January 29, 2016
The end of January and I’m dealing with stuff. Last year it was more of a red alert situation, with DD2’s schooling on the horizon and past payments that were due.
Here’s some Level 5 crap happening this week—I took the girls to DD2’s gymnastics (she attends with her BFF), and some parents and I were talking about how our girls tell us they don’t want to go to gymnastics in the morning, but when they get here, they have a blast. DD1 who was “reading” her book but clearly listening, piped up, saying, “I know why DD2 says that mom.” And I said “why?” And she said, “Because daddy tells her if she doesn’t like gymnastics, she doesn’t have to go.” Me: …
Luckily, my friend (DD2’s BFF’s mom) piped up and said, “Oh honey, DD2 LOVES gymnastics, see?” pointing at all the giggling girls bouncing on a trampoline. DD1 answered, uh huh, and resumed reading her book.
Le sigh. I know this type of thinking is what caused DD1 to quit dance last November. After her dance exams (which she sailed through), DD1’s dance class schedule changed, meaning that her dad would have to take her every other Saturday. Immediately, DD1 said, “I don’t want dad to have to take me to dance.” And that was that. Having already worked around their dad’s resistance over a year before that, I decided to let DD1 take a break, pursue her interest in tennis, and leave it alone. Having a big fight about dance with the Ex would only make DD1 feel more torn apart and guilty about “dad’s time” being spent on a “mom activity” (to which I responded, darling these are YOUR activities, not mom’s or dad’s…etc.etc.).
So after a month went by, DD1’s dance instructor contacted me, saying that DD1 is a lovely dancer, would she be interested in coming back? To which I passed along to DD1 over the holidays and she said she’d think about it. Then just this week, when I asked DD1 how she’d like me to respond to her dance instructor, DD1 said she’d like to try it—to see if she liked it again. As long as it was on a Mom saturday. So…back to dance class we go, as long as it’s only on a MOM day. I decided I won’t push it, just take her, if she likes it great, if not, fine.
The thing is—if DD1 had two left feet, no problem, let’s leave dance behind. But her teachers have consistently responded that DD1 is lovely, has talent, she has a great time in class with her peers, etc etc, so if there is something there…I’d like to support her in it. We shall see. It’s sweet of the dance studio to accommodate our schedule like this.
It’s crappy that he makes the girls feel bad about doing activities on the week end, because it takes away from his time.
At any rate—over my lunch break from work, I met up with a good friend whose parents divorced when she was little…she always asks me how my girls are doing. And after hearing about this latest, she asked me, when was this divorce again? Well, he moved out in 2011.
She said, oh my goodness, you’d think this all went down 6 months ago, and he’s still behaving like this? Goodness it’s been over four years!?
It’s a marathon, not a race. (p.s. I hate running—hats off to all those runners out there, to which I have the utmost respect, but running is not for me.)
I checked in with the play therapist about the gymnastics baloney—she said all little kids say stuff like that, it’s about the transition from doing what they’re doing to another place altogether, not about the activity itself. She said at some point DD1 especially will get fed up with dad’s expectations, and in the meantime, keep the communication channels open and help them cope and figure out how to stand up for themselves.
Ok. Will do. Keep hoping, trying, and doing the best we can.