I. love. sunshine!

I think I’m afflicted by SAD (seasonal affective disorder).  Sunday was a beautiful, sunny, hot, no-wind day.  Today was even hotter.  And I’m on a high!  LOVE IT!

sad

[No, I’m not this bad, but I definitely feel more motivated to do stuff when the weather is conducive to getting outdoors!].

Got Master 9 for 1-on-1 on Sat night so, once I’d dropped M10 to the party where AH is, we came home and threw on AntMan (regrettably, my brother got it in China so it doesn’t work).  Put on Fantastic Four instead … when it does finally get going, it’s pretty graphic.  Especially for my pretty sensitive M9.  Once he sees a head explode, we decide that movie ain’t going to be watched.

The other two were meant to be dropped between 7.30-7.45.  At 8 am, I text AH to ask that he brings M9’s teddy, and when they might be turning up.  [Part of the reason for the early drop on a Sunday is that THAT’s meant to be my day.  I want to wake up with my kids and get that doe-eyed, I’ve-got-the-morning-to-relax-look/’I just want to open my eyes and cuddle’ feeling.  I have all three of them Mon-Thurs (incl): those mornings generally consist of: “we need to get up”, “sort your breakfast”, “what fruit do you want”, “can you please put hot water on her Weetbix”, “brush your teeth”, “you can’t wear that – it’s got yoghurt all over it”, “brush your teeth”, “water bottles”, “stop fighting”, “why haven’t you cut her fruit”, “why aren’t you dressed”, “did you wash your face”, “10-minute warning”, “brush your teeth”, “did you SERIOUSLY wash your face”, “water bottles!”, “where’s your homework”, “why is your face cloth dry”, “shoes”, “you’re not wearing those shoes”, “we need to GOOO!”, “where are your shoes”].

That’s my mornings with the kids.  He gets Friday (and they all three complained about their lunchboxes on that ONE day (apparently, two had NO fruit whatsoever) and Saturday with all three.

Which is why I wanted them dropped back on a Sat afternoon.  Then I get that weekend feeling.

Yet he drops two of them back an hour late.  So there’s no chance of those  ‘just-woken-up’ fuzzies.

M6 comes for cuddles.  AH was too drunk to drive so they walked back to his place last night (no idea what time).  They were late coming to me as they’d first gone to pick up the car he’s borrowing from the party house.  M6 tells me that AH is looking to buy the car that the hosts from last night are selling … they want $13k for it so love that he is thinking of forking out that much on a set a wheels!  Not!

Had a lovely day with the kids – needed to get some stuff from the shops and to mow the lawns but, once that was all done, went to the beach.  All 3 got in the water (Miss 6 only paddling, thanks to that cast), but the boys surprised me by getting fully immersed.  Quick stop at the local as M6 needed the loo, then home again.  Neighbour came down to join me in a glass of bubbles – I was celebrating how good the lawns looked and the beautiful sunshine.

Got the supermarket shop and house clean done today.  So feeling very accomplished.

AH didn’t bother to ask if dinner was on.  He’s finally getting it.  No word on whether he agrees that he owes me $100 still.  I also asked what he’s done about the UK management company, as he agreed to deal with them.  He tried to say I have to do it all.  Then no more contact.  I will not let his arrogance ruin the high brought about by this gorgeous weather.

Positives:

  1. clean house, lawns mowed, fridge full – I am a domestic goddess :);
  2. being able to wear shorts;
  3. lettuce for the salad for dinner from MY garden!
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It’s just a blur

Been very slack and not had the time or energy to blog.  For the past three years, have been involved with organising the school’s Christmas carnival – but with more than enough on my own plate this year, have stepped back, merely updating the event’s Facebook page.  So there were my evenings gone…

Also not in a good space with AH.  “AH” is definitely the right term for him.  Utter, utter arsehole!  There just doesn’t seem to be a break from his arrogance and BS at the moment.  Roll on 17 December when I go to my parents and get away from him and this place.

The week started with him emailing about the Monday dinners:

Again, this has been cancelled, because you are unable to put aside our differences for an hour for the sake of the children. What we are going through is not to impact on them … For the sake of the children, I think we should still have the family dinner.

No, I’m cancelling because I don’t deserve to be subjected to this shit.  He shuts down and refuses to answer questions, which in turn causes stress and issues, yet it’s only me who’s to blame for these dinners not going ahead.  ‘For the sake of the children’ … stop playing your childish games and have enough decency to answer questions that are put to you!

He’s desperate to find out what I want him to speak to his counsellor about.  But, until I get answers, I’m not giving him anything.

I confirm I’m still the best option for picking up the kids on his days and still want to do it.  He keeps away from the issue of money – so I ask whether he’ll pay cash and he refuses to.  I don’t get it!  The only reason I can see for bank payments is that he can hold it over me with IRD.  So I ask (‘BE CURIOUS’) … and, despite being with him for 15 years and giving him the three most beautiful children, his reason is that he has “no record that I have made the payment”.

Wow!  Realise that he lost trust in me last year already.  Probably about 4 months before I lost respect in him.

We’re at a stalemate.  He says he’ll book the kids into the afterschool programme for Thurs and Fri.  I point out that he’ll also need to drop the 1-on-1 child to before-school care as well, as that’s something I’m doing to help him out.  Also state the obvious:  that he is putting a financial decision above the kids’ wishes.

He finally relents.  Cash it is.  As ‘[my] tax affairs are my business’.  Yes, they are!  Just another attempt to assert control.

Hear from my lawyer.  He’s had a response from AH’s lawyer for a couple of weeks.  Whilst AH has been decent with some things, he’s completely out of order with others.  My lawyer had suggested a 70/30 split (to take into account my bringing up the kids/putting career on hold while he studied and now has the potential to earn a six-figure salary).  He’s come back with a 55/45 split.  Seriously?!

He also wants me to pay him back $8k for the mortgage and other household expenses he paid when he left the house!  Again.  Seriously?!

Oh and this one: he went on a trip back to South Africa while we were still ‘courting’, and on his return, gave me a gold necklace (that I always thought was a gift from his auntie; one of her old ones).  Since we separated, I put it in a box and haven’t worn it.  He says it was his mother’s and wants it back to give to Miss 6 one day.  I’m appalled by this.  It was a gift.  Not based on a promise.  Not an engagement ring – just a necklace.  I got it back out of the box.  And put it back on.  Stuff you!

I finally get answers to my questions via email – and, in turn, let him know the counselling reason.  He’s going to be pissed off.  He was expecting it to be that I’m going to look to move north; not that I want to be honest with my kids about my niece’s suicide.

I ask what’s being done with London – and back into silent mode he goes.  Well it was good while it lasted.

I get my money for the sleeping bag.  Yay.  One thing off the list.  Ask him to bring the cash for the week’s childcare – and he says he’s not paying this week.  It’s been 5 weeks since the new arrangement has been in place, he’s paid me $300.  I didn’t have the kids for 2 Fridays, so would accept that he doesn’t need to pay me for one week.  So, by my maths, I’m owed $100.  He doesn’t see it.  GOD!!!  I could throttle him.

Today was the carnival.  Wanted to meet the kids there to give them some money so they could buy each other Xmas presents from the craft market.  AH dumped all three with me and disappeared.  When he finally reappeared to take them home, he lost Master 9 within minutes.  The look of thunder on AH’s face when he came and got him .. EEK!  Loved that the mum I was sitting with at the time also saw it – he doesn’t usually let others see that face!

I’d told the boys to walk to mine for 2.30 pm, and I’d take them to the party they’d both been invited to.  They turn up at 2.10.  Master 9 tells me that Daddy had grabbed them both roughly round the back of the neck earlier (they’d started to walk to the carnival and there must’ve been a communication breakdown, as AH came after them and pulled them back).  Considering he’s been so foul to me, would expect him to be in a better mood than he clearly is.  He could learn from this:

inspiration

He calls at 6.30 pm asking when the boys would be back.  I’m not sure as they’re driving back from town.  He says to let me know when I’ve got them and he’ll pick up Master 10.  I say I’d drop him back to his, but he’s going out.  As I’m driving up the road, he’s coming the other way … see that one of the Massive (that partying crew I am distancing from) is having a shindig.  He’s invited.  I’m not.  I drop Master 10 back on the way past – he clearly didn’t want me to know where he was going.  It hurts a little that he’s included; but there’s no way I would want to be in the same room as him.  And he needs that group a helluva lot more than I do.

Positives:

  1. fun night out with the cousin on Thurs.  He came out here so got to meet the kids.  God, they loved him straight away, and he was pretty taken with them too;
  2. my new sleeping bag;
  3. the carnival being a success today.

Where’s today gone?

Into a blur of tentative migraine and angry male offspring.  That’s where.

Woke to Miss 6’s lovely face (well, once I turned around, having been brought of out of my dream with her asking for “huggy”).  Master 10 is dropped back just before 8 so they watch some tele together while I struggle to wake.  I have never been, nor envisage that I will ever be, a morning person!

When Master 10 comes in, ask him what his preference for Fri is: again, without hesitation, he says “Mama”, not afterschool care.  That’s 2/3.

It’s a beautiful day FINALLY!  It’s been a wet and windy spring so far.  I love the warmth of summer days so can’t wait for consistent sunshine!

Pick up Master 9 from his sleepover (he only dropped off after 11:30 so knew he’d be shattered).  On the way to pick up Master 9, Master 10 told me that the ex-colleague’s partner might get them every Fri now.  Funnily enough, she comes to the Fri drinks I go to … so, if I’ve got this right … she will pick up MY kids from school, then bring them to the social drinks that I am at (which AH sent a scathing email about not even 7 months ago and didn’t want them to come to anymore) … ??

The other two start to ask Master 9 about Fri as we’re driving home so I intervene: ‘what’s your preference for Fri?’  Again, there’s not even any eyeblink before he responds: “You, Mama!”.  That’s 3/3!

Master 10 had a late night as AH had his bro and Sputnik, along with the ex-colleague and family at his for dinner.  He didn’t get to bed until after 10 pm.

Yaaaaaay!  It’s going to be a hard day.

Wanted to go to the expressway open day that’s being built in our back yard.  Master 10 starts with his attitude before we’ve even left the drive.  What a coincidence:  he spent Fri and Sat with the bully kid of AH’s ex-colleague, and is already backchatting and giving it large with the “whatever”, “I don’t care” – fighting words that are not him!

Master 9 at least waits until we get to the open day til he starts with his.

Thankfully by the afternoon, the boys have at least started to treat me with a bit of respect – even if not each other.  Sat with Miss 6 last night looking at her photo album; so she raved about it today and I gave the boys their ones too.  What a beautiful moment that was – all three of them sitting on the floor without a screen to be seen!  “Look at this [giggle, giggle]”, “awwwww”, “why is your bum showing [insert guffaws from all three]”.

Texted AH to see if he’d sign the mortgage documents I got on Friday (he’s still on the title, but I’m paying the entire mortgage.  I’m suggesting to fix the floating portion onto a 1-year fixed, interest-only rate: it’ll save me $50/fortnight).  He didn’t reply.

Both boys been invited to a party next Sat so, given it’s effectively his time, texted to see if that would be ok.  Get a response to that.  But still nothing about the mortgage.  Guess that’s a no then?

He asks about the family dinner tomorrow.  I say:

“Dinners cannot take place until questions are given answers”.

Still don’t know if I’m getting a sleeping bag.  God knows if he’ll sign the mortgage papers [again, he doesn’t pay any household bills].  Still waiting to hear if he’ll have an opportunity to ask the counsellor for resources if I let the kids know their cousin committed suicide.  And most importantly,

“… all three have confirmed without hesitation that the preference is to be with me, not [afterschool care]”.

Pretty damn big question mark over this that awaits an answer.  He’s ignoring the wishes of the kids.  He responds, “… but you don’t want them … what’s your proposal then”.

Prick!  I’ve never said I don’t want them – that’s your misconception!

I clarify that I want them and it’s the best option.  He responds “so r u going to do Thurs and Fri pick up after school with the children?”  No mention of payment.  We agreed the rate.  But when he has so vehemently refused to pay cash, I’m worried (the only thing I can take from that is that he will use it to his advantage!).

He calls to say goodnight.  Master 10 is in tears on the phone as he’s not long finished fighting with Master 9.  I’ve told them all that dinners won’t be happening while things are the way the are between us.  We need to get talking to each other, and he needs to answer questions.  Appreciate I’m a hypocrite:  here’s me telling him the kids being with me on Thurs/Fri rather than in afterschool care is in their best interest.  Yet I can’t put my feelings about him to the side for a dinner one night!

No!  No I can’t!  It’s part of his emotional abusive side.  He will come into MY house and make me feel uncomfortable, knowing that I don’t want to make things awful for the kids … yet he won’t have given the decency of replying to all the outstanding questions I’ve put to him.  Am I meant to just ignore that?  Why can’t he just answer questions so that we can move forward?? 

Positives:

  1. great expressway open day;
  2. going through old photos with the kids;
  3. how much better Master 9 ended up today!  Charm personified.

Go away, migraine

It’s been lurking for the past week.  This evening, the aura starts – the vision going patchy – and am struggling to think of words.  Take some aspirin, and will head to bed real soon.

A massage is needed.  Stress has pushed me.  I can’t be having a migraine on my days as I’m unable to do anything if it kicks in.

Miss 6 is invited to two parties: one on Friday evening and one at 11:00 today.  Ever since she broke her arm, she’s said she doesn’t want to go to them.  I’d told the mums she wasn’t keen anymore coz of her arm, but I’d let them know if she changed her mind.  AH texted me at 10:56 asking if he can pick up the present for today’s party.  Yup, 4 minutes before it starts.   Let him know that I’d told the mum she probably wouldn’t be coming, so he’d need to let her know that’s changed, and I’d leave the [unwrapped] present out.  I wrap the present while waiting for them to come so that they wouldn’t be even later.

They don’t turn up so I call AH to see if they’re coming.  He can’t get hold of the mum so decides that they’re not going after all.  What a mess!

Miss 6 was pretty much forced to agree to going to a party that she didn’t want to go to (she was adamant that she wouldn’t be going when we spoke on Thurs).  Then, once she got her head around going, she’s told she wouldn’t be going.  Piss up … brewery!  

Picked up Miss 6 for 1-on-1 at 15:45.  One of the dads is at AH’s (another one of the friendships that I have instigated by making friends with his wife, and subsequently meeting her hubby then introducing him to AH).  They’re drinking beer (Miss 6 tells me they’ve been at the pub for lunch with this dad too).  Sputnik calls while I’m there and they’re heading round for a BBQ.  Master 9 is off for a sleepover and I have Miss 6: I feel sorry for Master 10 as he will be left to himself this evening while AH, his bro and Sputnik effectively ignore him.

Ask Miss 6 what should would prefer for Fridays:  me to pick her up or to go to afterschool care?  She says she wants to be with me.  Need to ask the boys individually as well, as I’m still concerned that AH has not put the wishes and best interests of the kids first.

Positives:

  1. avocado on toast;
  2. doing some bling with Miss 6.  Oh boy, not great for my OCD tendencies 🙂

And now the tears

What an awful couple of days.  A truly shitty, guilt-ridden, sadness fills my core.  I’m trying to see things from all angles and decide if I should have done things differently?  Am I to blame for where we are now?

Had decided on Thurs morn that I would still pick up the kids after school as, despite it being his day, that is what I had agreed at mediation.  It was my way to show that I was willing to find a solution – even if it didn’t work for me.  Miss 6 had come into the bed in the night (Master 9 too but he’d gone already so it was just her and me) so I said that I wouldn’t  be getting them after school on Daddy’s days anymore … and she burst into tears.  “So I don’t get my 1-on-1 with you?”, she cries.  And my heart broke just a little bit more.  I have to explain that no, there’ll still be the 1-on-1 on Saturdays – that’s not going to change.

I’m not happy that all 3 kids aren’t in the house when I wake on Sunday so when we revisit the mediation, it would’ve been one of the things I wanted addressing.  But I realise the kids want that special time with me.

The kids call AH in the morning to see who’ll collect them from school and he claims he doesn’t know that I’m not doing it.  Miss 6 mistakenly says “Mama doesn’t want to anymore” so I get them all to hear me say that ‘that is DEFINITELY not the case.  There’s some adult stuff going on between Daddy and me’.

No contact with AH throughout the day which is blissful.  He turns up to get them so I meet him at the door and ask who will get the kids from school tomorrow:

“Well, you will”, he tells me.

Ummm, no.  ‘As I said yesterday, you have refused to pay cash with no reason why so the deal is off and you’ll need to make other arrangements’.

“So you were going to call the police on me for … what was the word … [I fill in the blank for him] … ABANDONMENT yet you are going to abandon your kids tomorrow?”

Regrettably, he says this within earshot of Masters 9 and 10 who both react as expected:  stop in their tracks and say to me “you’re abandoning us???”, which Miss 6 overhears and starts stressing over as well.  Gobsmacked doesn’t begin to cover it.  Despite my protestations, they now believe that I’m going to abandon them.

He tells me he’s already sent the money (he could’ve stopped this payment yesterday already) and I now owe him (as he did last Friday).  [Subsequently went online and he’s only sent $100, not $200 so I owe him nothing].

I point it out to AH that it wasn’t right him telling the kids I’m abandoning them, and he denies that he said it to them.  Not quite right you lying, inconsiderate prick … they were near but you didn’t notice them nor think to filter what you said in their presence!

I suggest we all go inside so we can talk about what’s going on – all 5 of us (I knew as soon as he got them into that car, the message they heard for the next 2/3 days could be far from the truth).

Explain to the kids that we had an agreement where AH would pay me something for looking after them on his days.  Master 9 pipes up immediately that ‘that’s not fair and Daddy shouldn’t have to pay’ … oh, how innocent.  Say I have to buy extra food for afternoon tea, and I lose money by leaving work early, and that if AH put them in after-school care, it would cost more than what I was asking Daddy for (at this point, he scoffs out “but it would be less hassle”).  Say I’ve asked for it to be cash money, rather than into the bank so that I can pay, for example, the builder who came today to fix the chimney; but that Daddy doesn’t want to do it that way.

He decides it’s a good time to question about the move to Hamilton as he didn’t get a response to his neurotic email.  We tell him know how the conversation had come about and Miss 6 is still laughing about it.

They go.  And I open the wine!  I’m distraught that they now believe I’m abandoning them.

I send an email making it very clear that my preference is that if he can’t pick them up on his days, I would.  I remind him that this is what all three of them wanted.  I set out what we’d agreed re price and what he’d get for that.  I say that on 2 Nov, I said cash was preferred with my reasons why.  I say I’d be happy to sign an agreement setting out these points so his concerns could be alleviated.  All he had to do was agree to pay cash (and the only reason he could possibly have not to do so is that he can dob me into the tax department whenever he felt aggrieved).

He responds:

No thanks. In the recent past you were prepared to be part of the solution.  I would rather pay someone else than be held to ransom.  [Mum of bully] has agreed to help me tomorrow.  The children understand that you won’t be collecting them from school and the reasons you explained to them this evening and that I will be looking into 3pm as an option.

“I am still part of the solution.  I am just unable to be controlled anymore”.

His final blow is out-of-order:

You’re wrong….you are controlled by the ice queen & the big black dog

I’m done.  I copy my lawyer in to tonight’s email, and want to know the likelihood of being able to move away.

All day today, I’ve wanted to call the lawyer and get a letter sent letting him know that he is on notice that if he uses terms within earshot of the children as he did yesterday evening, he will be made accountable.  I also want it said that he is clearly unable to put the kids’ best interests first.  To have me looking after them afterschool is definitely better than afterschool care.  He’s disregarded their wishes as being with me was their choice.  Considering afterschool care will cost more than what I was prepared to take, it is clearly not a financial decision.  It is pure spite.

I hold off.  I’ll wait the weekend out and see how it feel on Monday.

Positives:

  1. saw Spectre tonight – Daniel Craig really is a great Bond;
  2. helping in Miss 6’s class this morning.  Went and found both the boys and tried to reiterate that I am definitely not abandoning them – can’t help but feel the damage might be done – but at least I saw them;
  3. KFC!  I know it’s bad … but it’s soooo good 🙂

Good for goose, good for gander

At 09:41 yesterday, within a whole diatribe of text messages between AH and me, I asked when he’d pay the money for the sleeping bag as I didn’t want to miss the sale.  I also asked when I’d get the cash for the childcare I’m doing for him, so that I can properly budget.  Despite repeated requests, he doesn’t give me the decency of a response.

I’d also said I planned to speak to the bank to fix the floating portion of our mortgage and asked him to confirm he wouldn’t object to that, and asked if he had any more counselling sessions as there’s material she may have that would help on another issue.

He asks me what’s happening with the flat in London and, despite not wanting to answer him as he hasn’t answered my questions, I tell him.  I don’t want to enter a tit-for-tat scenario and figure he might give me an answer once he sees that I’ve not withheld information.

Again, there’s nothing but silence.

It’s a power play and it’s control.  It’s annoying as fuck.  And I have to remember this …controlHe picks up Master 9 for their 1-on-1.  I keep my distance, as much as I’d love to go face-to-face and try to get a response.  I know he will just get that smug, arrogant look on his face and push my buttons even more – and the kids are around and definitely don’t need to witness this.

At 20:20, I text him with the 4 points I’d like confirmation on, asking that he please come back to me ‘this evening’.

By 06:30 this morning, there’s not a peep out of him.  So I call him.  Takes about 5 times of calling before he picks up and he spurts out that “he’ll be dropping [Master 9] soon”.  Tell him that he won’t be doing that.  As he’s not had the decency to respond to me, he’ll need to find alternative arrangements for Master 9 this morning.

I KNOW!  This is not conducive to moving forward and shows no maturity whatsoever.  I also know it has the potential to hurt Master 9 by putting him in the middle and I don’t want that.  God, I don’t want that!  But I can’t let him ignore me and do his power plays, and still expect me to do his beckoning.

He pulls up and gets out of the car – I tell Master 9 to stay in.  I’ve my phone in my hand and he asks if I’m recording the call.  I tell him “no, I have it in case I need to call the police”.   “For what?” he spits.  “Abandonment, if you leave Master 9 here while he’s on your time”.

He tells me he’s not going to answer questions when I’ve thrown abuse at him – yet, in typical fashion, it’s fine for him to do so .  I ask if he has more counselling sessions and he angrily tells me “it’s none of my business”.  I say there’s something I’m going to be bringing up that isn’t about him and me, and she could have material that will help [re my niece’s suicide back in June – I don’t tell him the reason tho].  He asks if I’m still getting counselling.  If only money were no object .. then I would!

I ask when he’ll pay the sleeping bag money:

“that’s still under negotiation” (with a look that tells me he will not be paying it)

I ask when he’ll pay the agreed money for childcare:

“it’s set to be transferred on Thursday” [despite my asking for cash] … “I’m not paying you cash!”

Control, once again!  I say the deal in that case is off.

I tell him he can drop Master 9 back at the time agreed at mediation (although he rightly points out the time we verbally agreed has not been written into the agreement, dammit).  But he goes.

I get a text within 10 minutes:

“I will need to know what it is that you are going to tell me that I will need to speak to a counselor [sic!] about”.

Funnily enough, I do not answer.

He calls to say goodnight to the kids just at the time that Miss 6 has joked (after listening to the boys fight for the 27th time in one hour), “you and me can move to Hamilton and leave the boys then we don’t have to hear them argue”.  I joke back ‘ok – the boys can stay with Daddy and then we’ll swap’.  We both have smiles on our faces and know it’s in jest [after all, I wouldn’t leave the boys … I’d take them all!].

Miss 6 ends up letting AH know ‘the plan’.   He emails 2 hrs later “concerned” about the comment, asking me to let him know if I’m planning to move there.  Funnily enough, again, I do not answer!

I wasn’t going to even try to find positives through the frustration, but isn’t that the point of the exercise!?

  1. catching up with a mate I used to flat with in London, down my way for work, for lunch;
  2. Master 9’s friend who came for a play being the nicest kid ever!;
  3. that my kids love sauerkraut 🙂

Grow up!

Well, after today, I am finding it damn near impossible to find ANY positives for AH.   So my resolution from Saturday has failed – and we’re barely out of the starting gates.  I am beyond frustrated at his immaturity, arrogance and stubborn refusal to answer the simplest of questions.  I don’t want to get angry about it as that won’t benefit me.  And he’ll win!

It’s the iceberg.  On top of the water, is what everyone sees.  Anger.  The secondary emotion.  But that 90%iceberg hidden under the water is where the primary emotions lie: the hurt, exasperation, embarrassment, tired, anxious, worried, out-of-control, controlled, disappointed, sad, all the other plethora of emotions that swirl on a daily basis!

So how did it get to here so quick?  Monday was a chance to get the house tidier before getting Miss 6 to the hospital to get her arm checked and cast on.  AH texted in the morning to see if dinner was on and when the cast was happening.  Can’t pick up the phone to ask an important question to show that you care about your daughter?

Agree to go to his for dinner though I’d rather poke blunt sticks in my eyes.  I won’t be able to do the hospital and get dinner done though so it’s one less thing for me to do.

Get Miss 6 from school at lunchtime.  Arrange for a neighbour to have the boys after school.  Spend some time getting the foul flourescent nail polish off Miss 6, that Sputnik had put on on Sunday. Not only was it chipping off, in fact completely off on some nails, but it was way too bright for her – more suitable for an 18-year-all-about-appearance or a cheap hooker.

AH wasn’t even home when we got there.  Had taken the nail polish so sat in the sun and did Miss 6’s fingernails.  The boys went on the tablet and that was them done.  Dinner finally served with Miss 6 kicking up a bit of a stink unless she sat next to me.  Yes, ME!  Have spent more time than usual with her, and normally it’s a fight as to who sits next to AH, but not today.  Sniggered a little when he made a comment thinking she was kicking up to sit next to him (my bad!).

Asked AH when he would get me a sleeping bag to replace the one he took to the drug house he moved into, and subsequently binned when meth was found to be present.  It was a great quality sleeping bag and I sent him an email on 21/08 with details of a $250 one on sale, down to $85.  He said he couldn’t get it then, but as I’m hoping to go camping after Xmas, I’ll need it.  He offers to pay me $200 so I can get it (yes, his lackey again).  I say I’ll need to look into it.

He asks if I can swap nights as one of the dads is having a party.  I think this is where the first bit of ‘hurt’ brewing under the iceberg starts – and perhaps ‘confusion’ and ’embarrassment’.  You see, the dad is one of the group I’m/we’re part of.  It’s starting!  Invites are not coming my way … I shouldn’t take it to heart as: (a) this dad is who AH went and stayed with when he first moved out; (b) is also single; (c) is very bitter; (d) has given AH some terrible advice; (e) I’ve already decided I am happy to break up with that group.  I need to check the calendar so don’t confirm either way.

AH is stressed out everytime the kids drop something on the floor – things different now he’s got a bond riding on it.  Thankfully Miss 6 has asked that Poppa calls her at 6:30 so there’s a great excuse to escape.  What the hell is the point in having this dinner when we can’t even stomach each other, when the boys spend their entire time on screen, and when all I do is see them get up and down from the table constantly, and get barked at to be careful?

Do reading with Miss 6 then Master 9; but Master 10 says he’s tired.  It’s not that late so I say he needs to come and just do a couple of chapters.  He grumps and backchats his way through it.  “Daddy doesn’t make me do reading” … and therein lies the rub!  Can’t stop myself: point out that I know they get more time on the tablet and more ice-cream there but my job is to make sure my kids are well-fed with good nutritious food, limited screen time, exercise and, like it or not, schoolwork!  And I’m ok that he won’t always be happy with me doing that job.  But I won’t stop.  Despite what he thinks, that’s LOVE!

We don’t do much reading however as, with all the backchatting, I point out that whenever he goes to AH’s ex-colleague’s place, he comes back to me with more attitude (they have an awful 10-year old who is mouthy and generally just a bully: yet both parents thinks he’s very funny and don’t see his disrespectfulness.  AH has always felt this too).  He tells me he doesn’t want to go to their house anymore, and he sees his behaviour gets worse.  I let him know he’ll need to take this up with AH but “what do you think he’ll say?”.  He says he’ll say he still has to go.

So I suggest the good ole’ positives v. negatives list.  Go through what he enjoys about going to their house and get 5 things.  So, onto the negatives and there’s effectively only 1 … their son being nasty.  He’s able to see that it’s not all bad and actually thanks me for making him look at it that way.  I tell him it’s something that I’ll do myself when there’s a decision to be made – and he needs to do it in future to see if it helps.   He goes to bed happy.  Yay!

With kids all in bed, I check out sleeping bags.  Do a bit more research than before and there’s 3 choices with sufficient warmth: all marked down to $240 (he should’ve bought it when I sent it through before).  Text him details.

Wake this morning to a text that he’d looked online and there’s one for $200 so that’s what he’ll pay.  That one doesn’t go to the minus degrees that the slightly more expensive options and let him know.

And that’s where the shit hit the proverbial … I won’t put it here but it’s not pretty.  I can’t stop from thinking that in 10 days’ time, we’re both entitled to re-visit mediation.  I don’t want to do it just yet.  I want to go to my parents for Xmas, check out some of the schools and job scene; then come back next year and re-apply.  At the end of the day, if we can’t make decisions, the family court will make them for us.  And I want the court to allow me and the kids to move 7 hours away.

I’ll put together my own positive v. negative list … but at this stage, the only downside is that the kids will miss him (unfortunately, it’s a BIG one, in the eyes of the court).  But it’s like oxygen on the plane: you look after yourself and then the kids.  I don’t think I’m going to become truly happy again here.  The kids are young enough and don’t have strong friendships here so moving now wouldn’t break them.  And they’re fantastically socially-able kids.

If only he’d told me he was needing to look for another job a few weeks back.  That trust wouldn’t have been extinguished and we wouldn’t be here right now.  Or would we?!