Irreverent Mama

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Final installment in this series of four, and largely an anti-climax.

Having moved themselves and their most necessary gear from their dad's house, the girls realize there's a lot more still there. A discussion determines that it would be a very bad idea for me to help them move. Nothing would inflame things between their dad and I, possible for years, like having me show up to move the kids out of his house.

Zoe rents a small moving van. She's twenty, she has a credit card and a driver's license. She rents it for a day when dad is going to be out of town.

Meantime, Daniel has decided that he, too, will move his stuff out. (!)

"There is no point in me going over there," he explains. "I only ever see dad a couple of hours on a weekend. I can see him that much one evening during the week. I don't need to keep moving between houses for a couple of hours a week."

"You'll let daddy know?"

"Uh-huh."

So the day of the U-Haul comes, the kids move their gear, and settle in to my home. I think to ask Daniel about his dad's reaction to his decision to move out, and Daniel says, "I haven't told him yet."

WHAT????

Great. The man - the volatile, already humiliated man - is going to come home from a week away to discover that his son, with whom as far as he is aware, he has had no issues at all -- has moved out! He'll be completely blindsided. If there's anything better designed to ensure I have a raging, storming, violent, irrational man on my doorstep in three days when he returns, I don't know what it is. My adrenaline spikes through the roof.

"Go and email him NOW."

He goes. I don't know where exactly dad is this week but I do know that dad never goes ANYWHERE without his Blackberry.

For three days, the girls and I are back to anxiety mode: jumping when a car slows down in the street, peering out the window when a car door slams. All doors kept locked at all times. The day dad is scheduled to return to town, the anxiety in the house is palpable.

For some reason, Zoe thinks to ask Daniel about his email.

"Oh, dad answered that," he announces. "Said he was disappointed, and he couldn't agree with my decision, but that I'm old enough to make the decision."

Zoe just about fainted on the spot with exasperation. "When did you hear THAT? And you didn't tell us? We've been freaking out for DAYS! Didn't you NOTICE?!?!?"

He got it the day after he sent his message. Some days, I swear, that boy is too like his father. No idea. Not one emotional clue. Sigh...

That was a week and a half ago. All three kids are moved in. And none of them has heard a whisper from their father since.

"Hey, mum!" Zoe crowed yesterday. "I stepped on the scale just now, and I've lost NINE pounds! Yay, stress!" Seems she's recovering nicely. :-)

The End. I hope.
Phew.

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6 Comments:

  • god, I'm so sorry your kids have to go through this and that it must make your life hell too, for the stress. I only hope for you all that the calm lasts a while.

    By Blogger kittenpie, at 2:54 PM  

  • The calm could last for years. This is only the second big to-do we've had since the divorce, over ten years ago. There have been a few minor skirmishes here and there, generally resolved through emails.

    No, I think (touch wood) that the man has fired his last parental torpedo. He's a bully, and, having failed to intimidate them into submission, he has nothing to do but back off and lick his wounds.

    Besides, I am quite sure that this - weekends free of obligation, a life he can live entirely for himself - is pretty much what he's wanted for some time now. Having successfuly driven the kids out, he can enjoy the fruits of his passive-aggressive labours while pretending that he's the victim of uncaring children.

    So, while being superstitiously leery of being too confident, I am in fact fairly confident that this conflict is now over.

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 4:47 PM  

  • What a piece of work. I can't imagine that you're wrong about the passive-aggression -- that's exactly how this reads, that he wants to be alone, so rather than say so (and admit it), he drives them away. Poor, poor, put-upon dad.

    It's at times like these that I especially love being a single mother without a bio father in the picture.

    Here's hoping the quiet continues for years to come.

    By Anonymous Allison, at 12:24 PM  

  • Yup, there's a LOT to be said for being a single mom! I was single during my marriage as far as parenting responsibility went. When I was single in all ways, it got EASIER, not harder, because I wasn't having to work around his financial irresponsibility, nor tiptoe around his bullying ways.

    SOOOooo much better being single than in a bad marriage - for me and for the kids!

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 10:15 PM  

  • Whew, to have to live with that kind of tension....jumping when you hear a car door. I felt jumpy just reading this (my Dad was a screamer of the worst order...)
    I sincerely hope he is calm for as long as possible.

    By Blogger crazymumma, at 1:14 PM  

  • My adrenaline skyrocketed when I read part three, but I didn't realize it until just now. I lived in the house with constant yelling of the magnitude in part three, afraid of having friends over because I never knew when my dad was going to blow.

    I try really, really hard with my kids and sometimes I fail. But I always, ALWAYS catch myself and I apologize and let them know that I'm wrong and that I'm trying to be better.

    My dad never admitted to wrongdoing. It was always as if nothing ever happened. That was the worst.

    By Blogger Candace, at 7:23 PM  

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