Saturday, February 25, 2017

Coparenting struggles are not for the faint of heart

Image Credit here

With DD2 turning a year older, there are slight visitation changes in our decree.  Except that Exie got the days mixed up and blew up my phone with texts and missed calls the other day, while I was helping the girls with their homework.  When I saw the 10 missed calls and texts, I double checked the court order to be sure I had the correct information before responding.  And le sigh, spent the evening going back and forth with him trying to figure it out, while helping them with their baths and getting dinner ready and getting settled into the evening.

Actually it works out that he mixed up the days, because we came to an agreement that it makes better sense for the kids if we attach a day to his week end, instead of adding it to the weeks when the girls don't go over, which lessens the back and forth for them.  DD1 is quite resilient to the back and forth these days; my sweetheart, energetic DD2 less so. 

But then, on the phone with the girls later that evening, he made DD2 cry by telling her that he went to school to pick her up but that she wasn't there.  To which she felt horrible and started crying big alligator tears, and I spent a lot of time comforting her and helping her understand that it wasn't her fault (because of course she thought it was) that dad mixed up the days, and everything was going to work out, that it's okay that sometimes grown ups get confused about things, but that the grown ups figured it out.  And that it's our job to take care of her, not her job to take care of us.  Poor DD2.

So after bed time, I sent along the email that confirmed the slight changes, and I think, good.  We're done with that.  All is well. 

Cut to a day later.

Well, it's girl scout cookie time, and the scouts set up booths in front of grocery stores to sell cookies.  The troop leader of both girls' troops had sent out messages asking for chaperones and help, to DD1's troop he never responded; to DD2's troop, he responded that DD2 would not attend.

DD1's leader and I began texting because they especially needed a chaperone this week end, so I told her if she didn't hear from him, I'd go ahead and do it.  So come the day before the booth, I text and let him know that I'll be at the booth.  Then he starts blowing up my phone that he planned to do it, to which the leader told me she hadn't heard from him.  /eyeroll.  Long story short, he ended up going, late, which annoyed the other parent chaperone to no end, unfortunately.  (and the leader was like, ooh, next time we need him to do something, we'll just tell him you'll do it first, ha!).

Regarding DD2's troop, he sent a text 'so where's DD2's uniform'? To which I responded, I was told she wasn't attending a booth this week end, so we didn't pack it.  I checked in with DD2's leader who said they had texted late in the night (after all the DD1 texting, apparently) and that he finally said he was bringing DD2.  Yay, for bringing DD2.  Boo for him not telling me, but even if he did, it would've been too late to pack the uniform for her to take it over.  At any rate, I texted and let him know that I'd drop it off.

And then...I flew into a panic because DD2's vest has completely disappeared.  It was in the house last week but it's gone now.  So I texted him that I couldn't find it, texted the leader in case it got mixed up in her bag, but unfortunately no, it's not there.  I thanked her profusely for looking and that I was so sorry that I couldn't find the vest; she said lol, no worries, and that she told him that she figured DD2 hid it, since her daughter and DD2 don't like wearing their vests!  LOL.

The negative in this situation:  DD2 flipping out because she thinks she did something wrong when dad showed up at school and she wasn't there, him assuming the worst of me re: not packing DD2's uniform, the decision to only help out DD1's troop once he figured out I was going to help, /eyeroll.  Me nursing my PTSD around all of this (ie him thinking i'm purposely withholding the uniform, etc and that somehow people are going to think the mix ups are all my fault).

And the good in this situation:  the schedule change was agreed to one that is easier on the girls, that gives me a lot of comfort.  Reinforcing with DD2 (and DD1) that sometimes grown ups can make mistakes, no one is perfect, but mom and dad fixed it, and it's not her (their) job to take care of us, but our job to take care of them.  dad taking the girls to their girl scout events this week end, even if he's being a PITA about it.  And...i'm comforted in that the leaders seem to get it, by their words and texts, they seem to understand the background situation (i.e. he calls me 'the mother' in communications, etc)  I reached out to my friends today because I was just feeling blue about not being able to be there for my girls and they gave me lots of love and support.

A prayer for healing:  dear god, please help me love my girls without anxiety and help them.  please help me not freak out so much about what other people think.  Please help me stay calm, please help me learn how to soothe my anxiety.  Please help me stay in the light.  Thank you. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy, happy birthday!

Image credit here

Happy, happy birthday to my sweet, hilarious, energetic DD2.

It’s hard to believe that you were once the size of a gummy bear inside my belly, now you stand tall, almost above my chest!  I think I felt your laughter and energy before you ever entered the world, when I see you stretch or jump around today at full throttle, I remember you were doing those same things in the womb, my belly bouncing from here to there and everywhere.  Now, you run along the gymnastics mat into a jumping summersault or cartwheel, before you bounced around the living room as a toddler, urging us to sing and dance with you.  Wait, what am I thinking, you *still* bounce around the living room, urging us to sing and dance with you!

You love to make people laugh, making silly jokes and waiting in hopes of surprising someone with a “boo!”. We’re still learning that bathroom humor is not appropriate outside of the house, but we’ve made some progress on that end; but I see in your heart when you tell me, but mommy, I just wanted to make them laugh... 

You love your friends with as much energy and enthusiasm as you love your family.  When I think of you, you are either running full speed, literally, running, or focusing that same high beam energy into whatever task you’re doing, playing with DD1, hugging our dog, reading your book, finishing your homework, skipping down the grocery store aisles (no running!), coloring a picture usually depicting someone and yourself, with you saying I LOVE YOU at the top of your lungs (in large, capital letters).

At night, after we have our bedtime story, prayer, and tuck in (and when you demand no less than 12 kisses and two hugs, which is fine by me), and you go to sleep, I tiptoe into the bedroom and see you fast asleep, peaceful, the few moments where you are still.  I say a prayer that you’ll keep growing, healthy and strong, full of laughter and love, that love will fill you to the brim and sustain you, that nothing can ever take away the pure energy and heart that is you.

You make my heart sing, and I’m so proud to be your mommy.  I love you always and forever.