Exchange during the ex dropping the kids off after soccer practice this week.
Him: The game's at 1 o'clock Saturday.
Me: Ok. Boys, did you happen to mention to your dad that if you pull any of the shenanigans
that you pulled last night that you have to sit out for the first 15 minutes of the game?
Ts' heads simultaneously look at the pavement in the garage...hey, neat, there's a trail of ants heading into that crack, under that moving box....i wonder if we could makes ourselves small enough and disappear with them....
Him: Uh, no, we're not doing that. I need them for that game.
Excuse me?? Did you just say "we're not doing that" as if you have a fucking say? The last time i checked they were in my house, with my rules, and you're standing in my GODDAM garage. Back the fuck up.
Me: I'm sorry. That was not a suggestion. It's a reality. They know the rules, and that's the
price they pay if they repeat last night's performance. You don't get to mandate how I discipline in my own house.
That sound you hear is his head exploding. It's like the vulcan mindmeld, but on himself. He.hates.me.
Him: You CAN'T do that, Sheri. That's not fair to me. You need to find something else to
take away. They have an obligation to their team. I need all my players.
Oh my f'in god. He cannot be serious. Fair to him? FAIR TO HIM?? How is this about him?? Oh, For fuck's sake, AN OBLIGATION TO THEIR TEAM?! Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? THEY ARE 7 AND 8. ON A YMCA TEAM. YOUR CENTER CHASES GODDAM DRAGONFLIES AROUND THE FIELD AND YOUR SWEEPER THINKS SHE NEEDS A BROOM FOR HER POSITION. THEY'RE KIDS. LITTLE KIDS THAT PICK THEIR NOSE WHILE THEY'RE WAITING FOR THE BALL TO ACCIDENTALLY ROLL BY.
Me: This isn't about you, it's about finding a currency that's so important to them they don't want to jeopardize losing it. Right now, that currency is soccer. Thank you Dr. Phil. How's that WORKIN FOR YA?.
Him: Then I'm not going to coach anymore, that's it.
Me: Ok?? I didn't tell you to coach in the first place - remember?
Him: We'll talk about this later. I'm calling Dr. Barker.
That is our post divorce family therapist. Why don't you call your mommy too? What do you think calling him is going to do? Now you're just embarrassing yourself. Stop. Now.
Me: There is nothing to talk about. And as long as they remember tonight to act appropriately, there isn't anything to worry about, because they'll be there for the full game.
Ok, in case you were wondering, this is your clue to LEAVE.
Him: They have an obligation to their team, SHERI.
Me: They also have an obligation to behave appropriately. That's part of it. If they don't want to let their team down, they need to start thinking about how their actions carry consequences, and those consequences affect OTHERS. Period.
Do you get it, at all?? Please leave. I'm beginning to take back everything i keep telling people about how great we all get along. And that's really starting to upset me. Because i really want to like you as a person, but you are testing my limits here bud.
Am I just a bad mom here? I feel like i'm doing the right thing. We never did see eye to on child rearing, and I'm ALWAYS made out to be the bad guy in these situations. I can't tell you how many times my kids have said to me "You're a mean mommy!"
And HE is wearing on me. He puts on a good show and IT PISSES ME OFF. He shows up for teacher conferences and is at every conference we've had for T1, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DAY TO DAY STUFF THAT MAKES THEM WHAT THEY ARE? Cooking dinner every night? I'm so goddam tired of hearing my kids say when they go over there they eat kids cuisine or have pizza. I'm virtually banned from ordering pizza in my house because it's a staple over there. T2 actually said to me after having been over at HIS house "mommy, can you cook tonight?". What about making them brush their teeth? OR making them REALLY bathe. OR CLEAN THEIR ROOMS?? OR like we just witnessed, hold them accountable for the little things like actions because one day, their actions ARE GOING TO HOLD CONSEQUENCES FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN A FREAKIN SOCCER GAME.
Everyone keeps telling me that i'm giving them what they need, but all i hear is how much i suck and how fun it is to be at dad's. I'M SO TIRED OF BEING WHAT THEY NEED, I WANT TO BE WHAT THEY WANT.