Irreverent Mama

Monday, August 14, 2006

They did go back. I'm not sure why, frankly, but they did.

The oldest has been living there this summer. The other two spend most weekends there. (For those of you who have dived in from the ether somewhere, "they" are my three kids and "there" is their dad's house.)

The weekend after their disappointment, they went back. When it comes to conflicts with their father, as far as is humanly possible, I don't interfere. If they come to me for input, if they ask me questions, I try very hard to do the counsellor thing, and help them, through listening and open-ended questions, to discover what it is they want to do. I try very hard not to say "I think you should..." I am not objective. I simply can't be sure that my input won't be shaded by my loathing for the man - the man who is, after all, their father, and who has contributed half their DNA. Sneer at him, and I'm deriding part of them. A mother has to be careful.

So back they go the following Saturday morning. Saturday night/Sunday morning, just shy of 1 a.m., I am woken by a pounding on my door. The girls are on the front step. Becca has left dad's house. "I'm never going back!" she declares.

What happened? Something relatively mild, really, and yet not so insignificant. Despite his promises of "family time" made only two weeks prior, dad spent Saturday with his girlfriend, returning with her shortly after midnight. They'd been to a party, and were drunk. Loud, too, enough to wake Becca, who was sleeping. She came out to the landing as asked them to tone it down.

"Go to sleep!" her dad barks.
"I was asleeep. You woke me up."
"Go to sleep!"

She figured she did go to sleep, because a little while later, she was woken again, this time by the sounds of loud and boisterous sex coming through the wall which adjoins her bedroom to her dad's. She was livid, absolutely sure that this was her dad's way of giving her the finger, letting her know she didn't get to tell him what to do in his house.

She pulled on her jeans, grabbed her purse with her cell phone, and left the house. Tried to call me, but I didn't have the phone in my room and didn't hear her call. That was okay, though, because big sister Zoe was bringing brother Daniel home from a friend's house. She waited in the drive a few minutes till they appeared, and prevailed upon big sister to drive her to my house. Zoe didn't know what had happened, really, until the next morning. (Brother opted to stay at dad's because he had a friend coming over the next morning to take him to his family's cottage.)

The girls spend the day with me. Zoe went back at dinner that night. She told dad that Becca was at my place, that she'd been very upset by what happened last night and had asked to be taken to mom's.

Dad's response? Did he ask any questions? Did he want to know why she was upset? (I suspect he may have been too drunk to remember.) Did he, oh perchance, offer an apology? None of the above. "I've just about had it with the lot of you!" he bellowed, turned on his heel and stormed out with the girlfriend. Girlfriend called apologies over her shoulder.

Summary so far:

One child living with me. Dad furious. Oldest child still living with dad. Son still going between houses.

Next installment: explosion number two, this time with police!

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  • It's pretty bad when your children have to be the "adult" in their relationship with their dad.

    Your ex is an idiot. But you probably already know that. lol

    Last month I finally told the girls (15 and 17) their Dad didn't pay child support regularly/on time. I had been keeping that fact from them all these years. I got tired of them thinking I was a financial planning loser. lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:15 a.m.  

  • What a difficult situation for you, and your children.

    I applaud you for keeping your advice to yourself, as you say. That must be very difficult.

    By Anonymous Naomi, at 7:32 a.m.  

  • My kids are boy 16 girl 15 . It is very sad this situation you write about, i think a good thing of blogs you can write , and have response maybe that will help or a least distract a bit.
    I hope I make myself clear ( I am dutch)

    By Blogger afotografia, at 9:49 a.m.  

  • It wasn't until I had my son that I realized I was done trying to win my father's approval. I don't know what it was; maybe I had to spend so much energy on my child that I just stopped caring what he thought of me? Whatever the reasoning behind it, ever since I stopped tying my self-worth to his opinion of me, my life has been better.

    By Blogger Candace, at 11:20 a.m.  

  • Ugh, how completely rude and selfish. If I were her, I would have walked in and poured a pitcher of cold water over them.

    By Blogger kittenpie, at 9:34 p.m.  

  • Wow...
    Can not even remotely imagine how you stay composed for the kids...
    I am like an irrational Mama Bear with her cub...
    You are a very strong, smart level headed woman... That is exactly what your kids need in this time of...?need?
    What a bloody asshole he is...

    By Blogger Pendullum, at 3:03 p.m.  

  • Absolutely incredible. He is displaying himself as more of a child than the children. Your ability to let them come to conclusions themselves is admirable...but sheesh, your tongue must be bleeding from biting it!

    By Blogger crazymumma, at 12:45 a.m.  

  • anonymous: The oldest has already told him that she's sick of being the grown-up. I've worked hard to get myself into the position where I don't *need* the child support to make ends meet every month. Still, I feel it when it doesn't arrive!

    The kids have pretty much figured out for themselves that dad's not reliable with the money. They see the way he keeps getting notices from utilities companies, etc., etc.

    naomi - Yup. I've learned through experience, though. There was a time when I involved my eldest too much, but I realised in time that it just wasn't fair to her. But is it difficult sometimes? Oh, yes!

    afotografia - Blogs are a good way to sort out what you're thinking. It's also nice to imagine a sympathetic audience. Yes, you were perfectly clear!

    kittenpie - I'm sure she was tempted, but I'm also sure that hearing them was quite bad enough - she wouldn't want the visuals!! LOL

    pendullum - that's just the thing, though. Mama Bear has to protect her kids. Much as I might want to just blurt it all out, that would be good for me, but bad for them. So I protect them by reining in my words. Not that it's always easy, but I've had over ten years to practice!

    AC - mah tung ith dithtink-lee thore theeth dayth, for thure... :P

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 4:58 p.m.  

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