Saturday, March 15, 2008

I think I need to start meditating...

(And you know, I almost started to write medicating... which might be ok, too...)

Thursday was parent teacher conference day. I met X & the boys at the school and we all went. The kids got good reports & I was really happy. Max's got amazing scores in reading, and his teacher recognizes that he knows his math - just makes silly mistakes. (Apparently all the boys just want to get their quizzes in first - not caring what the answers are!!) And Nathan's teacher said he's right on track. She showed us how he reads, and also said that he's not as timid with his friends, but is very timid with her.

As we leave X says to me: "What do you think about Nathan's reading. Or lack of it?"

I mention how he's just in his first year of school. But X doesn't hear.

X says: "I think Nathan is so timid because you coddle him. I saw you kiss him after he read that page! You treat him like a baby, that's why he's so timid!" I respond that I think Nathan is so timid - so afraid to make mistakes - because X is so critical.

X states that he is NOT critical. (This is the same man who said to me: "I think Max will do just fine on the gifted test, but I think Nathan will have troubles & maybe should not even do it.") I say that all I ever hear from X about Nathan is critical -- and that while he might not say it directly to Nathan... this is how he feels & this is what he picks up.

X scoffs.

I know I can't even say anything to him, because he won't take it in. He'll say: "I'm just saying it because it's true. I have to speak the truth." He has personality disorder. I'm not a doctor. I'm not a psychiatrist. But I know. Everything around him has to be perfect.

I get so angry at him. So angry. And there's no where to go with it. Friday morning he called. He had the kids - Max's stomach was hurting. I said to give him some pepto or mylanta... He doesn't have. I told him 20 times, in 20 different ways to get it. He didn't. So Max suffers. I say he has to go to school. X says he won't get out of bed. I say he will. Just slowly. I say: "Now you know what I go through every morning." He curses at me and hangs up.

I realize again that the no expectations has to extend to the fact that he will not buy or purchase anything for the boys. If I want them to have these things, I'm going to have to buy them. (I've decided that I'm going to give him a bag of kids' medications for Father's Day.)

So I really have to try to reset my mind. To have no expectations at all. I can't let him get me upset over things that he just will not do. He cannot do. It does no good.

But I still have all the anger. And even if I buy him the meds for the kids, he'll keep saying those things about them. That I can't change.

And the anger that is just starting to sit in my stomach is, at times, overwhelming. I have no where to go with it.

I blog it.

I talk to my shrink about it.

I tell everybody I can about it. I have to get it out.

But I'm starting to think that maybe some sort of meditation.. some way to calm myself down... might be a good idea.

I really just hate him.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I am realizing that I never feel more like a single parent; that I never feel more alone than when one of my kids is sick.

We brought Max to the Pediatric GI specialist on Monday. She took some blood (celiac, crohns, etc) but pretty much said that she thought it was just that his system hadn't gotten back in synch from a past stomach virus. She suggested accidopholous. She said he could go back to school.

I spent most of Tuesday fighting with the school nurse who said to me: "But he wants to go home." To which I replied: "Don't most kids?" I mean, really!?!?! She told him he should be home. She told him I should take him to the doctor. She told him he shouldn't go to Hebrew School that evening. (Hey, maybe she's working for X!!!) The fact that I told her that I've already taken him to THREE doctors (one a SPECIALIST) didn't really seem to.... well... sink in.

And Oh - Monday? The day after X told me that Nathan had a headache? He was home sick. Fever and a cough. He was home Tuesday, too -with 103/104 fever. (He gets high fevers.)

Today? After fighting with Max all day Tuesday and Tuesday night? He wakes up with a temperature of 101. Nathan? Fine. Max's temperature went up to 102 & I just walked by his room & heard him moaning. Which is what caused me to come over here.

I hate this part. I hate not ever being sure. I'm not sure if this is a universal parent thing, or just me... but honestly... my mind just goes to the absolute WORST place. Worst. Like TV Movie of the Week stuff.

J says "For somebody who usually has such good judgement.... with this... well....I'm not so sure" And I know. I can't handle it. I do the inside panic. I keep a very very tenuous grasp on logic and reality... and start slipping off to comas, wheelchairs, amputated limbs.... ("Yes, I know it just started with a fever and a cough... but then it suddenly escalated! And! And! 911 was called. Oxygen administered! And now... we wait... in the ICU to see what happens....")

Should I go into script writing?

I'm making a joke about this because part of me does realize how crazy it is. But the other part... and being here by myself and suffering through it... just sucks.

(And lets not even go into the single parent logistical contortions I have to do with one kid sick & the other one well... bus stops.. parties...)

(And let's also not talk about X not able to come tomorrow & me being late again to work.)

Nope. Let's not.

I'll save it for another time. I hear Max whimpering...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tell me this never happens to you!

The other night. At J's house. We both woke up for some reason at about 3 am. As we were both drifting back to sleep all of a sudden I said: "The orange! You have to remind me!"

He was, understandably, confused. Orange?

"YES! Behind my couch! It's been there for a week! I keep forgetting! It's going to rot and smell! You HAVE to remind me!"

And I fell back to sleep.

He told me about it the next morning, totally amused. I choose to see it as maximizing my resources and making sure I get the task done.

It's now in the garbage.
So, since about Friday I've been feeling all my tension in my stomach. That has never happened before. Ahhh, the mother child connection. A wonderful thing.

Sooo... where do I begin with this? Max had little league practice on Saturday. Saturday morning. At 9 am. The kids were with X for the weekend. I had initially thought both kids had practice - at the same time - so scrambled around to figure out how we could make that work. Because X had the kids and I hold absolutely NO illusions that he would worry about this. I spoke to a woman who lives in my building. Her husband is Max's coach, the boys are friends. She said that they would drive to Sunnyside and pick Max up. He had already missed one practice & she said there was no reason for him to miss another.

It ended up that Nathan's practice was cancelled - so only once child to one practice. The offer still stood for Max to get a ride, but I told my neighbors that I'd check with X. It's only one child... but then you never know with ole' X....

Spoke to X the Friday before. Asked him. He responded absolutely affirmatively. Yes. He will take Max. It's at a location that is easily accessible. I reminded him that Max COULD get a ride.. but he said he WOULD take him.

You know where this is going, right?

Sunday morning X calls me up. "Nathan has a headache and his leg hurts." (Ummm... so you're calling me why?) I ask: Does he have fever? Does he seem lethargic? Has he been eating? X responds with: "I didn't call you to be interrogated." Still in relatively good humor I respond that I was NOT interrogating, but asking the normal questions a person asks when a child is not feeling well. That there are certain ways you can assess how sick a child really is. I told him to give Nathan some children's Tylenol & take his temperature. (Realizing the whole time that the reason he called me up was for me to say "He's sick? Ok, I'll pick the kids up earlier. I'll deal with it.") I asked how Max had been - he said fine. No complaints all weekend. I asked about practice... (wait for it... wait for it.....) No. They did not go.

I saw red. WHY?!?!? He could have gotten a ride there if you didn't want to take him! He's only made one practice because you didn't take him to the first, and the only reason he made it to the 2nd practice was J went out at SIX AM to get his parents' car to take him!!! X responded that Max's stomach was "sore" so they didn't go. Ummm.. then HOW COME YOU TOLD ME HIS STOMACH HAD BEEN FINE?!? I said, that really - if his stomach had been sore that when I asked he would have said "It was sore on Saturday morning & we didn't go to practice...." I laced into him: "Don't you understand the value of practice? He's on a higher level team this year! They are learning how to pitch! Also, the bonding with the teammates before the season! Not feeling like he's the only one who doesn't know..." I was beyond livid. Beyond. X responds: "I think I know more about sports than you do." I scream "Then put it into action!" and hang up. Luckily I hung up before he heard the string of epithets that came out of my mouth. J heard them, though.

I could not move for a good ten minutes. Just sat there with my hands over my face. J comforted me. We will buy him a mitt, we will practice next weekend. I'll take him to a batting cage. It'll be ok. We'll make sure he gets to all his games. But J is also baffled. He kept saying "Baseball practice was such a great bonding time for me and my dad..." and "But this is what you do? This is what parents do. I drove my girls all over the place. I didn't sleep late for 20 years!"

I'm thinking... what if I try for sole custody? But then what would that do to/for the kids? They like being with their dad. They love it. They love him. He (in his strange, selfish way) loves them. I can't really do it.

I resolve to (try to) not have any expectations of X at all. I resolve to (try to) not get upset when these things happen. But then I think.... what does that do to me if I'm not phased by this? Isn't it better that I still have some standards? I'm not sure I can suspend all expectations I have for my children's father. Not sure at all.