Spot

You all remember “Spot” right?

Click here to or Here  refresh your memory.

Its kind of a running joke between us, the whole “Spot” thing. He actually signs her daily sheets with “Spot” instead of his real name. He’s been LB’s teacher at her daycare for almost a year now. She runs to hug him in the morning. Every week he shows me pictures and tells me funny stories about her. She talks about him on the weekend. Monday is her favorite day because she goes back to see him. Did I mention he’s really cute and I have a minor crush on his uncanny nurturing manliness?

He was fired today. “Spot” is gone.

I’m so upset on so many levels, I don’t know how to express it.

I made an utter fool of myself, sobbing on the phone to the Head Start Central office, asking them how they can justify firing someone who has never been late once in their entire career, except for this one day when his alarm didn’t go off? I blubbered that I’m a single mom and my daughter doesn’t have a lot of positive male role models, so this man was extremely important to her, let alone the rest of the kids.

They flatly told me that they have  a zero tolerance policy on “AWOL” employees. I told them I’m filing a complaint with the Board to have that policy changed and “Spot” reinstated.

I know I don’t need more stress in my life, but this is just WRONG. I have to do something. My daughter is losing a very important person in her life. “Spot’s” losing a job he loves.  Its making me sick and angry, but mostly, sad. Very sad.

Without her presence

I took a lot of naps this weekend. I stared at the wall for long periods of time too. I wrapped myself in a blanket and watched Netflix. I read Anne Lamott. I watched the Broncos. I drank tea. I took more naps. I also killed a bottle of wine by myself.

My grandparents came up from Arizona on Saturday, so of course they wanted to see LB. Grandma Ruby requested some time with her as well. Rooferman claimed his visitation on Sunday, so I spent a total of 5 hours with my daughter this weekend.

Did I down a bottle of wine because I was sad and missed LB? Because I had to opportunity to be hungover without a toddler in the vicinity? Because I have no life and it was the only thing I could think of? Because I was at a party? Because I’m beginning to realize that taking Rooferman to court has cut into the time I used to spend with my daughter? Because I’m selfish? Because I’m ragging?

I know the 19 hours a week LB spends with her dad isn’t a lot of time. But its 2 evenings and one full day more than what I’m used to. That’s almost half the free time I have to spend with my daughter.  I’m not a stay-at-home mom. I work 40 hours a week. I look forward to those 5 evenings and 2 full days. Thats really not a lot of time to begin with.

Its clear that I really need to get over this. Can you see the panic in this entry? The wave of “what the hell am I going to do with myself” coming on strong? The anger and regret starting to boil?  The courts are not going to like this “YOU’RE TAKING MY DAUGHTER AWAY FROM ME” mom, even if that’s how I’m feeling. These thoughts will bring nothing but trouble.

I can be away from my daughter. I can get used to living without her presence 24/7, even if that has been my life up for the last 2 years. I can find other things to do with my free time, that doesn’t involve drinking, napping and staring at walls.

But it still hurts.

Dating disaster

I wrote a long, bitter post about Singles Meet and Greet, but I just felt even most pissed off after completing it, so I figured if I can’t even make myself feel better after purging the feelings, why publish pointless negativity?

Honestly it wasn’t that bad. There weren’t any stalkers there. The food was good and the bartenders were nice enough to give me the leftover Martini shaker along with my Cosmopolitan. Everyone else was drinking Bud. Everyone else was also at least 40 years old.  JL and I were the only  20-somethings in the room.

Ok I take it back, there was a 22-year-old mechanic who was pretty toasted. When the MC announced we were going to Speed Date, I was ready to join him. Three Cosmos and one glass of wine later, I had actually  met about 10 single dads, all about 42ish and all with kids over the age of 13. They were nice guys. They cared about their kids. They were almost as old as my parents.

Am I agist? Maybe. All I know is if MY dad were dating a 26-year-old, I would puke on his Birkenstocks.

The worst moment: When I was paired up with the only 50-something guy, he actually looked at me and said “What is someone like you doing here? I’m 30 years older than you!” Well, uh, I they didn’t tell me I’d have to qualify for Social Security in order to show up tonight!  Poor guy, he was so embarrassed to be sitting in front of me. I was humiliated.

The best moment: One 40-something single dad patted me on the back and said “I know its hard being a single parent, but don’t worry, you’ll be ok.” Most of the other guys had a sense of humor, and I was buzzed enough to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation.

When it was all over, I literally ran for the door. JL made out better than I did. She at least won a gift certificate. I went home, put my daughter to bed and devoured a box of bagel bites drowned in hot sauce. The power went off some time in the middle of the night and I woke up with the sun pouring through my window. Dropped off LB at daycare and made it to work an hour late.

 I feel sad today. I think about what other 26-year-olds are doing right now. Working their lucrative careers all day? Partying with other successfull, childless Durango VIPs all night? They obviously aren’t going to “Singles Meet and Greet”, that’s for sure.  I wonder if I will end up as one of those 40-year-olds, moving down the line, desperately hoping to find someone before my hair falls out.

P.S. The “Parenting Class” wasn’t what I thought it would be. It was a therapy session where the counselor asked me how I felt about the situation with Rooferman and LB. So basically I broke down and cried like a baby for an hour and a half. I did get some advice on all natural hippie stress relief remedies, so it wasn’t an entire loss, but for the most part, yesterday was just one long, depressing experience.

The child’s best interest

I fell into bed last night at 9:30 pm. I still slept through my alarm this morning. I don’t know how much sleep is going to satisfy me. I had 9 hours and 15 minutes of sleep last night. Why am I still tired?

Still having crazy dreams. Saturday night I dreamed Michael Jackson was married and had been hiding his wife in the basement like that sicko in Austria. I had other dreams involving my friends Curmudge and Jiji, but I can’t even begin to make sense of them. My brain is exhausted. The moon looked full last night, maybe it was effecting my unconscious.

Still no word from Rooferman. Its been 7 weeks since he’s seen LB. No dreams about him this weekend, thankfully. Apparently his presence has made his way to Boulder to infect my friend’s dreams. Sorry Elly.

There was minor chaos at daycare this morning. A little boy who has been in the same class as LB since he was 18 month and she was 12 months didn’t want to say goodbye to daddy. He is the youngest in a family of 7 girls. He LOVES his dad. Since he was a baby he has cried miserably every time his dad drops him off.

My own daughter barely mentions her dad. She sometimes says “Daddy gone” or “Daddy not here.” Occasionally its been “Daddy’s truck broken.” Other than that, she doesn’t cry for him, ask me when he’s coming, or even acknowledge the fact he exists 90% of the time.

 I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I want my daughter to have a dad. I want her to have his support and his love, and to reciprocate these feelings. I want her to have as normal a life as she possibly can. I want her to bond with him. I want them to value each other’s presence.

 However.

I don’t want her to feel pain because of her dad. I don’t want him to disappoint her. I don’t want him to abandon her, or chose other things over her. I don’t want her to feel like she is somewhere on his priority list under his job and his new family. I don’t want her to be emotionally and mentally damaged by her father, and I think its natural for a mom to want to protect her child from that.

The courts want you to have the “child’s best interest” in mind. How can a relationship where a daughter’s trust in her dad is constantly being shattered, be considered in her best interest? How can regression in emotional (separation anxiety), mental (sleep disturbances), and physical (potty rejection) development be considered in her best interest?

I know I have to look at the bigger picture. If I bring up potty training issues, a judge will most likely look me in the eye and say “She’ll survive.” I have to remember that one day she will be a semi-self-sufficient school aged kid who is capable of making her own decisions. Its hard to keep that in mind when I’ve been making all the decisions for her. She’s only 2, she’s still dependent on me. Her best interest has been my sole responsibility, and I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of it. Its especially hard to keep the big picture in mind when I’ve had to compensate for her dad when he doesn’t keep his promises.

I’m trying really hard not to become that bitter single mom who shoots herself in the foot in front of a judge. Cause I’m not that mom. I’m only 26. I’m too young to be jaded, broken and hating the world.  I’m a good mom who wants the best for her daughter, who will support and encourage a text-book “loving, meaningful relationship” between her daughter and her ex. At least I will try.

This must be my mantra. This will lead me to the promised land.

Right?