Cutting off the grandparents

Background:

Shitboy, my beloved EX, has parents, they live 20 minutes away. They (well, she anyway) stayed fairly close to the kids after he and I split. She even sat for the little one last spring when he was sick so I didnt miss work.

Shitboy hasnt paid a nickle since March, he moved across country to ‘start a new life’ which appears to have nothing to do with his kids. (The courts are searching for him, but I am not holding my breath - he is well hidden)

Despite the fact he was months behind in court ordered support payments, I let him and his girlfriend take the boys for a weekend in early May. He had brought his gf to meet his parents, later they told the kids they were getting married. I was cool with the visit, she was wonderful, I really liked her, we got on just fine. I had prepped the kids so they shought she was great before they even met her - nice of me if I do say so myself!

They took the boys (then ages 4.5 and 9) camping with Mr & Mrs Shitboy.
It was a disaster.
The 9yr old got moody after the first night, and wanted to go to bed for a nap - they wouldnt let him. Saying he wouldnt sleep that night, and they wanted to go to a dance at the campground, so they needed him asleep for the sitter (WTF???) SO they finally called me and brought my oldest home, refusing to give back the youngest till the next day. They were really mean to my 9yr old. Telling him the older he gets the worse he acts, telling him he was ‘banned’ from their campground (they DONT own it!!) and to “take a good look around boy, you will never be back!”

My son was reallly upset. He hadnt seen his dad in 6 months, and then he hears he is getting married - of course he is going to be moody!!!

Anyway, to her credit, Ted said the girlfriend was nice to him, and not mean to him at all. The meanness came from the grandparents.
In essence, they told ted he wasnt wanted, but that his easygoing brother was. Heartbreaking. I tried to get my youngest back at the same time, and they flatly refused. To be honest, I was scared they wouldnt give him back at all.

Fast forward to september. its the 6th, my youngest son’s birthday…

They have not heard a word from either their father, or their grandparents since the weekend in May. Not one word. They miss his birthday.
Three weeks later Mrs Shitboy shows up at my door uninvited, without calling , with a ‘gift’ for Frankie, Shitboys sister (we hate each other, but she has always treated the boys ok) sent a gift for BOTH boys, mrs shitboy did not.
I say ‘gift’ because it was cheap (they have tons of money), unwrapped, 3 weeks late and stunk like cigarette smmoke. They gave him pants and a squirt gun. It was a day or so before October - it was DAMN cold out too, and they gave him a squirtgun???

These people are backward, they still use the n word for black people like they are discussing the weather: “oh its snowing, look there goes a nigger”

Disgusting.

Shitboy has still not contacted the kids, its been almost 7 months. He owes me about $3500 in back child support, so I doubt they will ever hear from him again.

My quandry:

After her impromptu visit, the kids were all messed up. Frankie started to stutter and ask for his father again (hadnt done it in months) Ted was just mad, he is still hurt and cant properly express it.

I dont want her to ruin Christmas. I cringe when the doorbell rings, I yell “Dont answer it!” when the phone rings…
I cant handle the pitiful questions from a 5 year old who misses his Daddy. If she shows up again, I will hear about him for months, Frankie will be all sad and stuff again, Ted will just be angry.

What do I do?
I cant call this woman, I just cant.
I have considered writing a carefully worded note, telling her to refrain from visiting or phoning, but I am torn…
Should I cut them off?
They are not adding anything of value to my kids lives, only pain.

I dont want to piss them off either.
Can I get some feedback?
You guys are good for feedback…

Hi Kelli,

I had a similar dilema with my daughter after the divorce, and I can relate a little. Do you think you can stand having the granparents in your house, and try and control the situation a little? Like, when they use language you don’t approve of just say “I don’t allow that language in my house.” And if they bring up their son, just say “We’d love go get a phone call from him” and then change the topic so that it doesn’t go downhill?

I say this because I woudn’t let the kids go with these people if I were in your shoes, and I’d also hate to just slam the door on them. If they are allowed in, and you set the stage with clear statements of your “house rules” maybe the boys could still see the (temptation to say miserable old non-supportive PIA here) grandparents, but not have the visit be so hard on them.

I know it sounds easier than it is, and I had plenty of stomach clenching and teeth knashing (sp?) over this type of stuff. I wish you & the kids the best.

M

Its so hard to know how to play this hand out…
Mrs Shitboy isnt the one with the language problem, its the MR SShitboy who is the racist…she just allows it (so I guess she is no better really) .

I see the merit in your idea, but when she saw them last, in the doorway(I didnt even invite her in) my youngest talked about his father constantly for days…

Any TV shows about sons & dads set him off too, but not as bad as seeing his dad’s mother.

Ted is polite to her (as he was raised) but then he was angry and frustrated for days after - with no outlet.

I wish they would just stay away forever, but I cant count on it. I had hoped that they (the boys and her) would be close as my own Mom has terminal cancer, and the boys are very close to her. It would be nice if they had a relationship with the other grandmother too.

I think you are right, I shouldnt let them GO anywhere with her, I still dont know if I should let her come over though.
I just dont know.

[evil laugh]

We could blow up Salisbury. :smiley:

[/evil laugh]

<cackle!!!>

Thanks buddy!
I needed that! :smiley:

Kelli, after re-reading your OP, a couple of things stand out, and other thoughts come to mind.

I remember this type of abuse & manipulation. From my own experiences only – they will try and get you to let one boy go with them and then work on creating conflict between the boys. We agree, don’t let either of the boys go with them.

The fact that just a doorway visit bothers the youngest so much really has me worried. What in the world happened back in the spring that just seeing this woman would bring it all back in such a negative way (this is what I am thinking, anyway)? The poor kid!

Until you feel ok with it, I would suggest that you not let her in your house and not go to theirs either. If she shows up you can make excuses (like “we were just leaving to go shopping” or something) or - you may chose to say to her “Your visit upsets my children, I am sorry that I can’t invite you in right now, perhaps another time. Please call first. Goodbye”

Either way you aren’t cutting them out for good, but you are dealing with the problems they are causing you and your family now. What do you think?

And by that I mean, get with what Lost advised you to do kelli.

These are your children, their father has seen fit to abandon them, they are now entirely your responsibility. Since bigotry is an unacceptable role model (as it should be), do not allow the grandparents to have the kids at their house. All visits are either at your house or under your supervision. 'Nuff said.

As to your scum sucking ex, you may wish to get caller ID. Tell the grandparents that they will only be allowed to see the children once you have received a call from the ex. You can only hope that since he is stupid enough to be an absentee father, he will also be stupid enough to call you from his new address. At the least, you will find out what state and city he is in to narrow down your search.

Armed with the phone number you may be able to sic the courts on him. You want to do this in the near future so that you have a crack at his tax return. Many states will now withold the tax returns of men who are in arrears with their child support.

See about a big brother program for your two boys. A good male role model will do wonders for your kids. It sickens me to think of them having to wonder why their own dad does not want to see them. You seem to have a good heart kelli. Do what you think is right and don’t torture yourself about the details.

If the kids’ grandparents are so very well off, you may wish to consider asking them to take responsibility for their son’s lack of monetary support. This is a long shot, but the quality of life for your kids is at stake. Just a thought, but nothing to start a war over.

Do you need to have anybody check the Saskatchewan Phone books :wink:
Keith

Lost:

Frankie gets upset because she reminds him of his dad. We went through hell a year ago when Frankie had rto get used to the fact that the dad he saw every week was gone for months at a time. He saw them in Nov 99, and May 2000… I dont htink they would ever do anything to hurt him, he is a real peach to have around, and needs little or no correction to his ehavior, they were nice to him, I have no doubt. He just associates her with my ex.

Zenster:

I like your style!

My province is waiting for him to fle income tax etc, and if he ever does, we will get him, but in reality, I have written him and his support $$ off. It is easy to dissappear when you want to.
What I DONT understand is why he bothered to see the kids in May at all? Was he trying to show what a good aDad he was to the new gf? I dont know. She doesnt seem the type who would let him get away with NOT paying, so I figure he is lying to her about it - she was just so darn nice!! I even got her a gift for the boys to give her when they went back out west. (you could tell she was expecting me to be a wicked evil bitch :wink: )

Odie:
Thanks anyhoo sweetie, he was last in Alberta. His gf gave me the phone number, and I have passed it along to the authorities.
Back to my question:
Should I write he a letter telling her not to come, or handle it if/when she shows up/calls?

Thanks guys :slight_smile:

Kelli

I am glad to hear this! :slight_smile:

Well, my 2 cents on what to do now: I would send the letter, but only state that you want them to stay away for a certain length of time, or that they must always call first and not just drop in, because it disrupts your home. What I am trying to say (as well as I can :D) is that I don’t think you should cut them off forever, but that you should tell them what your rules for visitation are, even if it is no visitation for a while. I am trying to think of a solution that gives you peace of mind, so you can answer the door/phone without wondering if you are suddenly going to have to deal with someone upsetting your kids, or having a suddent confrontation. I personally hate that feeling! So, that’s my advice.

Also, I would ditto Zenster’s suggestion of Big Brothers if you have this program or a similar one in Canada. I think it is a good program for kids.

No matter what you decide, I support you because you are trying to protect your children, and that is #1.
M

Grandma and grandpa (and I use the terms loosely) don’t see their grandkids from May to September, then one quick visit with a crappy gift.

Sounds like these people don’t want to be involved with the grandkids. (Good thing, huh.)

You’ll probably have another quick visit around Christmas.

I’d let her come. Have an excuse ready so she can’t stay. Be prepared to immediately counter her visit with something that will put her out of the kids’ minds. Like driving around looking at Christmas lights. McDonald’s. Something to counteract her bad effect. Grandma was the spinach, but you have dessert all ready for 'em.

From what you’ve said (or from what I’ve inferred), if you write or call her and tell her you don’t want her around, for whatever reason, she might think “well, I’ll show her!” and try to see the kids just to spite you. Or try to see them just to be nice, and work on the relationship. You don’t want this woman’s good intentions any more than the bad ones.

Think of her as a troll. Momentarily upsetting maybe, but if she’s ignored, she might go away without doing any more damage.

Well, it’s been said that “it takes a village to raise a child,” and to a certain extent, I agree with it. Grandparents should play a very important role in a childs life. At the same time however, that role is influencial, and certain influences we can live without. Tough spot.

If it were me, I’d make my concerns and parental laws perfectly clear to both gramma and grampa. If they can’t show respect for your position as parent, then they’ve effectively solved your dilema. It would be sad for all concerned, but better than the alternative.

I’d also ask them about chipping in on behalf of their son, but in a light hearted manner, mostly for fun… you know… (cause I’m a neurotic, conflict-avoiding shit-disturber)

I’m shaking my head in disbelief at your exs actions. I’ve had to fight tooth and nail for almost a decade now for the right to remain my Sons Dad. What a screwed up world.

dewt

Oh boy, does THIS bring back the memories, all of them BAD!!

Kelli, you could be describing my unhusband’s mother [or stepmother, since his birth mother died when he was five] When Duane decided he didn’t want me or his kids anymore, that is six years ago now, it was rather ‘coincidental’ that HIS mother had recently dumped him after he wouldn’t and couldn’t get me to apologize for how poorly she had treated DJ and Billy at a family reunion because WE were late and had ‘embarrassed her in front of family’ and I had made my feelings for her actions quite clear.

I came from a dysfunctional home and felt that Duane’s family was all my kids had, until THAT summer, when I saw they were doing more harm than good. I just started cracking down in small ways first.

She was a bigot and while she still referred to black people as ‘GREEN’, she did quit using the ‘n’ word. When she buys gifts [she’s loaded too, isn’t that weird??] it’s ALWAYS with strings, ‘remember when I got you the… you can’t do THIS for me???’ The very next time she did it, I gave the gift back that was mentioned, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I thought this was a GIFT.’

Of course, none of the cracking down was enough, she still rejected Billy [the younger, since he was more sickly, I think ] and neither son was allowed to be with her without me there, and then finally that stopped too.

All of these were just steps towards the final end, she stopped speaking to us, and when it finally happened, I grieved for awhile that the boys had no grandparents until DJ [oldest son] said to me, ‘you know mom, I think it’s better to have none that have THEM.’ And Billy was nodding. They were ready to let it all go, and it had been ME holding on, for ‘their sakes’.

Your sons have to come first, this is their childhood that can’t be recovered when there is more time. I’d write to her first, [keep a copy] site examples of the reasons for your departure, and then leave the door open for her, ‘if you ever receive help, then give me a call, but till then, this situation isn’t healthy for any of us.’

Let us know how it goes, okay???

Judy

Thanks everyone for your perspective on this.

Aunti Pam hit it right square on the head though. I cant beleive I didnt come up with that on my own! Those people are very passive agressive types - if I say to stay away…they are just the type to try for visitation or god knows what!

Better to have an escape route and be ready if/when she shows. It will be something fabulous so they will forget about it faster. They will someday lose interest all together.

I think with they way they are, and the way the kids are, this is the only way to go. Thanks so much! :slight_smile:

I wonder if shitboy will blow off xmas like he did Frankie’s birthday? If he does get them something, it will be expensive (bastard) bought with the child support he owes me!

<happy place, go to your happy place>

You have no idea how good this makes me feel.

But if it doesn’t work, forget where you heard it, okay? :slight_smile:

Count me in on the AuntiePam cheering squad.

child rearing is a tough job, tougher still alone, tougher even more with any idiots around (and there never seem to be a shortage of them).

I’ve gone through similar stuff with my son, his dad & family (though most of the idiocy comes from my son’s father and my father).

When stuff would happen that would weaken my son’s self esteem (like what you described), I would take him in for counseling, also made sure he got loads of other people telling him not only what a neat person he was, but specifics about it.

We’ve gone through some rocky roads (like his father saying, in front of 6 year old Ben when I told him I was taking a vacation “Oh, good, that means I won’t have to have Ben for the next couple of visits”), but at this point (Ben’s 16 now), he’s got a semi decent relationship with his dad- knowing that his dad cares about him as best as he can. Can’t change his dad. can only help him cope with how he is. and so, about a year ago when his dad said “the reason I’m not calling you as much is 'cause it’s long distance and I’m trying to only make the important calls”, Ben knew what he meant and actually chuckled about how it was phrased (“gee, he could hardly have made it sound worse, could he?”).

Best of luck to you. (and I’ll give you for free some of the advice I paid for - if your child does some serious acting out with you, yelling at you etc. - it’s a ** good** sign - that they feel safe enough with you and your relationship to act out)

First off, I want to say your obvious devotion and warmth as a Mother touches me.

Secondly, I live in Alberta and I work for some powerful Lawyers (my boss was once pres. of the Bar Assc.) So if there is anything you need help with… I am more than willing to help you. :slight_smile:

…SR