An interesting week

It’s been an interesting week this week. 

For the first time, I bailed on helping out. I’m not always home to help but, if I’m home, I make a point of making sure I go and help with lunches and laundry and all that after the kids fall asleep. It’s important to me to be a part of that, to not make Curtis do it by himself. But this time… we divided and conquered, he took Nolan to basketball and I stayed home and made forts and put together Lego with Reegan and Taitum. Then I read to Reegan and he fell asleep with Nolan. Normally, it’s Curtis who falls asleep and I end up doing it on my own. I won’t fight with him to get up and help. Last night, I was so tired and the weather gave me such a headache, I told him I was coming, but didn’t follow. At some point I woke up in Reegan’s bed (where I had been scratching his back) and I moved to my bed (still in my clothes). When Curtis woke me up to ask if I wanted to get in my pjs, I actually thought I was still in Reegan’s bed. When I realized where I was, no jammies for me, I just wanted to sleep. This winter has been tough on me with all the up and down and everything that’s going on. There’s part of me that is really looking forward to having more time to do things. I’m ready to not go go go for a little while. Curtis does it on his own a lot and I am looking forward to getting back to normal. 

Then we had our usual Kim struggles… not telling us about appointment changes, and the school not calling us because she is the first contact. We went back to court last year because the school said they couldn’t call Curtis without a court order saying that they have 50/50 custody and that he has to be called. So we got that. And they still don’t call. They treat him like a deadbeat dad when he is sometimes more involved than she is. She worries only about appearances and not in the little things that we work so hard to do every day. 

He tried to talk about sports again but she is “sooooo busy”, she won’t even agree to sit and talk to him. He said that he doesn’t care what they play as long as they get to go all the time, but we all know it won’t change and they will only get to play on our days and we won’t be allowed to watch the kids play “her sport” on “her days”.

The only funny thing is he feels like this new dentist got the heads up about her behaviour because they actually wanted his information. She did the usual thing of only being free on her days (which, of course, doesn’t matter if Curtis isn’t available, she’ll do it anyway). He said he got the vibe like this dentist was warned about how she is and not to leave the dad out. Maybe not, but it’s a nice thought, not being left out simply because he’s the dad.

And, by the way, we did end up going out for our anniversary – his idea. So it’s all a little better in our world. Even if just small victories.


Happy Anniversary?

Our anniversary came and went with no fanfare. We didn’t even acknowledge it until tonight during an argument where I pointed it out (not in angry way, just in a ‘I thought that’s what that good thing was about’ way). At one time I had visions of us reliving our first date every year to celebrate. But we said nothing. And I’m mostly disappointed by how ok with that I am. I don’t know if it’s because of the uncertainty of it all, or because it was just so damn busy. I think it’s the former. It’s hard to celebrate living in limbo for so long.
I spent our anniversary taking Taitum to his hockey tournament and watching him get his first goal. And then rushing to watch Reegan win his tournament. And feeling like a parent. And totally not when I couldn’t fill out the waiver for the kids for Skyzone or when I don’t know anyone because I’ve only been around for 2 years. The former turned out to be moot because we did not plan ahead. And we yipped and sniped at each other because that seems to me what we do right now. I see all these pics come up on my frame at work and I never feel as happy as I look there. We fought about his creepo uncle, and about how to handle Reegan’s birthday, as we dropped the kids off after midnight, and about who was going grocery shopping. While I had a great day with the kids. It was not a happy anniversary, not for me. 

The funny thing is, he had no idea I felt that way. He thought everything was ok. He thought it was simply a great weekend. And it was, for us as a family, but I thought he was angry/frustrated/disappointed with me all weekend. I felt like we were constantly arguing. And somehow that’s my fault for not understanding the frustration he was showing when talking to me was not about me. When I brought it up, then I got the real argument. After such a crazy, great weekend with the boys, it had a really crappy end. 

I really do feel lucky that he is (mostly) so supportive of what I do. He was pulled in a million directions today and there wasn’t much I could do except help with groceries, which I did (without complaint, for once) And we yipped about what time was good for his sister to call and why I need him to focus on a grocery list. He wasn’t happy that I wouldn’t be home for Reegan’s cake, but he understood. I am exhausted. We woke up one kid with our (quiet) discussion. He said he was surprised and happy that I never felt overwhelmed by it all, and while that it’s not entirely true, it was mostly true. I just did what had to be done. So maybe I’ll take that as the win for the weekend. 

When we don’t have the kids

When we don’t have the kids, in some ways, it’s easier… we (finally) took down the Christmas stuff and cleaned up the chaos and we managed to get out to see friends of mine back home yesterday. Although we would have loved to have brought the kids, they would have all had hockey and it probably wouldn’t have worked. I wouldn’t trade that time with the kids, but it is easier to do stuff. 

When we don’t have the kids, I find things like this to remember fondly that time when they ran out of arrows and started fighting over the guns. 

When we don’t have the kids, we don’t take care of ourselves so well. This is an actual shot of my fridge this morning. In order to afford to feed the kids all the extra things they like, we pare back when they’re not here. This is a little ridiculous. We don’t really eat out, either. We just make do.

I miss them this morning and I worry about that poison their mom is feeding them about us. And there is nothing I can do. So I do their laundry so it’s fresh when they get here on Tuesday and I go about my day. Our crazy double life.

No one is alone

I feel a little better. Funny how a kid throwing up and asking you to rub their back makes you feel like a parent. First vomit experience, btw. It was…gross, lol. Poor Taitum. It’s another helpless feeling when you can’t help stop a kid from throwing up. It’s funny, the thought did enter my mind that he was faking a tummy ache when he didn’t want to eat dinner (it’s a somewhat frequent occurrence in our house), but I did actually believe that this time was for real because he had been saying that all day. I’m glad I didn’t try to force him to eat supper. And I can’t really complain, Curtis did all the heavy lifting. I was on washing machine duty… crap, I think those sheets are still in the wash… Dammit.

The lawyer got back to us and said, basically, that there is nothing we can do. So Kim gets to go on being her awesome self and we have no recourse but for Curtis to call the doctors and dentists and the school and find out what’s happened behind our back that we’ve not been told about and to remind them that it’s 50/50 custody. And somehow she’s spun it to make Curtis look bad. She just gets to keep on lying and no one will stop her.

I also had a really good chat with a friend this morning who said that all parents go through many of the things we go through (even when they’re not divorced – without all the custody stuff). I’m not just saying that because she’s pretty much the only one who reads this… but it made me feel better, not so alone. So thank you, my friend xo. 2017 has been a rough year so far and it makes me both sad and relieved to know that someone else understands.


Do bad parents really get what they deserve?

Today I feel panicked. I feel like I can’t do it. I feel like I can’t deal with Kim anymore. What a horrible human being. What a horrible parent. It’s just lie after lie after lie. To us, to the kids, to everyone else. She’s fighting with Curtis about the dentist again – calling the Health Unit and lying to them and telling them she’s a single parent, saying Curtis won’t use his coverage on the kids – all so¬†she can get her own coverage to take them to her childhood dentist 40 minutes away and so he can’t take them to one in town. That’s what we’re down to. Petty bullshit. Worst of all, she’s telling him he doesn’t care about the kids. And telling the kids Daddy doesn’t care about them. I’m shaking and I feel sick. I don’t want to hear any more but I want him to be able to talk to me and I really don’t want him to have to go through this alone. She’s bad-mouthing him to the kids and to anyone else who will listen. Where is the justice for the good parents? Am I a bad person if I can’t deal with her any more?

Back to the lawyer we go. What a way to start the year.


Taking the holidays into perspective

It was a tough holiday… the in-laws visit was nice. It wasn’t bad at all. There were a few moments where I got stressed and I was unacceptably rude, but they forgave me because I’m family. Yep, I’m the jerk. I was even a little sad they ran out in the morning, which, of course, was a result of my behaviour. (See above). I don’t feel like Curtis and I have really recovered from the holiday. It weighs on me. I never did speak to him before New Years to tell him my feelings on this year so that’s weighing on me, too. All-in-all, I wish I felt the same kind of hope and promise for the new year that I usually feel. Instead, I see a year filled with more battles with Kim, more battles about Kim, more battles as a result of Curtis taking his anger at Kim out on me. A good friend reminded me today that it’s not a competition with her. We just need to be the best versions of who we are. Do the best for the kids. 

My mom was in fine form asking how someone as nice as Derek could end up with Karina. I was so mad and so embarrassed by that. I must have apologized to him 10 times. I did warn Curtis she was like that… but to say that about his sister in his house… sometimes I wonder how she can be so obtuse and so tone deaf. Really, mom? They’re a great couple. She’s just… my mom. And I really need to take a cue from him and be more forgiving of family. 

I hope the kids had a good holiday. It was so hard to lose half the time we had with them. I really hope that had a good time. The last of the gifts we were waiting for finally arrived so I think Nolan will be excited when he comes home tomorrow.

Our family Christmas

I should go to my show tomorrow night, but I’m also supposed to watch them while Curtis is at fire practice. I could ask his mom, but I think I want that time. The show doesn’t really need me. I think it might also be healthy for me to let some of that control go. That kind of control-freakness is what gets me into trouble. As witnessed over the holidays. I need to be able to let go. I also have the option to go out Saturday night when we have the kids and I’m torn. That family time is important to me. But so is Emily. I never see her and, while she never comes out here, either, I want to spend that time with her. Although, an ex-boyfriend who I am still really mad at might be going (note: owes me $400 and still has my In the Heights CDs and my muppet). So I need to think about that one. Curtis is at a fire so I have a little time. It’s funny how we compartmentalize things. I wonder if that’s what makes me able to be a step-mom, that each life has a separate box. 

It worries me when he goes to a fire, though, what if I lose him, I lose my family as well. Will I ever get to see them again? I know that’s morbid and when I think about it it makes me cry so I know I need to give this a chance. I spend way too long thinking about it. I spend too much time thinking about it all. There are a lot of things I should be doing right now and instead I’m writing. My head is still spinning. Has been for weeks now. I think this will be another year of that. Hopefully by the end, I’ll be back on solid ground.