Reincarnation …

… I’m coming back as a cat!!  Well, why wouldn’t you?  This is our boy’s life … eat, sleep, poop … eat, sleep, poop .. go to neighbours, eat, sleep … come home … eat, sleep, poop … [repeat ad nauseam].

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It’s Thursday night and I’m kid-free.  Shouldn’t be excited but I’m soooo tired, a bit down and recognise I’m not able to give them the best I can give … so welcoming the space.

AH is on a course today and tomorrow, so we swapped yesterday for today, ie he got the kids to walk to his place after school yesterday and I did all the running around for Ms6’s disco and M11’s soccer training today.  It meant I could work late yesterday (it’s so busy, I put in another 6-hr day) so was surprised to get a call on the mobile at 17:11 checking what time I’d be getting them.  I was in the supermarket getting dinner straight from work.  Only when I got home did I see the text from him at 17:06 asking when will I be getting the kids and a missed WhatsApp call at 17:04.  Pressure, much?!   I had to take kids out with me to grab some 2nd-hand clothes bargains at 18:00.  As we’re driving there, we pass AH walking towards the pub …. aaaaahhhh now it’s clear where the pressure to pick up the kids was coming from.gina

On the walk to school yesterday, M11 brought up meeting for fluffies after soccer on Saturday.  He had 1-on-1 on Tues so clearly AH has brought it up, despite me clearly saying there was no need for it to be a weekly occurrence. Asked if there was anything that needed to be discussed from their point-of-view.  A clear “no” from both boys.  I have firewood to stack … my Saturday is already shortened with football; it’s meant to be my ONLY free day!  COME ON!!!!!

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So glad Mr Sanctimonious is “moving forward”.  On Saturday, Ms6 ran up and grabbed my leg at M9’s soccer game.  It took 10 minutes to even realise AH was there.  He did not come over to say hello, nor even greet when I went over to him.  Yet we’re meant to go to a café and pretend to be a happy family?!   What colour is the sky in his world, I wonder?!

I will not bite.  I am the better person.  I will not bite.  I am the better person [repeat] …

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Flatline

It’s one of those sorts of days.  Not up, not down, just a big ole, flat _____________.

And that’s not a bad thing.  If the alternative is to feel emotional and frustrated, exasperated and weepy, then flatlining is definitely my preferred choice.

M11 had a school trip to a local working farm and I’d said I’d parent help … if needed.  No surprise that they do (as there’s many parents in this community who are happy to do absolutely nothing when asked.  A pool of over 1000 parents/carers, yet it’s the same 30 volunteers putting their hands up).

Being with these Year 7/8 kids (11-13 year olds) helped launched the flat mood.  There’s a cockiness about many of them; extending to rudeness for some.  The boys were just as cliquey as the girls.  And M11’s refusal to put effort into his work and bad attitude didn’t impress me either.  He’s made friends with a kid who started earlier this term; there’s 18-months between them so M11 is trying to show off in front of this other kid.  When the latter feigned smoking a joint, I wondered what his background is.  12-years old pretending to have a toke?!  That ain’t right. 

This on top of the fact that M11 was meant to have a sleepover with this kid on Friday just gone.  He lives with his aunt, uncle, their kid, grandfather and dunno who else (some issue between the mum and dad so the aunt has taken him in).  While there, kid asked M11 if he wanted to play a game of Charlie Charlie.  Sounds like a ouija board, though Wikipedia plays it down, I read tonight.  M11 was sufficiently scared, he got taken back to AH’s (well, Grolsch’s as they were all sleeping in the lounge there).  I don’t know if this kid is part of the reason for M11’s attitude or if this is just his testosterone surging.  Egads!  Not ready for puberty.

Checked whether AH had set up a regular AP for Ms6’s term 2 swimming fees.  We recently discussed which account it should come from.  Turns out he paid for the term in full and will reimburse himself from the fortnightly money we put into an account (60:40 split).  Again I find myself wondering, I get to the end of the week with spider webs in my wallet … how can he spend $120 without blinking?

I wanted to reply about his lack of communication/changing what we’d agreed, but I saved my draft … then deleted it a few hours later.  My new tactic when dealing with a knob who’s trying to goad a response from me!

Only 3 more school days and it’s the end of term.  I think I’m just feeling tired and need a break from that morning routine.  There’s so much to do around here (everytime I stack firewood, it seems to spawn and refill the hole I just made).  Also aware I need to get a response to my lawyer to his latest letter, so that he has it before mediation.  I don’t want him going in there thinking he’s got the upper-hand based on his misrepresentation of the truth.  Hoping the line goes on an upward slant tomorrow 🙂lies.jpg

2 steps forward …

At Friday drinks, we’re all curious as to who helped him write his ‘moving forward’ email and clearly see it as a paper trail to make him look good.  My response needs to show the kids come first AND a willingness to work together.

I already discuss the upcoming week after dinner on a Sunday with the kids, so why should my time sans kids be eaten up helping him sort out his time.  My response is toned down by two others:

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(Somehow, I don’t think he got help with his response.  Am sure he’s peeved that I didn’t apologise and implying that it’s to help him wouldn’t have gone down well).

Not sure he got what he wanted from the ‘meeting’.  He apologises and the kids don’t seem that interested (on the way to soccer, M9 said “he doesn’t want to talk about the horrible last weekend again” which was fine by me).  AH says we could meet up each week if they wanted [completely against what I’d said in my email] and asks if there’s anything they want to discuss.

[*tumbleweed blows by]

M9 eventually pipes up:

I think Grolsch should move to Palmy [about 2 hrs away, in the opposite direction to where he works]

I can feel AH’s face turn to concrete.  He asks why M9 would say that and M9 says Grolsch could move closer to his work (he got the wrong town and meant to say one not so far away).  M11 joins in too, but AH says “it’s got nothing to do with Mama where they live”.  I’m so proud of my boys.  They have validated my feelings but don’t treat Grolsch and Sputnik badly based on them.  I agree, “I can’t do anything about where they live so we’ll just wait and see then make a decision after that”.

He asks if I can use my parents’ loan to pay the council tax debt in the UK and whether he can get the council to just deal with me on this.  Not the right time or place, eejit.  This is a discussion about the kids, not UK property.

M11 brings up swimming lessons.  AH had told the boys he wanted them to start lessons again.  They don’t want to.  I’m with the boys on this.  I saw them in the water when we went away recently.  I suggest a compromise: he takes the boys swimming on his time.  He can choose whether they do 5 or 10 minutes swimming lengths and if they do this, lessons are off.  If they don’t, lessons it must be.

I also apologise to the kids for the police and let them know I don’t want to have them come ever again, and that we’re going to try to work better.  Ms6 suggests we have our own get-along jar [iceblock sticks with ‘tasks’ to do when the kids are fighting: leapfrog, hug for 5 mins, etc].  This makes me laugh and I see I’ve raised great kids.

At the end, ask to speak to AH separately.  I want to get the mediated parenting plan into a proper court order.  The easiest way to do this is by consent.  He says he wants to go back to mediation (I spoke to the mediation service on Wed and he hadn’t been in touch, despite threatening it on 26/03).  I ask what he’s after by doing this and it’s the fact he doesn’t have a weekend that aggrieves him.  Hard to party when you’ve got kids every Fri and Sat.

I remind him that originally all 3 kids were brought back late-afternoon Saturday but, at our mediation, HE was the one who wanted to have them on Sat (thereby ensuring I didn’t wake up on a weekend day with all 3 in the house).  Only then did I say I’ll have one for 1-on-1 … effectively making Saturday a night that neither of us can be social.  He wants to have a Fri/Sat kid-free during the month.

Boy!  How awful.  That your kids get in the way of socialising.  Boo-freakin-hoo!

I got the call from the mediation service that he’s been in touch today.  Apparently this could happen within the next few weeks so hardly worth getting the court order now.  I trust our mediator but can’t quite see what compromise I can make as I’m happy with the hours.  I honestly feel they’re in the kids’ best interests.

It will be interesting how he can show his need to go out to be more important than that!

Moving forward …

I’m guessing AH didn’t get the support he expected from his lawyer for him to send this email yesterday:

move forward

I’ve not yet responded as I’m aware I have to be very, VERY careful.  He’s worded this to make him look good in the eyes of the court.

And my response needs to do the same.

At least he’s apologised – there’s a positive.  But I don’t trust his sincerity.  Funnily enough.

The foul fortnight – Finale

Helped out in Ms6’s class on Friday morning but played truant from M9’s (boss needed numbers at work).

AH agreed to let M11 have a 1-on-1 with me as he was upset about missing his when they went fishing.  Had a lovely chilled evening with him (well, after Dorrie left.  She came to clear the air after Wed).

Watched The Good Dinosaur … seriously, keep a box of tissues handy if you’re going to watch it.  We both shed a few.  We rung to say goodnight at about 7.  They were at Grolsch’s but M9 was still at soccer training on the park bordering theirs.  Ms6 was alone, watching songs on the tablet.

M11, in tears, calls AH at 20:45 (if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll get why but I won’t add any spoilers here).  The other two are still awake (it is Friday so I’m ok with this) but THEY HAVEN’T HAD ANY DINNER!  COME ON!!  They’re 6 and 9.  You’ve 3 adults there (actually, 4 for a while) yet you can’t get food into their tummies by 9 pm (which is was when the call finished).  I’m dumbfounded.

Neighbour friend comes over late as she’s emotional.  Have a good chat with her and she reinforces some of the things Dorrie said about AH, namely, I have to just accept that he won’t change.  He won’t be the co-parent I expect.  I will be the one who still organises and keeps the kids on track.  As much as I hate the unfairness of that, it is what it is!

I’m taking M11 to his first soccer game this week.  Had arranged that AH come and pick him up on the way to M9’s game, as I have my lunch to get to.  As AH pulls up, M11 is still getting changed in the car as he got drenched.  AH’s not impressed.

Had a wonderful 70s-themed lunch with 9 other chickies.  Much laughter, good food, cocktails and dancing to some old hits.  Left there at about 9 pm as there was the other party to go to on this side (well, not me as some were concerned how I might react while there … the Dutch bit of fluff and other ‘friends’ I’ve unfriended would be there).  Truth be told, I was shattered so more than happy to go back to the neighbours for a cuppa tea and head home to my bed.

Kids supposed to be brought back between 7.45-8 on Sunday.  By 8:20, they’re not here so:

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Aaahh – so this is why he was ok with so readily taking M9 for me.  It gave him the ability to play this game.  I drive there as nothing can be done by text.

He comes out but pushes Ms6 back in when she tries to. I see Grolsch sitting at the table, and another kid has stayed over so his parents could go to the party last night.  He shuts the door and asks “have you been drinking?” (of course not dumbass, it’s 8:30 in the morning but I do not lower myself to answer him).  Refuses to let the kids come out.  Tells me I’m trespassing and I need to go back to the street.  I say he’s breaking the parenting agreement and will call the police.  He tells me to do it (I’ve left my phone charging at home, goddammit).

I go to the back ranchslider and he rushes to shut the curtains.  The boys look out and he’s telling them not to open the door over-and-over.  I’m saying they need to come now; it’s their time with me.  Start continuously knocking on the door for a few minutes, before I realise it’s upsetting the kids.  So I drive home and call the police.

They turn up about 40 minutes later.  40 minutes I’ve spent in tears.  How could it be this way?  Refusing to give me my kids back?  What sort of controlling, vengeful prick would do this?  

Cops’ve been to see AH and got his version of events.  ‘Obviously he’s concerned about the alcohol use so can we breathtest you?’.   What a manipulative piece of shit he is.  In his lawyer’s latest letter, he refers to my “alcohol dependency” being part of the reason for the break-up …. this from the man who, when I abstained for three months, struggled not to have drinks during the week and would go see a friend, and come back (drive) slurring his words.

I pass the test with flying colours (hmmm, unlike Sputnik last week who registered on the scale).  OF COURSE I BLOODY DID!  I WAS IN BED BY 10 PM!!

Police call him and let him know the kids are safe to come back.  He’s waiting for the parents of the kid who sleptover to collect him and will drop them afterwards.

So, 2½ hours late, I get my babies back.  They SO get it!  They knew I’d be upset and they told him that.  It made no difference.  Revenge has utterly clouded his view.

About an hour after they’re home, M11 says they need to ring AH.  He told them to call to let him know that it’s all ok.  Because apparently, “if it’s not, I’ll get the police around there and they’ll bring you back and I’ll keep you for another night”.

You bastard!  You’re casting aspersions on my ability to parent.  And you’re putting that onto the kids!  [Funnily enough, I bumped into a mum yesterday who was at the later party who commented that most of the parents who were there when she left wouldn’t have been sober the next day to look after their kids].

We get pizza for lunch and, as we get to the park to eat it, I ask where did they go when the police came (“did Daddy send you to a room so you could play on the tablet?” … and again, this would’ve been a time that I wouldn’t have complained about that).  But no!  No, he didn’t.

He asked M11: “Would you like to tell the police what you think happened?”.

So M11 sits down with them and says:

Well Mama had been partying all night …

*FACEPALM!

Where, honey?  Where did you get that from?

Well, Daddy said …

Clearly, the jungle drums of the community have been on mute and he didn’t get the message that I didn’t go to the later party.

By all means, have your own fucked-up version of events skewing your view but DON’T get the kids involved!  There is NO WAY M11 should’ve been put into that position.  Why weren’t they all sent to a room?  Why was he used to manipulate the situation?!  Why did the police even LET him be used in that way?!

The kids are now questioning why he’s lying to them (Ms6 had said that when she asked AH if he said he’d run over me, he said ‘no’).  M9 and Ms6 are over it pretty quick.  But M11 says he wants to stay with me the whole week.  On hearing this, Ms6 says she wants to spend a whole week with me too.  I let them know I won’t do that to AH.  They love him, he loves them and they need their time together.

When AH calls to say goodnight, M11 asks why he’s lying to them (and AH is not happy – M11 put the phone on speaker towards the end as he was scared by AH’s tone and words: apparently “those are not [M11’s] words, those are Mama’s words … if only, love! … and he’ll deal with that later”)

And that’s what this whole debacle has done.  It’s taken me over that hump that I was struggling to get over.

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That’s me … the one at the top!!

I see that the kids have been put in the middle too often.

I see we’re two stubborn people who have pushed each other to the utter extreme.

I see that I will only EVER be the person who does the ‘mumming’ for this family (I had hoped I would go back to having 3 kids, not 4, but that’s not to be).

I see that he will never step up and be a better father/partner (even with a “co” in front of it) because he just doesn’t know how.

And I see that he’s truly insane!

So thank you, you bat-shit crazy MoFo.  Thank you for getting me over that horrible rope-wall (with my lack of upper-body strength, it was never going to happen by myself).

I feel a sense of peace I’ve not had for the past year.

I will do what I’ve always done for my kids: give them routine and stability, nutrition and dress sense 😛

I’m told that my kids will, one day, understand and appreciate me just continuing to do what I’ve always done, despite their disdain right now (I mean, who would want limited screentime when you can watch/play to your hearts’ content?  Why should lollies be restricted?  Who really needs sleep?  Right!).  

And, right now, I’m ok with that!   There is no fairness.

But there are the 3 most fantastic little people I’ve ever known!!

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But it’s a start.  And we can only go upwards from here!

~ THE END! ~

(or is it just the beginning!) 🙂 

The foul fortnight – Part III

A couple of nights away were just what I needed.  Had never been to this place (about 3 hr drive away).  Neighbour’s parents own the holiday park so her daughter and 5 kids, with another neighbour, her hubby and their 3 kids had gone up on Saturday for a 2-night stay; with my parents visiting, I would go for Sun/Mon.  Kayaks in the river, estuary and ocean, boys fished, enough kids to play with that if you’re not happy, you just find another.  The stuff I’ve dreamt my kids’ childhood holidays should be made of.

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If only I’d taken the tent poles … haha (was too much for AH to get them back into the tent bag when last used, and I’d forgotten that so left them in the garage at home).  Luckily, there was a cabin so didn’t have to sleep under the stars.  Kept a couple of extra street kids to bring back the next day, which again, is something that rules about our street.

He calls as we’re driving back on Tues.  M11 asks why he wasn’t at home on Sun to see them.  Jeez, it sounded like there was some serious backtracking going on in his head.

 Sorry I wasn’t there but I had breakfast with Grolsch to get back to [after dropping off the togs]

And you tell me that you give the kids priority?!!  The breakfast could’ve been put in the oven or re-heated.  He apologises and does sound genuine but, hell, what a heartless, selfish choice he made.

I texted AH Tuesday to see if he wanted all three to sleepover on Wed, seeings he hadn’t seen them since Thurs.  Got back a:

Would love to but not sure when I will finish work

Hardly enthusiastic!  Later Ms6 suggests that he should have them all, so I let her know I asked but he’s got work.  Get back:

I did not say no…I said not sure…I will let u know tomorrow once i know how the day will pan out

Didn’t exactly say ‘yes’ or come up with any solutions either just left it completely open-ended.  He eventually says he’ll be back by 6.15, so I suggest I get them from school and do dinner so he can just collect them when he’s back from town.  He asks if he can drop them Thurs 07:30 so he can catch the early train and, again, I agree but they need to be all ready for school when he does.

It works out well as going out to a movie premiere with some ladies on the Wed so don’t need a babysitter.  Ended up having strong words with Dorrie, as she was harping on about shit that AH did over the weekend that doesn’t concern me.  I really don’t need to know!

Thursday comes.  A week before, M11 got a school notice about an upcoming info meeting for parents and students re camp.  He says he wants to come with and I ask AH if that’ll be ok (as it’s his time).  He says fine.

I’m stacking firewood so, having not paid attention to my phone, don’t see AH’s 15:19 text [asking if he can drop M11 to mine at 6 pm as he’s got his last game of netball] until I go in to get ready at 18:13.  He texts me:

U can let us both know what happened tomorrow

I call and point out that A11 wanted to come, and it’s been planned for a week.  Why is it being changed at this late stage?  He tells me I can collect him from where he’s playing across town but I haven’t allowed time for that and I still need to get ready.  He needs to get him back to me as arranged as he’s putting his social needs above what the kids want.  He thanks me and hangs up.

I try his phone half a dozen times and he doesn’t answer. He knows I’m going into a meeting yet is stopping me from speaking to the kids, which is alienation.  He’s made my blood boil!

batshit

And that, my dear, is what you are

Meeting is due to start at 7 pm and I’m there in time.

TWO MINUTES before it’s due to start, AH calls to say he’ll drop M11 at the school in 5 minutes, and can I meet them at the gate.

What …. the …. hell?!

Don’t get to give cuddles to the other two as the meeting’s started.  M11 enjoys it and, having run through it’s contents with him on the way back to AH’s, know that he’s taken it all in to pass on.

They’re still awake when I drop M11 back just before 8 (though Ms6 should be fast asleep) so get my cuddles.  Head to the pub to catch up with a mate as not ready for an empty house.  Just feeling out-of-sorts after the to-do with Dorrie on top of the frustration/hatred AH made me feel today.  Nice to be able to speak to him about it and he’s able to make me realise I’m not going nuts and I do need to stop trying to put a label on myself.

As I’ve said, I’m struggling to find answers to some of the questions that are reverberating around my brain:  Why do I care what others in this community think?  He’s called me a narcissist and I question if he’s right?  Why do I still want him to hurt as he’s hurt me?  Why does having Grolsch and Sputnik here wind me up so much?   Why do I still feel as though I have to do everything?

Although, funnily enough, what eventutated on Sunday has taken me closer to the answers and peace I am seeking.

But that must be for the final chapter tomorrow, as I’m sure it’s only a couple of hours before one of the kids decides to break the sleep I hope to be having 🙂

The foul fortnight – Pt II

AH called the kids first thing on Easter Saturday and I heard M11 saying that I thought he might not want to come to our ‘adult meeting’ after yesterday.  M11 is particularly keen for it to happen as he needs $460 to go on camp in October.  I’ve suggested he think of some tasks that he might do to raise some of that money.  I don’t believe kids should just be given things like this on a silver platter as life just doesn’t work that way.  Until AH gives his okay to M11 doing this, I can’t let him start – hence M11’s enthusiasm.

Meeting is set for 11 am at a local café.  At 10:57, he emails:

[M11] told me you wouldn’t be coming to our meeting…I’m at [venue]…are you coming down?

That’s NOT what M11 said!  He has misunderstood, or purposely twisted it for his own purposes.

Got an agenda to keep to and, with the words of fellow blogger (euphoriciraqisinglemom) ringing in my ears, my mantra is “Do not attack!”.

His face is like thunder.  His auntie has long wanted him to get help for his anger … it might take a while to ignite, but when it does, boy, it’s like Vesuvius.  Getting Sputnik breathtested clearly made that volcano blow.  No niceities … straight into it:

1.  M11’s fundraising

AH wants to just pay his share and ‘has no doubt that I will teach him the lesson‘.  Suggest a simple 10-pin bowling hour fundraiser.  He refuses outright to stand on a sausage sizzle.  I say it’s not fair that my family, neighbours and I are the only ones contributing.  Could he let him wash cars [“I’m not standing on a car wash” – explain M11 could wash his and Grolsch’s cars as he’s jumped to the wrong conclusion.  Again!].  He eventually stops being so pig-headed and agrees but wants full details first … ie. I have to do all the work.

2. Dutch bit of fluff

Ask why Sputnik is showing Ms6 fotos of the Dutch chick at a BBQ at their place.  He denies that Sputnik would’ve done this but does confirm she went there for a BBQ last year.  How would Ms6 have known about the photo?  Said I don’t care if they’re together, but he’s got to be honest with the kids.  It’s a small community.  He says he has been honest.  I don’t even laugh out loud.

3. Plans for 2 April

He’s meant to be going to his all-day concert in town.  I’ve a ladies’ lunch and a party in the evening.  Ask who he’s got to look after the kids.  He refuses to tell me.  I explain I need to know where M9 will be collected from at 4 pm for his 1-on-1 (even though I’m not going to be back in time, I’ll arrange a sleepover).  He’ll let me know.  Not sure why the secrecy.

4. UK flat

Suggest that if our current proposed buyer won’t let the lease extension notice be assigned to her, we should let her go and get someone in for a 6-mth unfurnished tenancy.  We can’t have it sitting empty.  He agrees.  Woohoo!

5. School notices

Give him this week’s notices as he won’t think to get them online.

6. Consistency between homes

He seriously doesn’t care that routines are so lax at his place.  He says he’s going to get in touch with the mediation service and get things changed.  No idea what that will entail as I don’t believe that: (a) his work would let him have 5-days a week shortened hours; and (b) it is simply not in the kids’ best interests.

And with that, he leaves.

He texts later that afternoon to let me know that the person he hoped would have the kids on the 2nd can’t have them.  I find it hard to believe that, out of that group I’ve moved away from, not one of them could help.  There’s good mates right there!

I tongue-in-cheek ask if he’ll have M9 too, seeings he’ll have the other two.  Surprised that he agrees.

It’s the last night with my parents and I’m taking the kids away camping with neighbours for a couple of nights.  Text AH asking him to put M9’s togs in his letterbox so I can get them on the way out tomorrow.

Easter Bunny visits to the kids’ delight.  AH calls to let the kids know he’s heading back to his (stayed at Grolsch’s) to put the togs in the letterbox as he forgot.  Also let’s them know he’s got Easter eggs for them.  Surprised he isn’t at his house when we get there.  All three of them are disappointed.  He’s not seen them since 5 pm on Thursday!  Why would he not have waited to have said hello/goodbye to them?

And with so many words and heavy eyes, Pt III to follow tomorrow …

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