And … relaaxx!

What a crazy few days!  Tonight is the first night since Wed that I’ve sat down at the end of a night.  It’s been great fun, but it is nice to have the legs up.

Recapping the past few days:

Thurs was my birthday.  Woohoo.  Happy Born-Day, me!  Changeover day but at least started with wishes from the boys on waking.  AH had refused to come get them, stating “your turn to drop them” but gave no timings so figured he was happy to get them when we got there.  I’d already arranged that I could have them for lunch so texted him at 09:20 to check if I was getting them from his or from their mate’s, who’d invited them to play (M12 had called AH first thing to let him know they were invited and they wanted to go).  AH, in his privileged way, actually replied that I had made the arrangements for the play and he was waiting for me to let him know what was happening.  Why the hell would I make plans for the boys on his time!?  I mean, COME ON!!  He has this kid’s dad’s details so needed to be the one to make arrangements.  I’m not his personal assistant anymore!  At that stage, he also lets me know that he has an appointment “in 15 mins” and “… if [Ms7’s] not here when I leave, I’ll let you know when I’m back so you can drop her off.  I also have another appointment at 1.30pm [on my asking if 1 pm was ok for me to get them].  What time will you drop them off?”

I collect Ms7 from her sleepover and get to his at 09:50.  He’s not there.  I let him know I’ll take them to my work as he’s abandoned them.  I just don’t get why he insisted on me dropping them back, when he’d made an appointment and therefore had a time limit.  Surely it would’ve made sense for him to have collected them?  Or, at least, let me know in advance that he would be going out .. ?!

I unwrap the kids’ present.  Boy, did that make me feel flat: a massive chocolate bunny.  It would’ve been in the Easter egg clearance rack at 50%+ off.  Not even a birthday card.  Ms7 tells me she didn’t want to buy it – it was M10’s idea.  I don’t imagine AH got himself involved in the process at all.

I’m not going to let it bother me.  He’s a prick and it’s my birthday!

Just after 11, he texts to ask if I’ll drop the boys to their mate’s after lunch.  Well, hell no!   Not after the shit you’ve given me already!

I go to pick up the kids for a birthday lunch with me and he actually comes out carrying Ms7 in his arms.  Eugh!  Extremely faux, OTT “hi – hope you’re having a good day” (without mentioning the words ‘happy’ or ‘birthday’) but asks if I’ll drop the boys to their play on my way back to work.  “No dear.  I’ll drop all 3 back to you after lunch”.  He tries to embarrass me into being his chauffeur but fails miserably.

Have a nice lunch with the kids and just after 2pm, drop them back.  WTH!!  He’s not bloody there!  Second time today!  Again, I take the kids to my work so he can collect them after his appointment (and let him know ‘my babysitting rates are reasonable @ $20/hr so let’s just call it $10’ – he didn’t respond to this).

My God!  Where to start?!  Turns out the morning appointment was with his bank.  The afternoon: the doctor.  So, on a day where he’s supposedly ‘working from home’ (as a public servant, whose wage is paid by my taxes), he books two personal appointments.  I have no issue with this (well, except for that ‘ripping off the taxpayer’ thing), but to not communicate his timings with me … ?!  It beggars belief.

Off to a concert with Mr Muso that night which was great – old NZ band from the 80s/90s.  All-in-all, other than having to speak direct to AH, a great birthday!

Fri:  work then drove north to meet up with Mr Lee.  Despite the campsite being flooded, managed to stay under the canopy of trees with no-one else around, and wake to native birdsong.

Sat:  a good mate’s daughter’s 4th birthday party so, despite having no kids, headed there.  I had M10 for 1-on-1 so gave him the choice of what he wanted to do: go get a movie and head home, or go to the party.  He was adamant: back to the party.  I don’t care that AH will give me grief about lack of a “quality 1-on-1”.  M10 made the choice – not me.  We stayed over there and left a bit late so missed AH dropping the other 2 at mine, so I got them to take them back to his and I’d collect them from there; 10 mins late.

Today:  M12 got back here in a strange mood.  Very upset.  Saying he has no friends here.  AH had gone drinking on Friday and left them with a babysitter, so perhaps it was a late night that made him so emotional (he tried to say, they were in bed at 7.30pm, but Ms7 said otherwise).  I took the kids to check out a 4-bed house about a 20 min drive away.  Have stressed to them I’m not buying it; I’m just curious to see what’s out there as M12 is getting too big to have to share a room.  M10 shocked me when I said where the house was … “I don’t want to move there, it’s too Maori”.  Where the hell did any of my kids get a racist attitude like that from?  

Overpriced for it’s state and location but kids all got very excited when they saw it; especially that they’d have their own rooms.  Already discussing who would have which room.

AH will fume when he hears that I looked at a house away from here.  With any luck, he will get a letter this week from my lawyer.  Mr Muso (who would call himself a recovering control freak) has said AH will HATE my new approach as it takes the control out of AH’s hands – and that’s completely the right move!

Grateful for:

  1. the kids not completely dismissing the idea of moving away;
  2. Mr Lee – he knows what to do and gets me out of my comfort zone; and
  3. good friends who made me feel special on my birthday.
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Changes

I texted AH late last night about swapping days (so I can go see Tami Neilson in June).  It’s 10 hours before he lets me know, “I will get back to you shortly”.  Code for: I need to check that will not interfere with shagging skank.

It’s another 90 mins before I hear he’ll swap.  Yay!  He also finally suggests alternate dates for the two of his I had in Melbourne.  Problem is, the dates he suggests are Fridays.  Which are his days!  He seems to have missed, or be purposely ignoring, the fact that he got two working days he wouldn’t have normally had, and I missed out on two, and I’m keen for that to be balanced.

He brings up a third point.  M10 is apparently wanting the 1-on-1 he missed while we were in Melbourne.  M12 and Ms7 both missed theirs too but understand that this happens sometimes.  For them, life goes on.  But M10 has played the victim card on AH’s table.  And AH has let him, without considering the issues this raises, ie having to fit it into the schedule/the other two then seeing it as unfair that he gets his so they will want theirs.  I let AH know that we need to agree a position here so that he doesn’t feed into M10’s behaviours (the manipulator, the victim and his refusal to take responsibility), which were very clear to all my family while away.

I feel [M10] needs me. I dont have any unusual behavior issues with [M10]. What exactly has been noticed by your family? I’d like to understand — I’m amazed that you’ve not noticed his changes. Please explain how, knowing he needs you, how you refused his tearful request [of] wanting you to have them dropped after the airport, preferring a night with [skank] instead.

How can AH possibly say that his son needs him – but when he was crying, literally CRYING, to have time with his dad, AH ignored it because of a fuck!?

5 hours after agreeing to the June change, I get an odd email:

Thanks – Its dawned on me why you want me to have the children and swap Monday for Wednesday.  Ive changed my mind – no – you can have them from 9am to 6pm on Monday as is the norm for Public holidays and what I had to do for the Bank Holiday.

I have no idea what he’s talking about.  I ask, but he refuses to answer.

Ms7 had a sleepover tonight so I could take the boys to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  Had such a laugh – I do love Chris Pratt, ever since Parks & Recreation.  Comedy can make a man sexier.

The way he beefed up for Jurassic World and GotG probably helps too 🙂

Grateful for:

  1. getting the email to my lawyer stating the new tack;
  2. special night out with my boys; and
  3. a good fun night with the neighbours last night and a lazy, relaxing lie-in this morning!

Spotty

The blinkin’ school sores are back!  When the kids were dropped back on Sunday, M10 tells me Daddy thinks he’s got a couple on his back, which the doc confirmed this afternoon.  I’m surprised that AH didn’t text me about them until late this morning, leaving it to M10 to tell me but I suppose, by putting it in text today, he got it in writing showing what an amazing father he is.

I just don’t why/know how these kids are getting so many infections.  It’s doing my head in!

AH didn’t even speak to me to discuss it when he rang at 08:20.  God knows why he felt the need to call that early as he’d spoken to them all last night.  All it did was appear to distress them as the fights started not long after (including AH threatening ‘to give Ms7 a punch in the head’).  Might have had something to do with AH telling M12 he couldn’t give him have extra time on Wed morning … though apparently “they’d do something special”.

An otherwise busy, but good, day.  M12 finally got to spend his dog-walking savings on a tablet.  He ticked my boxes: (a) it was on sale; (b) he could buy it without needing a ‘loan’ from me; and (c) he saw the benefit of saving for a goal.  He’s pretty proud of himself and I hope it’s the start of some monetary nous for the future.

AH has got the kids tomorrow as it’s Anzac Day.  I would welcome the peace but will go to yoga and work … hardly ‘peaceful’.

Grateful for:

  1. A light at the end of the wood-stacking and laundry-putting-away tunnels;
  2. hearing that Tami Neilson is playing up the road in June; and
  3. autumn sunshine.

Clarity

Glad to say, the tears have stopped today.  Felt better getting my concerns onto paper (well, screen) with pros and cons, and after talking to a couple of friends.  Whilst they’re feeling empathy for the position I’m in, they’re also careful to not tell me what I should do.

Which I’d normally appreciate … but I think, right now, I need a less subtle, less kind ear.  I need someone who can give it to me direct.  To make me consider all scenarios and ensure that my next step is the best possible one, for me and for the kids: and today I believe that applying to the court for full custody and relocation (along with requesting this house gets put on the market and a 65:35 split of the relationship property, in my favour) IS the best option.

A new start.  Away from here.  Closer to my support network.  Where AH can’t continue to manipulate them.  Where a new school could highlight the shoddy education they’re currently getting.  Where a greater ‘melting pot’ of cultures can be experienced.

I feel better having acknowledged that decision – but am wary of the next step.  I’ll need to get in touch with the lawyer … $$ kerching, kerching $$ … and alter what we recently decided we’d put to AH to settle.  There’s a lot of remedial work that needs to be done here: does it get done beforehand to attain a higher sale price, or accept a lower price rather than putting more money in?  If AH comes back and says he’ll buy it at the price I’ve agreed to buy him out at, can I still refuse that, as we’d make more money if it went to auction?

The kids won’t be happy.  They’ve said they want to stay at their school/here, but it’s all been hypothetical up til now.  Got a great quote from a friend yesterday though:

You will find the long term goal may out weigh the short term heartache

Let the courts decide!

Got kids back half-an-hour late as Ms7 was slept late (knew he wouldn’t bring them back on time).  Boys had a play I set up while we were away, and were excited to hear they were going.  Got a friend over for Ms7.

M12 starts to get leaky eyes at dinner (must be contagious!) as his 1-on-1 on Tues falls on a public holiday, ie AH will have the other 2 as well, until 6 pm.  He feels he misses out on 2 hours with AH so I say I’m ok if he only comes back at 11am on Wed.  He puts it to AH, who I have no doubt will say ‘no’ due to work.  I’m doing dishes but Ms7 tells me M10 is crying so I go into their room, where M12 has the phone on speaker, to see what’s upset him.  AH actually has the audacity to ask “did someone ask you to put the phone on speaker?”.  In-fuckin-appropriate!

AH normally seems to finish work at about 4 so to stay late is not unfeasible.  Were he to spend that extra time with M12, if he simply stayed late for, say, 1½ hours on Mon and Wed, he’d have made up that time.   I won’t hold my breath.

And I hope M12 doesn’t either.

Grateful for:

  1. sunshine;
  2. the boys getting a 6-hour play with their friend and Ms7 getting girl-time; and
  3. chipping away at the post-holiday laundry.

Ohana

ohana

It’s been 21 months since my family has been together.  Regrettably, it was for my niece’s funeral and a couple of nephews weren’t there.  And it clearly wasn’t a happy time.

20 of us just had the most wonderful 4 days together in Melbourne [my youngest brother’s wife couldn’t make it, and my niece’s fiance].  Papa envisaged it and .. BOOM! .. it happened.

And it was wonderful.  Truly, truly wonderful.

I think I’ve cried for near on 24 hours now… ever since we left Melbourne.  I miss my parents.  I miss my siblings.  I miss the chaos.  I miss the crazy.  I miss the support.  I miss my kids having cousins/aunties/uncles to talk to.  I miss the laughter.  So much laughter.

I feel something I’ve not felt since this process started.

I feel lonely…

… And confused …

Given my ‘leaky optics’ situation since leaving Melbourne, being closer to my family is paramount … not just for me.  The kids are regressing here.

It was an amazing trip.  Warm weather.  Crammed as much into the days as possible.  Granted, trying to co-ordinate 20 people’s plans into a day, really pushed some German boundaries, but we managed to break off and do our own things, while still coming together as a family at the end of a day.

Being back has made me question … WHY AM I FIGHTING TO STAY HERE?  Why would I be offering AH an extra $87,500 to pay for this shithole?  Why not put the place on the market and split any proceeds?  Why go to court to fight for a house I don’t want, to keep the kids in a school they’re not thriving in, to stay in a place that does nothing for me?!?!  To give him larger cut of pie that I’ve paid for?!  Why not go to court now and establish my parameters?  They’ll tell me whether I can go north with the kids, or without them?

The court won’t take relocation lightly.  But my parents and siblings all noticed the change in the boys, in particular M10.  That victim card.  It’s everyone else’s fault that he gets growled at .. when he’s ignored the 3x prior, calm, polite requests.

AH still refused to let me drop them to his once back from the airport (1 am), despite the boys crying down the phone to him on Thurs night pleading for it!.  Curious, I drove by his place on the way to mine and, lo and behold, no car.  No surprise!  Skank was kid-free and, even though it was his time, he chose to have no kids … so they could spend the night together.  I wonder if he told her he’d spoken to them on Thurs and they were desperate to stay with him so he’d have to get home!  I very much doubt it, somehow!

Ms7 only wakes at 8:30 so AH comes to get them at 9:20.  If he hadn’t been getting his end away, he could’ve had all that time with his kids!

At 10:27, he texts:  “can I have the children until 9am on Monday morning pls”.

change

It’s affects what I’ve already planned for Sunday.  Less than 24-hours away.  So, I say ‘no’.

And he texts back …

(a)  I don’t need to explain anything to him;

(b)  On 22 March, I first asked him about changing days so that he didn’t miss out where I had them in Melbourne (I don’t care that I had them for 2 extra days, but the kids are asking for it).  I’ve chased him 3 times, but he still hasn’t proposed alternates … until this morning.  And it’s for the following day.  And it’s for a Sunday (ie I still miss out on a work day yet he won’t);

(c)  he looks like the good fella in front of the kids;

(d)  he’s not told them he’s refused to have them for either Mon or Wed this coming week;

(e)  before now, he’s not bothered to ask about having them tomorrow; and

(f)  he prioritised a fuck over them this morning.

And I’m the one who’s messing with them … ?!!!

Yup.  Time to get away from here!

Grateful for:

  1. my parents, for getting us all together;
  2. Melbourne, for being an amazing city; and
  3. my niece and my sister-in-law’s laughter – it’s so hard having a family get-together with their sister/daughter physically present; but to hear them having fun – hopefully a little bit guilt-free – was beautiful.

Easter break

From 9 am yesterday to 6 pm Monday, I am kid-free.  No refereeing their fights.  No cooking or cleaning their mess.  4 days to pack bags for our trip as, as soon as I get them back, we drive to my brother’s for the night before an early flight.

M12 called me yesterday about his 1-on-1 on Saturday.  He’s worried that he’s going to miss out on Easter eggs, so I give him a quick religious lesson, ie. eggs come on Sunday.  I question, again, why was he in the middle as I could hear AH in the background saying, “it’s Easter, you are with me for all of it, don’t worry, I’ll email Mama” (yet he never said any of this to me prior).

I ask to speak to AH.  He just talks over me then hangs up without resolution.  Tells me “his finger slipped” when I call back to finish saying goodnight to the kids.

I’m not going to waste time or energy fighting this so tell M12 we’ll pause all three 1-on-1’s then no-one feels they missed out when the others hadn’t.  He’s happy.

It’s annoying as I didn’t expect to have a child for 1-on-1 on Saturday.  To give an opportunity to go away on this long weekend (ie I would head to my parents’ if it was my year), we normally halt 1-on-1s.  But AH asked me to swap M12’s so I presumed he wanted it to happen.  This wouldn’t have been an issue if he hadn’t have brought it up.  I could’ve made plans if I didn’t think I’d have to be home by 4 pm Saturday.  I wonder if AH brought it up purely to stop me from getting away .. ?!

Anyway, I’m not going to let it cause any stress.  I’ll see if Mr Lee might be free 🙂

AH still hasn’t confirmed when he’ll have the kids to balance his days that they’re with me.  I want to make plans for the 2nd week of the holidays and don’t even know if I’ll have them:

I will take my 2 days with the children when I can best use them.

WTF?  His workplace flexibility no longer seems to exist.  He doesn’t seem to recognise that the kids actually want to spend quality time with him.  Just HIM!  I let him know but, again, his bitterness clouds his judgement:

I wont lose my time with them, I want my time with them and I will make up that time with them.  It wont be because you tell me when it has to happen

Ignore the fact the kids are the one asking for this, AH.  Ignore that Ms7 wasn’t surprised when you couldn’t make jazz because of your work.  Ignore the opportunity to actually take your kids out and have fun, memorable days with them during the holidays.  I doubt he will ever make up those days.

Grateful for:

  1. wonderful lunch with friends today;
  2. my white chocolate & raspberry cheesecake turning out pretty good; and
  3. that Cyclone Cook they warned was going to the the worst for decades was anything but.  Quite a let-down after the press made it out to be HUGE!  (not unlike sex with the ex, lol!).