I fear that I can blog no more, for there is no way to top the information divulged in my last post. That was the pinnacle of my comedy career (and, technically, I didn’t even have to write the funny part!). I should just stop now, because what would be a logical follow-on to that??
Oh, except maybe selected excerpts from his entire profile? Yeah, that might be good. Also the part where his lower age bracket for women is thirteen years younger than himself (ikky! ikky!), but still, no. I’ve had my fun at his expense.
What I will share is this: there’s a very good reason why I was content to lash out at him, yesterday, and enjoy stirring up a few laughs at his expense. Nay, as long as I’m going to do this, I’ll do it right. There is a reason, probably not even a good one. My willingness to post what I did was a direct result of huge amounts of frustration and anger.
I have often spoken of how my ex bridles at the slightest hint that he is anything less than a stellar father 110% of the time. To hear him tell it, he’s raising these kids single-handedly, rather than swooping in a couple of times a week to feed them chocolate chip pancakes for dinner. That’s annoying. But I’m used to that. What is infuriating to me is how–in crisis times when I really could use some assistance–it is always all about him and never about the kids. So, when I really need some support? I invariably find myself faced with an additional fire to put out, rather than anything akin to helpfulness.
Last night when the ex called to talk to the kids, I got on the phone with him to explain what had happened with Chickadee. I pointed out that this was the second time in less than a month that she had pretended to be sick to get out of school. I was asking for input on whom to call first, her teacher or her therapist, when he heard her wailing in the background.
Ex: Why is she crying? Is she okay?
Me: She’s fine. She’s crying because I told her we’re not going to Family Information Night, because she’s “sick” and needs to go to bed early.
Ex: Family Information Night? What’s that? Why wasn’t I informed??
Me: Ummm, it’s kind of like a fair, with stuff for the kids, and then booths for the parents about the PTA and stuff.
Ex: You should have let me know! What if I wanted to participate? You’re supposed to keep me informed!
Me: Um, Ex? It’s Wednesday night. Don’t you work late on Wednesdays? Would you have been able to come to this?
Ex: No, but that’s not the point–
Me: And do you have a deep interest in the Junior League, the Newcomer’s Club, or Scouts?
Ex: The point is that I am supposed to have the option to participate in everything!
Me: No, the point is that none of us are going and you are making a big deal out of nothing.
He then asked to speak to his children. No further input on how to handle this brewing situation with Chickadee was given.
Welcome to divorced parenting. I’ll be your host. As the custodial parent, you can expect to tend to all the crap that is part and parcel of child-rearing, be the enforcer, the day-to-day provider, and the magical solver of all problems, while your ex-spouse complains about missing face time at a school event he never would’ve given a second thought to while you were still married.
Allow me a moment to indulge my petulant inner child: It’s not fair.
Last night, I lay down in bed with Chickadee and tried to pry from her anything that might be bothering her. I told her I love her, over and over (she needs so much reassurance these days), but that it’s not okay to pretend to be sick to get out of school. I told her she can tell me anything but we have to be truthful with one another to get problems fixed. Today, I play phone tag with the teacher and the therapist. I chat with a friend who also has a high-maintenance child and compare notes. The teacher calls and has no idea what the problem might be, but for not the first time I wonder if this very old-school teacher is a good match for my very complicated daughter. My heart is heavy with the knowledge that my child is crying out for help that I don’t know how to give.
Last night, the ex got off the phone with me and called his mother to complain about me. Can you believe how she just leaves me out of these things, he probably said. Who does she think she is! I’m a very involved father! This morning, he went to work with donuts on his mind. Tra la la.
It’s not fair.