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.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Green Meadows Farm

Went with Max on a school trip. It was to a "Farm Museum" which really didn't show a working farm, but just allowed the children to terrorize the animals. (Note the hiding sheep...) But it was nice for me to go, since I don't really get to see Max with his friends so often... or in his "school environment."
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Going on the bus

I love this.... Together. The two of them....

Monday, October 01, 2007

Try to remember

the kind of September, when life was slow, and oh, so mellow....

Yeah. Right. Not this one, that's for sure. I am so very glad to see the last day of that month - I can tell you! (And I am, aren't I?)

The month started out with the dogs....a kinda calm, well thought out way to start off the month that school starts? Dontcha think? The month where I lose the babysitter, housekeeper, lifesaver, I've had for the past four years. The month where I have to take my kids to their bus or school each morning, getting in a little bit late every day. Yeah. Smart one there, having those dogs here right before this major life transition. Please. Feel free to remind me of this anytime you see/hear me sounding at all smug or responsible.

Then there was the start of school.... Trying to figure out the bus and getting the kids there without a sitter... and Nathan. Crying every day. Every night. Clinging to me. Sobbing. "I don't want to go to school! It's so big!!" Oy. And of course I know that most children go through something like this at some time in their lives... but... mine never had. This was my first time. Why didn't any of you tell me how horrible it is?!?! Like you're throwing your kids to the lions with nary a care! "Here! Off you go! Into the big school with all new teachers and kids and stuff!"

Then work. I took off the first week of Sept to get the kids set up - which was a good idea.... but of course work backs up when you're out. I go back to work on a short work week (Rosh Hashanah). It's a crazy week. Ok, I manage to save a life or two... was tough. Then there was the client who became ill, the clients who just would not leave me alone. The clients, the clients, the clients. It was tough. It was stressful at work AND stressful at home. And I have to say, I hadn't ever had that before... usually it's one or the other. And that's STILL going on. Not looking forward to going to work tomorrow.

And then there's X. Remember him? Well, I have to say ,he's actually asking to see the boys more. He's going to take them over night every other Wednesday & then take them for dinner the others. Of course there was a stipulation. I have to split the cost of the cab for him to take them to school Thursday morning. It will cost me about $10. Figure it'll be worth it. And, the man who is just craving more time with his kids... well... they were with him this past weekend & I called him to see if I could get them earlier on Sunday. We were going to J's parents' for Sukkot & were worried that I wouldn't be back in time to get the kids. So, I asked if I could pick Max up from Hebrew school at 12:30 then swing by to get Nathan. I really figured he'd say "no." I mean, he was all upset about Hebrew school taking away his precious time... so I thought well, he's not going to give them up so early in the day. So. Guess what he said when I asked? Guess. Ahhh, you guys probably already know. You seem to know him better than I do. He said "How about you pick Max up and bring him to Hebrew School and take Nathan then, too." So. I was worried he wouldn't give them up at 12:30... and he was offering me them on a platter at 8 am.

And, just because a post isn't complete without another X tidbit... Max gets in the car and is all: "I don't want to go to Hebrew School. It's for babies." Now, he had been going regularly for the past few weeks & was really pretty ok with it.... Sooooo..... upon further exploration... "Well, Daddy says it's for babies." !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I said, "you know what - boring I could accept - it does get boring - but for babies?!?! You're learning another language! How is that for babies?!?" Divorce Agreement: "Father agrees to verbally support and transport to Hebrew School two out of the three times he has them." I friggin knew it. I knew it enough to put it into the agreement... but.... right. Been through that already. For now I'm just going to let it go. Ignore it. I just can't deal.
Friday Nathan had his Growth Hormone Stimulation Test. This was the four hour test at the hospital. He had to fast from the night before and could not eat until the test was over: 1:00 pm. For some reason I thought this was just purely blood work... that they're just taking samples.. but no. They give these meds to stimulate the growth hormone. (Did I ever really HEAR the name of the test?!?) These meds, pumped into my little boy's body, made him drowsy, lowered his blood pressure... and just made him miserable. It was hard. It was really hard. J was there with me... (I knew I couldn't stomach 5 hours alone with X...) and of course I felt guilty about not really pushing X to come (told him once, never reminded him...) and was worried that he'd be upset when I told him about it after the test. Was he? Actually, I'm kind of even embarrassed to admit it, because again I'm sure you all knew before me. No. He was not. Did not say a word about "Why wasn't I there.." or anything.

So, now we have to wait for the results... and if the hormone is low he'll need an MRI of his pituitary gland... Oy again.

But, let me end this massive depressing tome with some good stuff. Things are starting to work. Things are starting to fit together. Max has... POOF! Grown up! He is involved in his school work. He is vested in it. His handwriting is even better. He sits down, does his homework.... is proud of what he does! And Nathan, comes home, goes into his back pack, takes his homework out & sits down and does it!

And the mood... the mood in my place is somehow more relaxed... I can't explain it, but I actually think that because the old sitter was SO regimented... it made us all more tense? Or maybe because this new sitter really Pays Attention to my boys when she's with them. Like she reads their Pokemon cards with them, she does Light Saber battles with them... and I come home and they're not bathed, they not fed.... but they're happy. All three of them are sitting on the couch together watching tv. My old sitter would have been in the other room on her cell phone. (Granted my house would have been spotless, but.....) So it's good. It works.

And we made it through September.

And I wanted to put photos in this, but friggin' blogger just makes it so difficult!!!