Connie explains a recent incident with her granddaughter that shocked and worried her. "When my granddaughter got off the bus, her book bag had a smell permeating from it. I asked her to empty the book bag. Some of the things that fell out were three cartons of milk " so curdled, you could've taken a knife to it. It was just horrid. There was an apple, and the apple had kind of disintegrated and had maggots forming inside," she says.
"There were literally maggots coming out of an apple," says Connie's husband, Mark. "I've never seen anything like that in my life, and I hope that I never do again. Jennifer does not get even any of the basics of parenthood, and it's scary."
"I believe that my daughter drank and did drugs with every pregnancy that she has had," Connie says. "Three years ago, Jennifer wanted to do laundry. She just put some Clorox bleach in a sippy cup. She had been doing drugs and drinking, and she passed out, and my granddaughter, she saw her sippy cup, she picked it up and drank it. The headlines read: â€˜3-Year-Old Drinks Bleach from Sippy Cup.' That's how I got custody of my granddaughter."
[AD]After two-and-a-half years, Jennifer got her daughter back, but with the book bag incident, Connie still worries. "My granddaughter has had staph outbreaks, numerous lice outbreaks, frequently left unsupervised, behavior that is disturbing " I have seen her act out sexually with dolls," she says. "My youngest grandson was born while Jennifer was in rehab. My daughter has left my grandson in the car for 30 minutes " it could've been longer. When there is a toddler in the car with no A/C, and she's not aware that that's wrong, I do not think that Jennifer is capable of providing her children with a safe, healthy environment."
Connie and Mark say they've seen the kids wandering out by themselves, and they have reason to believe that a prostitute babysits them.
Jennifer tells her story: "I have five children. My oldest is 11. He lives with my mom. My 7-year-old lives with me. I have a 5-year-old and 4-year-old, who I gave up for adoption, and I have my 2-year-old. All my children have different fathers," she says. "I think I'm a great mom. My mom has made up lies about me. I have a lot of animosity toward my mom. I don't trust her. My mom did say that my oldest son was sexually abused, and she called DSS. Nothing ever happened. To this day, she still defends it.
[AD]"I gave my mom temporary custody of my oldest son, so that he could go to a better school. To this day, I still believe my mom tricked me. I believe that my mom always wanted him. She would've done anything to get him. If I get into an argument with my mom, and I don't go along with it, I'm afraid that I won't be able to see my son," she says.
Dr. Phil tells Jennifer, "I'm not here to throw you under the bus today. I am here to change some of what you're doing, because I think some of what you're doing doesn't even come close to what you need to be doing as a mother."
Connie explains another reason why she's concerned: Jennifer dropped off her son at their house when she was going on a trip, but only supplied them with one shirt and eight diapers. "It's just constantly not realizing the care that needs to go along with the children. Something could happen," she says.
"What is your theory about why that food was in the backpack to begin with? You think she was hoarding food because there's not any at home?" Dr. Phil asks Connie, about her granddaughter.
"I have a suspicion that it might be because she wanted milk at her home," Connie says. She says the 7-year-old has told her there's no food to eat. When Connie had custody of her, she says they always had plenty to eat and snack on, and she's guessing Jennifer doesn't provide the same.
[AD]Dr. Phil asks Jennifer, "Are you a good mother?"
"I believe I am a good mother, yes," she says. Jennifer agrees that she needs to make some changes. "I don't say I'm a perfect mom; I say I'm a good mom."
"You have five children by five different fathers. And how old are you?" Dr. Phil asks.
"I'm 30," she says.
"Are you making good choices?"
"No!" she says. "Am I trying to do better now? Yes."
Connie is doubtful about the legalities of Jennifer's adoption placements. She explains that Jennifer found a woman who wanted a child and through that woman's attorney, the adoption was filed. "There was no group of parents who applied for this child. It did not happen like that," she says.
Jennifer explains that her next child went to that same family.
"Why do you keep having babies if you're just placing them for adoption?" Dr. Phil asks.
"When I was drinking, I was not careful and didn't use protection like I was supposed to," she says.
"You now have your daughter back with you. Are you negligent with that child?" he asks.
"Your mother says you are."
"I believe my mom would say I was," she says. "Do I believe I'm perfect with my daughter? No. Do I think the book bag incident was nasty and disgusting? Yes."
[AD]"The daughter needs a break, right? This is the daughter who drank bleach from a sippy cup. She's had staph infections, she's had lice infestations, she's had a book bag with maggots and mold. I mean, that doesn't sound to me like you're being an attentive mother. What do you say?"
"I say I'm being the best mom that I can be," Jennifer says.
"But that doesn't mean that that reaches the standard," Dr. Phil says.