Friday, October 05, 2007

Hmmm, where to begin...

Gosh. Ya know, I'm not even sure.... Guess I'll just do chronological. (If you care.)

Tuesday after Hebrew School Max came over to me and said: "Mom, you know the reason why I don't like to go to Hebrew School is that Daddy doesn't get to spend enough time with us. It takes away his time with us. Daddy was saying this to me and he actually had a tear in his eye!! A tear!! And I had one too, 'cause Mom - I want to spend more time with Daddy... and that's why: NO Hebrew School on Sundays!!" And walks away.

I was errr..... just a little bit stunned. How DARE X use our CHILD! To manipulate him like that? To put him in the middle! I bit my tongue (because oh how much did I want to say "And yes, Max - that's why your Dad told me to pick you up at 8 am last week... because he really wants to spend more time with you?!? And that's why he just said to me "Why don't you and J take the boys to their friend's party on Sunday - I don't have a car, don't want to go.") because it was so hard not to be put on the defensive, and just said: "Max. Your father can see you any time he wants. Any time. You are right here. Not in another country. Right here. And you are going to Hebrew School on Sundays. That's it"

Now, before you get as riled up as I did, I spoke to X and he denies ever saying anything to Max. I asked how come Max repeated what he always says - nearly word for word - and he had no answer. I told him that IF he did not say anything to Max, then he needs to be careful to see where Max is when he talks.... I'm not so sure. X is a jerk, but not usually a liar... But....

Then, X and I are talking on Wednesday. He's taking the kids overnight, for the first weeknight overnight since he moved in with his girlfriend... so I'd say about a year. I mentioned about lunch. (You all remember about how he never made the kids lunch?) And he said he didn't have anything to give the boys for lunch Thursday. Calmly I said: "Yes, well, you've known about this for a week. Go out and get food. Or ask your girlfriend to pick some stuff up. Or she stays with them and you go out. There are two of you. It's easy. I don't have that luxury." (Ok, I didn't add the luxury part. Almost. But stopped.)

I then told him exactly. Exactly. To the T. Each and every item I put in the boys lunches. Max: Sandwich, yogurt, juice box and snack. Nathan, Sandwich (only peanut butter or cream cheese), yogurt, juice box and either fruit gummy or fruit roll up. And Nathan needs a mid-day snack, and Nathan's mid day snack cannot make crumbs - so I give him a juice box and a yogurt drink. I mentioned that I'd been giving Nathan these Yo Crunch yogurts. They are a regular sized yogurt and he's been eating the whole thing! They come with mini M&M toppings, so that's why he eats it. X is all " Candy" Candy in his food? What do you feed him? He only eats nuggets!" Keeping my calm I mentioned that if he is able to get Nathan to eat anything else to please let me know... I'd love to hear suggestions. He said that his girlfriend COOKS and that Nathan does eat... but declined to give specifics. (Hmmmm) He then called me Brittney. I hung up.

Why it should upset me that the man with the worst parenting instincts on the planet calls me Brittney I don't know. Should have just laughed it off... but it pissed me right off!

THEN!! THEN! Just when you thought it could get no worse!!! We (unfortunately) had to talk again about the kids' homework. I told X that Max was using an article from Times Kids for his current events. That newspaper articles were just a little bit too much for him (Newspapers being on an 8th grade level and him only being in 2nd grade and all...and don't get me started as to why his teacher has 2nd graders reading regular newspapers....) X had actually printed out an article from Al Jazeera for Max. Uh huh. "Oh, he can read it." Yes, but how much can he comprehend?

Then goes on to say: "Max says to me that he's in the top ten at school, and I ask him why he's not in the top three?" !!!!!!!!!!!! I say "Ummm, I don't know where Max gets that from, there is no ranking.... there is no way he could possibly know something like that and it seems to me that he's probably just looking for some approval from you... and it would be great if you could just say: 'Max! Top ten! That's wonderful!" X says "No. I'm going to ask him why he's not number one." And he's not kidding. And that upset me most of all.

X is with them like he was with me. Never happy. Always critical. Always having unreal expectations and then insulting when not meeting them.... I mean, that poor boy was just how I was..... saying "Look at me! Look what I'm doing! I'm doing so well!" And not getting any affirmation for it, any approval... just "it's not good enough."

The bastard. It just makes me so want to cry.

So when people ask me why I don't want the kids to go to him.... that's why. I'd rather go crazy and have them with me all the time than have them deal with his crap.


Gwen said...

I'm sorry, Amy. That sucks.

niobe said...

It sounds like there are many, many good reasons why X is an X. In fact, he basically sounds like such a jerk (calling you Britney? WTF is up with that?) that it sounds almost pointless to talk to him at all, since he'll just say something insulting or upsetting.

Is there any way you can avoid having discussions with him and let him try to figure out all by himself how to deal with stuff like lunch and school assignments? It sounds like he refuses to listen and just contradicts or mocks everything you say.

Anonymous said...

It seems that nothing has changed. He is a jerk, has always been a jerk, and will always be a jerk. Let him make the mistakes with the kids, because they are smart enough and will realize he is never pleased. ~~~ Waldo

Tracy said...

Said it before.... I'll say it again... he's a moron. An idiot. Every single day you should do a happy dance that he is your "X" and not your "husband" !!!!!

Family Adventure said...

I am really sorry that this was such a rough day for you. If you can, try to focus on what's best for the kids, and try to forget about everything else (cooking references, Britney, etc - that is just hot air from someone not worth your energy). It would be great if Mr. X would take some kind of parenting course, but the impression I get is that that type of guy thinks he needs no help from anyone. I would be worried about his unrealistic expectations hurting the boys. Is there anyone in his family you still talk to? An ex in law who you might be able to use as a conduit to get some sense into his brain? Otherwise, you will eventually have to try to protect the boys against his comments.
I don't have any answers for you. Just a lot of sympathy for both you and your sons. I hope that things will improve, one way or another. And soon!
- Heidi