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So lately, I’ve been cruising on level 5 with coparenting issues with the ex, and I’ll take it. (On a scale from 1 to 10).
So what is it a five, asked the co-parenting counselor. A five is not a ten—but here’s the five-level things that I’ve been contending with of late (besides annoying phone call crap).
Prior to the holidays, DD1’s school sent home announcements to all parents that on a dad Friday, school was closing early, 11:00am, and absolutely no late pick-ups were allowed. The week before, as a courtesy, I forwarded one of the newsletters to dad as an FYI, pick up 11:00am. To which I received a blustery email—of COURSE he knew and he had made arrangements, la la la.
That said Friday, guess who is calling me at 11:15am, because DD2 is the last one there, and dad isn’t picking up his phone? Yep. It’s funny now, but at the time, I scrambled to call grandma, no answer. I called dad, who picked up the phone, then hung it up without speaking. I call grandma again, no answer. I call the school, DD2 is still there—to which I apologize profusely, say I’ll keep trying, and if I can’t find someone, I’ll come and get DD2. So, I call dad back and he answers…hello? And I say, I’m so sorry to bother you, but the school is calling, DD2 hasn’t been picked up, did you make arrangements? Of course I made special arrangements. Well…is it grandma? Yes, it’s grandma, she should be there already. Well…do you want to call the school? Of course I’ll call the school. Right. So…12:15pm, the school calls me and finally, DD2 is picked up. Great.
The co-parenting counselor chastised me and let me know 1) I do not offer to pick up DD2, that’s dad’s day, and he screwed up, he needs to fix it. 2) I do not say I’m sorry,and 3) be sure the school calls dad, not me (to which I explained they did call him, but he hadn’t piced up).
Next, DD2 had a little meltdown on a dad week end at gymnastics—she refused to participate that day. To which I got an email questioning DD2’s continued participation in gymnastics. He said that DD2 didn’t participate, and that he talked to the coaches and said that was par for the course, and he wanted to double check. Okay, so…dad has been taking DD2 to gymnastics every other week since last fall. Fortunately, DD2’s BFF also attends gymnastics, and her mom and I are BFFs, so she sends me pictures of the girls in gymnastics. Therefore, dad has been there many Saturdays to see all the times that DD2 does participate. Granted, DD2’s participation is greatly energized when her BFF is there.
So…I responded with pictures of the next gymnastics class with DD2 bouncing along a trampoline and somersaulting over horizontal bars and responded that DD2 is more enthusiastic about participating when her BFF is there. To which I received a response that he had not requested “evidence” of participation. Whatever.
Lastly, on the phone call last night to their dad, DD1 was getting visibly upset, so much so that at dinner she vented, “I’m annoyed with everything right now!” (granted, DD2 was annoying her, and DD1 is definitely in pre-adolescence, so the whole world annoys her). When I asked her what was bothering her, she said that during her phone call with dad, he kept questioning her because she was annoyed, and didn’t believe her when she said she was annoyed at her little sister. She started to cry. I think part of it was being tired (we get up at the crack of dawn), being hungry (we had just sat down to dinner), pre-adolescence (everything under the sun is annoying), and also, to be honest, my Ex is a pain in the a$$.
So we had a nice talk about how it’s okay to have our feelings, and it’s hard, and annoying when dad assumes things that aren’t true. And that dad has his limits with understanding things sometimes—that doesn’t mean he’s a bad person (to which she seemed relieved)—but that she’s not responsible for making him understand, if she’s already explained how she feels. At least, that was the gist of the conversation. I think she got it…she cheered up immensely and started talking about rice krispie treats.
So…yes, we’re cruising at a five. Wish it was at 1, thankful it’s not 10. I’m thankful also that DD1 still talks to me even when she’s annoyed, and I pray that I can always be there for her as the non-judgmental one where she can vent and be supported.