For the third time in about three weeks, the Ex has cancelled a visitation with the babies. First time: Due to pick them up at 4:00, calls at 4:10 with “I can’t get the kids. I’m tired.” Second: Pick up for an overnight scheduled at 5:00, calls at 4:50 with “Can’t get them tonight, feeling sick.”
But I’m overly trusting, so when he was scheduled to get them for a couple of hours on Sunday, I thought, well, you know, that he would actually GET THEM FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS. From early morning, Tbone was asking to see his daddy. After Daddy called at noon to say he’d pick them up at 4:00, I felt safe in telling him that Daddy would be here at 4:00. Because Tbone is your typical four-year-old, I repeated this info no less than 25 times during the day.
So, 4:00 rolls around, and Tbone and the Weeping Princess are dressed and ready to go, waiting at the window for Daddy’s car. Except that Daddy doesn’t come. Instead, he calls at 4:30 and leaves a message with my older son that he isn’t coming. WP takes it in stride (she’s only 2 and doesn’t really understand), but Tbone is devastated and cries and cries, and must be taken on a hike by the olderpoets as a distraction.
And that night (and every night since), for the first time in a year and a half, he wants a bottle to take to bed with him.
Ex’s rationale: “I had to work longer than I thought, and I just couldn’t get them.” Whatever the hell THAT means. (I checked, btw, he got off work at 4:00–one hour later than expected.) And besides, he says in an all-too-familiar defensive whine, when he signed Tbone up for swim lessons last year, I wouldn’t take the boy to the Y when he (the Ex) wanted to go drinking with his buddies instead! And besides that, HE was not the one who told Tbone he was coming, I was the one who told him, so looks like I am the one breaking promises, huh?!
Look, bozo. Parents have to PARENT, even when they’re tired or not feeling great or it’s inconvenient. If you PROMISE your kids you’re coming, you gotta do it, even if it’s just for a quick ride to the ice cream parlor. If nothing else, you should’ve talked to him on the phone and explained why you weren’t coming. He’s not even five years old, and he believes his daddy is the best daddy in the world, and I do NOT want to see that belief shattered by your self-centered behavior. This is not about me, this is not about the divorce or anything else that has happened between us, this is just about GOOD PARENTING. It’s high fucking time you got your priorities straight.
And now I have to figure out how to build some kind of schedule into the lives of my children without ever actually PROMISING them that things are going to happen on certain days. That’s a pretty tall order–I don’t want them to be disappointed when Daddy doesn’t come thorugh as scheduled, but neither do I want every day to be a game of not knowing for them–they deserve to have some routine, you know?
And now that I’m done ranting, I will just mention how very happy I am to be away from that man and the constant misery he creates in every environment he enters. Overall, I believe the kids are better off since the breakup, because at least when they’re with me (which is nearly always) they are in a healthy, happy environment with folk who treasure them, and they’re having an opportunity to learn about loving, respectful relationships.
When I get my divorce papers I may have them framed.