After an extremely satisfying weekend full of grown-up, Scorpio-related activities, I went to pick up daughter from Grandma Roofie’s house. Three little girls ran squealing around the house, while pregnant Blondie lounged at the dining room table. Rooferman avoided eye contact as I tried to corral a hyped-up LB.
For the first time, my child told me she wanted to stay at Daddy’s house, and commenced sobbing when I told her we had to go. Blondie quickly piped in that “Everything would be fine once we start every other week.”
They must be telling LB that she is going to start spending more time with them. They’ve also been telling Grandma Roofie that their financial woes will all be solved once joint-custody is established. In other words, if they no longer have to pay child support. Blondie isn’t working due to the fact that she will lose Medicaid coverage for her pregnancy. Rooferman has been working 7 days a week to keep them afloat.
Once again, not my fault he can’t afford the life he chose. Once again, you shouldn’t pursue joint custody for financial reasons. You should pursue it for the good of your child. For some reason he thinks all his problems will be solved once we have 50/50.
It always takes LB a few days to get back into the groove. She’s more aggressive, emotional, irritated and generally whiny when she comes home from her daddy’s house. I try to keep a laid back attitude around it, but last night it was getting to me.
See following conversation which took place during bath time. “Blondie” of course was replaced with her actual name:
“I want to be at daddy’s house.”
“Don’t worry, you get to see him in a week.”
“I don’t want to be here.”
“You get to be with Mommy now.”
“Blondie is my mommy.”
“Blondie is Blondie Jr’s mommy.”
“NO! Blondie is MY MOMMY.”
“No I AM your mommy.”
“No Blondie IS!”
“You were NOT in Blondie’s tummy. You were in MY tummy. So that means I’m YOUR MOMMY!”
I had to excuse myself before I started crying in front of my daughter. I stood outside the bathroom door and hyperventilated for a second. Obviously I was overreacting. Obviously, my daughter is getting older and wants to be included in her dad’s new family, which means she calls Blondie “mommy” when she’s over there. Obviously this was going to happen and I shouldn’t let it bother me.
But it did. Also LB wouldn’t stop calling me by my first name.
At bedtime, she immediately fell into a deep sleep. The next morning I could barely wake her up. At preschool she took a 4 hour nap. Such is the coming-home routine.
That night she refused to go to bed. The usual parenting tactics weren’t working. Still miffed about being “de-mommied” the night before, I marched her back into her room for the 5th time and yelled, “Do I have to start spanking you like your daddy and Blondie? Are you going to stop listening to me because you know I won’t hit you like your daddy? I don’t like hitting kids. I don’t like scaring you. But if you won’t listen to me like you used to, then we’re going to have do something about that!”
LB looked at me with big, shocked eyes. I felt bad. I hugged her and she cried. I left the room and stared at the TV. I couldn’t tell you what show was on. All I could think about was the war my daughter was going to grow up in. The anger and the tension and fear and confusion she was going to deal with on a weekly basis. I was part of it. I was making it worse.
And I didn’t have a clue how to fix it.