she put in whatever liquid she had just to keep him quiet
The older boy seemed quite delayed. He didn't talk and didn't seem to understand what was asked of him. The baby vomited after crying repeatedly. The staff and volunteers were all forewarned and a few even brought a backup change of clothing. The baby screamed a high pitched scream for almost 72 hours before we found out that the formula he needed was for babies with delicate stomachs. Fortunately, after talking with his mother we found what formula he needed and saw an almost immediate change in his demeanor. His crying diminished significantly and he was even heard laughing and babbling as he played with the staff happily
It was apparent that time at BACN was very good for the boys. Not only did baby stop continuously screaming, he kept food in his belly and even enjoyed finger foods on his own. His brother began "talking" and was able to communicate his needs. More importantly their mother was able to find housing at a shelter, enroll her children in Head Start and begin rebuilding her life.