So X called tonight to speak with the kids. He spoke with Max then asked to speak to me. He said: "You know, if he ever gets out of line; if you ever have any trouble disciplining him -- call me. I'll come over. I want him to fear me."
I know. I tell you stuff he says & it's like reading a bad novel!
I said "oh no - that's OK. We'll manage."
He then goes on to say stuff like Max is out of control. Think of how he'll be when he's 15, we have to get him into shape now..... etc, etc, etc. Then he says "We won't have any trouble with Nathan. He's the good one."
He's the "good one?" WTF?!?!? So I said that's great. It's so great that you're already labeling your children & deciding how they will be when they haven't even reached the age of TEN YET! (And I have to say - Max is totally full of beans, rambunctious, mischevious, loud, brash, active, and totally tests the limits of my patience and then some. But he is in no way, shape or form "bad.")
He's sounding all concerned... that there will be trouble down the pike, that Max just does not listen, that he belches, that he doesn't say his pleases and his thank-yous....
He says - you know, when Max misbehaves here I tell him to stop - that if he continues I will call you. That stops him. It gets him embarrassed and he stops.
"And you feel it's OK for a grown-up to embarrass a seven year old?"
I actually, honestly, did not know what to say. I kept silent for most of the conversation because I just could not believe it was happening. He has no concept. He bought Max Harry Potter - and told him if he reads the whole thing he'll give him 12 Pokemon cards. Max opens it: "There are no pictures!" It's a book for grades 3 - 12. He's going into 2nd. Now this.
When he & I were together it was the same thing. He would tell me: "Women should not walk, they should glide..." Like some sort of warped Victorian idea of how women should be. And how there were these women who could do absolutely everything. Perfectly. And oho - they were out there! But he could never really point one out to me...
And now it's coming over to my kids. Everybody has to be perfect. And not only perfect - but his warped, not realistic version of perfect.
I hung up and just felt so sad. That their father thinks of them like that. What I'm hoping is that my kids have a stronger sense of self than I did (and it seems like Max already does) so that they will just tell him to be quiet and leave them alone.