Well, after I agreed to his original “option #2,” he now wants to swap the entire week end for some time in the future. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for us, as we have plans already. It is also quite disruptive to our schedules, period. So after meditating on it, I replied with a very short email: I’d like to stick to the original offer of swapping Sundays. Sincerely.
What I really wanted to say when re-reading his email (which was full of poor me, I have to pack for a business trip, so I can’t spend time with the girls), was: I am so tired! Of this crap! Of being vigilant of boundaries every single second of the day! Blah! Blah blah blabbity blah! And what really gets my goat is that his mom picks up the slack for everything anyway, whereas on my side it’s me, constantly me, doing every single little thing. (Actually, that’s a wholly different post, one that both shakes my head at the enabling and at the same time accepts the help she offers, because anything she can do to lessen the stress of the schlepping, directly increases the likelihood that he will behave himself and not act like a complete jerk face to the girls.)
But back to the blah blah blabbity blah. There’s been other things afoot—my taking the girls to the school carnival this year due to the fact that he took them two years in a row—was such a huge sacrifice on his part (um….he was at work…the entire time?), that now he is fighting tooth and nail to have the ‘make up’ time be different than the time frame as the fair. Because he works. Really? Who doesn’t work in this co-parenting situation?
Actually, I’m giggling (a bit insanely) right now. It’s so ludicrous. Like here I am reading the headlines (School shooting in Washington State--when will this damn needless violence END already? More Nigerian girls kidnapped and the original #bringbackourgirls are still missing, I am seriously standing at the WTF WTF world station), so I can understand that my problems are just…that. Problems that will be and can be dealt with. It’s a big pain in my a$$, and I get weary, and I get triggered, and when I have to meet a potential new attorney to discuss our case, I’m PTSDing all over the place.
But I have to remember: that it’s going to be okay. Crossing fingers, I have DD1’s PTCs this week and everything will be okay. As long as she is thriving and growing, that’s what matters. His behind the scenes shenanigans do not matter. His grasping at control, does not matter. It’s a sign, actually, that I’ve won. I’m in a better place. He has to grasp at straws, because he can’t grasp at me any longer.
Yesterday, the girls and I came home and hubby was still at work. And like we do every day, we leave cute little messages for each other (yep, go ahead and barf, lol, remember we haven’t yet been married a year!), and DD1 read the note hubby left for me: Darling, I love you with all my heart and you make my life brighter. DD1 said, oh that is so sweet mommy! I love that she is getting exposed to little, random acts of kindness that hubby shows me. And later when he did come home, there was lots of laughing and giggling going on as I was cleaning up and getting everything ready for bed. And the demands to be tucked in. And ever watchful, the girls listening to hubby and I talk to each other. And it’s not yelling. It’s mostly mush. Sometimes, DD2 will demand that we “kiss on the lips!” and then shriek and giggle with delight when we do.
This morning, I carried a sleepy DD2 as she woke up and got ready for our day. DD1 was quite grumpy due to the early morning rise, but we somehow all made it out into the car, lunch bags, backpacks, snacks in tow. DD2 announced that I hadn’t zipped up my dress all the way (yay early morning working mom, getting everyone ready except myself), clearly proud of herself for noticing, so I got out and stood in front of the back seat and let DD2 zip it up. I then gave her a kiss. I could feel DD1 getting slightly incensed at being left out on the attention spectrum, so on my way back to the driver’s seat, opened the backdoor and gave her a kiss too. Which she accepted quietly and thoughtfully like she does when she mulls over just about anything and everything. Then, off we went for our crazy early morning drop off so I could race myself and get to work on time.
And you know what, I have a confession to make. In all of this schlepping and trench work of parenting, sometimes, I feel like a total crappy a$$ parent. I do not feel noble for getting us out of a crappy a$$, abusive household, because when I’m bogged down in the morning commute or that evening rush hour of homework/dinner/clean up/bedtime, I feel my imperfections sprinkling about like rain. Sometimes, I yell at them. When I have to tell DD2 three times to stop whacking her food with her spoon (which is resulting to rice getting splayed on the dinner table), yes, I raise my voice and boom, she is in time out, and she is crying her eyes out. Yes, later she understands that mommy asked her to stop, and she didn’t stop, and that’s why mommy got upset. But really? Do I have to yell? When I had to tell DD1 five times this morning to move her giant water bottle off the table and put it next to her backpack, yep, I yelled on the sixth. I felt like a complete and utter crappy a$$ parent, because in that moment, DD2 covered her ears. Clearly, I have to figure out how to take on the challenge of selective hearing (for both girls), and I’m trying. And failing, when it’s 6:05am and we have to get out the door in 10 minutes.
Is “just trying” enough? Every day, I tell myself—especially after I haven’t seen them for a week end or an overnight, that today I will be patient no matter WHAT. Some days are awesome. Everyone listens, mommy isn’t at her wits end, we are all giggling and having nail polish parties and making home made pizzas and laughing. Other times, I feel like I’m having a mental wrestling match with DD1 just to get her upstairs and into the bath. RAWR.
But right now, I’m thinking of us all cuddled up last night, reading a bed time story, the girls’ heads resting on my shoulders, all of us under a warm fuzzy blanket, their breath on my cheeks. Their little hands pointing at the book, or DD1 giggling because hubby made a joke. DD2 asking to be carried to bed. Re-arranging miniature furniture in our fairy bowl, in case any mysterious fairies decide to play and pay a visit while the girls are sleeping (after all, the tooth fairy can’t be the ONLY fairy in the universe).
So a little prayer goes out into the universe from my heart, one that I say nearly every day: Dear God, please help me be a more patient mommy, and please keep my little girls safe and protected. Please help us be kind and loving to each other. And please let my girls always know that their mother loves them. All day, every day, always and forever.