Monday, October 12, 2015

Coparenting, ah, the JOY

Last week, I was fortunate enough to take a mini vacation and rendezvous with a wonderful friend of 18 years, and have our children finally meet (her DD will be 2 in December), and play and generally just relax, hang at the beach, play, eat, play some more.  It was so wonderful watching my DD1 play a monopoly tournament with my friend’s mom and hubby, only to beat them both, the little tycoon.  Must be all those girl scout cookies she sells every year.

Here’s some fun pics of our journey.  So much fun and fresh air and lovely times!

 On a hidden path down to the beach seen in the overlook below

 Scenic overlook down into a protected reserve
 A hidden beach off the beaten track, with DD1 playing frisbee with my BFF's hubby
  Checking out the Koi at the neighbor resort's pond

Swoon...let me take in these photos for a minute.  Swoon some more!  :)
Okay…so…cut to the coparenting joy part of this…in order for us to go on our lovely mini vacation, I had to pull DD2 from school; DD1 was on fall break last week, but DD2’s school was running classes as usual.  The kindergarten teacher gave us all of her make up homework, and I had thought we completed it all on in the airport in the beginning of our trip, only to come home and discover six more pages of practicing letters.  We finished the “o”s, before heading over to dad’s house to drop off (for the rest of the Fall break, and even though DD2 is in school, I always think it’s best to keep the girls together), leaving the “s” and the “q” for dad.  Keep in mind, there were six other worksheets that we’d already completed.

So just before going over to dad’s/grandma’s, DD1 suddenly told me she wasn’t feeling well, and DD2 had been coughing for the past three days.  In fact, at that time, I was pretty sure I was coming down with DD2’s coughity cough, but no biggie, no one had fevers up to this point.  I texted Exie that we were on our way to do the drop off, then, after driving for a couple of minutes, DD1 remembered she forgot her beloved blankie and horsey, so I had to go back and get it, and yes, we were late, 13 minutes to be exact. 

When we got to Exie’s house, he wasn’t home, grandma was there, and both girls were teary, fussy from the morning travel, the homework discovery, not feeling well.  I heard DD1 ask grandma if she could take her temperature, then DD1 gave me a big hug and scurried into the house.  DD2 was in tears, I think from all the transitioning (note to self, next time there is a vacation, plan for a longer time between home and heading over to dad’s house, plus I was totally stressed out about the prospect of DD2 having to do homework at her dad’s house and his likely reaction).

A few hours after drop off, I called grandma to find out if DD1 did have a fever, didn’t get through, and left a voicemail that if she could please call me back, that it was okay to talk directly about the children’s health.  And about 20 minutes later she did call, DD1 did have a low grade fever, but DD2 was fine, I talked to DD1, she sounded pretty chipper for having a fever, and all was well with the world.

Then the mountain-out-of-a-molehill email came the next day.  Beginning with “I'd like to address some items related to the children's recent trip with you and communication.”  Which fed into some lovely commenting that I was fifteen minutes late dropping off the girls.  Demands on how long the children have been sick, that they said the baby we visited was sick and that I need to communicate better about the details so he could know what details to tell the doctor if he had to take the girls to the doctor (he never did take them, maybe because they were better w/n 24 hours?).  That I had left a voicemail with grandma saying that it was okay to talk directly to each other about the children’s health but that wasn’t standard practice.  Also how cramming homework in right before going to grandma’s house wasn’t in the girls best interests, etc etc etc, on and on.  And because the children were sent to his house sick with fevers, maybe they’d get the homework done, maybe they wouldn’t.

Le sigh.  I knew the nasty email would come as soon as I dropped the girls off.  I know that taking the high road is my standard practice, but I still cringed knowing what was going to come.  (How many times has he been late, how many times have the girls told me ‘daddy fights with grandma,’ ‘daddy says I’m stupid,’ etc etc do I hear, and do I send the nasty email?  No.  Because it will only make matters worse for the girls and for me in opening up another debate and round of accusations, ugh.) 

I took many deep breaths after receiving the email, reached out to two of my trusted friends, ran my draft response by the play therapist and figured out how to respond in a way that nipped it in the bud.

i.e. 1) DD1 started coughing last Saturday, DD2 last Tuesday, no fevers, which was noted in the parenting notebook.
2) We texted at 12:02pm that we were running a little behind due to airport transportation, then had to return to the house to retrieve DD1’s blankie.
3) yes we are allowed as parents to contact caregivers for updates when the children are sick, this was a great reminder of that.
4) DD2 did most of her homework prior to leaving for the trip.

Which led to some follow up questions of mine—did DD2 stay home from school?  (He never answered that, I had to call the school to find out, ugh).

Was he home with the girls when they were sick?  (again no answer, but I expected that.  By decree if one of us can’t be with the girls for 8 hours or more, we do the ROFR to the other parent).  Whatever.

I guess the best thing is—I didn’t hear back from him on any of these points.  The mountain was shoved back down to the mole hill.

It’s a shame it has to be this way.  I long for the day when it’s not.

When I talked to the girls later that day, they both sounded much better.  Is it terrible that I just long for them to come home already?  Yes, I know on that high road that I drive on, that the girls deserve quality time with both parents.  I can’t control what happens at his house.  I have to concentrate on what happens at mine.

I need hugs.


  1. Excellent response email, Jane! He is going to complain about everything. But seriously, life's messy. No one's perfect. Shit happens. Schedules get screwy. Kids forget to do their homework. Isn't that just life??? He might as well shoot himself now and be done with it if he can't handle any deviations. Haha. :/ My comment probably isn't helping...Great job on the communication, Jane.

    1. Ha ha ha, thank you Lisa! And believe me, your comments always help! Thanks for stopping by and giggle a little bit, laughter is the best medicine! Hugs!

  2. Very nice post. Your blog in wonderful.