« One Two punch ... (or: Thanks for reminding me why I divorced you) | Home | Leaving not a drop of sap in the trees »

August 8, 2005

Day 7

I would be writing about my son on his trip with my mom but THEY HAVE NOT CALLED ME SINCE THEY WENT TO MAINE ON FRIDAY.

I know there is no phone up there. I know there is no cell phone. I know there is no TV, no video games, no NOTHING and I can't imagine that they would be staying there for this long. But they must still be up there because NO ONE HAS CALLED ME.

Speaking of NOTHING, that is pretty much what I got accomplished today. I did swing by my mother's house today to feed her fish and water her plants, like a good daughter. Most of the day, however, was spent waiting around for the x to call back about seeing his daughter. After our less than pleasant exchange the other day, I wasn't surprised.

I was surprised, however, when my daughter told me, after making plans with her father, that she didn't want to go. I told her that she didn't have to go if she didn't want to but she felt as though she had to since she didn't go last week. In retrospect, I didn't think that was exactly an accident. She slept over a friend's house and told her father that she would call when she got back but she 'forgot' to call. Hmm ... how many times has he done that to her? Can you say payback?

So here I was with an 11 year old that doesn't want to go to dinner with her father. I asked her why and she said that she doesn't like to be alone with him, that they never talk about anything. I asked if she meant that she didn't have anything to say to him and she told me, no, he doesn't say anything, like he doesn't know how to talk to her.

She is a lot like me ... she can get quiet and withdrawn if there is nothing coming from the other person. She doesn't make idle chit-chat or small talk. She doesn't know how to 'fake' interest in things that aren't interesting to her, something that she may have to do when she is older. She also can not hide her emotions and when we were talking, she was pretty sullen and grumpy. I don't blame her. After all, she sat around all weekend not knowing when or if her father was going to call, knowing all the while that he didn't want to make the effort to come and see just her.

I wasn't sure what to do. I asked her if she could help me think of something that would make the situation easier because she actually DID want to get dinner, she just didn't want to have to sit with her father. I suggested she think of someplace she really wanted to go that her brother never lets them go when they are all together. No luck. I asked if it would be easier for her to get take out and bring it back here, knowing that her father has done that several times when the restaurant is too busy or if he's just feeling like he doesn't have enough time for them. Hmm, that was a possibility.

She was still feeling grumpy when I, after doing some consulting with my psychic (psychotic?) advisor*, asked if she wanted me to go with her as a buffer. Aside from my own reservations, I just wanted her to be happy and really have a chance to explore every possibility. She gave me this look like I had absolutely lost my mind and went across the room to sit on the couch and think.

Secretly, I was hoping she would say no because
1) I can't stand to be near him and being in a moving vehicle with him is sheer torture. Too many close calls.
2) He will make a big deal about paying and I will want to pay for myself and that will turn into a power play, complete with snarky comments about how much money I make.
3) I just didn't want to go.

After thinking about it for a few minutes, she came and sat with me and gave me her reasons why I shouldn't go:
1) I would be uncomfortable being with him for that long
2) He would want to pay but he would complain that he has no money
3) If I went, he would want to make a big show of us going out to eat as a family and it would take forever and be even more uncomfortable.

Wow, I hadn't even thought of the third one but she was absolutely right! The last time he talked me into going out to eat with them, he made comments to the waitress and anyone that would listen that he was out with his 'family'. There I was, wishing I could disappear or leave or something but I was at his mercy. The kids were so mortified.

She thanked me for suggesting I go and trying to help but in the end she decided she was going to try to talk him into going to a place that would be too busy on a Sunday for a sit down dinner in hopes that he would suggest they get it to go. She kind of felt like she owed it to him since she had blown him off the week before (and yes, she did admit it) but I don't think she did it out of malice. I think she just decided she would have more fun with her friend and that he would understand that, like I would.

What blew me away about this whole thing was just how matter of fact and logical she was about it. This is an 11 year old kid. Amazing. Thank God she got my genes, that's all I can say. YUP, I'm taking TOTAL credit for this one. I mean, how many kids get EXCITED About back to school? She couldn't get to sleep tonight because she was too busy filling up her new binder with paper and putting dividers in and color coding her subject notebooks and ... Ok, maybe she got a few too many of my genes.

* I keed, I keed

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on August 8, 2005 12:11 AM.

One Two punch ... (or: Thanks for reminding me why I divorced you) was the previous entry in this blog.

Leaving not a drop of sap in the trees is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.