Sunday, June 17, 2012

Biting my tongue: example

Three posts in one day!  If my regular readers were popping in to see the latest, you're in for a triple-treat.  Hello, readers!  (Three posts is what happens when it's my weekend without the girl, and I spend most of it working on separation issues, and I am too tired to accept invitations to go out with friends.)

Lest you think I am living in happy la-la land, let me describe something about Bryan's fatherhood.

He only has her two weekends a month.

He's off the bench and working out of town, so he doesn't see her AT ALL four to five days per week.  I have her two weekends a month, so he has her two weekends a month. 

That means he has her four days per month.

He had her this weekend.

Friday night, he got in at 7.  They hung out for an hour - yay, Daddy! - watching a video together on the sofa, and then he came upstairs and said, "I'm tired and going to bed so you need to put her to bed."

Bite tongue.  I did not mention that I'd been doing double duty all week, that I was tired, that it was his weekend, that his daughter had been counting the hours til his return. 

Saturday he booked an appointment to get his glasses prescription renewed.  Fine, I'll watch her.  Then he got her a playdate.  Which lead to a sleepover.  He did join them for about two hours for dinner, but the spent most of the day and all that night and part of the next morning apart.

So this morning they hang out a bit.  We go to our daughter's end of year event.  We come home.  He naps. I arrange playdate at our house, she plays, he naps.  They go out for dinner.  They come home, and he says "I'm going to the neighbor's for a beer." (Yes, the neighbor of the tree incident, the one who isn't speaking to me.  Poetic, isn't it?)  He flies out tonight.

By my calculation, that means that of the past 14 days, of which he gets Wednesdays (but he's gone), and Friday night through Sunday night, he spent a grand total of about 16 hours with his daughter.  He managed to reduce his short time with her by greater than 50%.

Bite tongue bite tongue bite tongue.  OUCH.  Bite harder.

I want to yell, "How dare you give our daughter so little!"

I want to scream "You selfish lazy bastard!"

But I bite my tongue.

And this is how we get along.

I'm going to go read Anne of Green Gables to my beautiful daughter.  I will hold her and snuggle her extra.  She deserves it.  And I didn't need any Netflix time anyway.


Edited update:  Katherine cried when he left last night.  She misses her daddy.  She doesn't understand why he doesn't look for a job in our town, instead of leaving so much.  I held her and agreed that it was no fun at all, and stroked her hair, and read extra chapters, and let her be sad, and let her love her dad.  I tried to give her extra of myself, but what she really wants is him.  (She has plenty of me already - she loves us equally, but she doesn't have us equally.  Even when he's there, he's not there.)


  1. Because it was you who initiated the divorce, he feels little guilt and therefore no need to up the anty when it comes to "fathering" responsibilities. On the other hand if he were the one to leave, quilt would inspire him to prove to you, the child and the world ,what a good daddie he still is!
    Been there ,done that and have the tear stained T-shirt!

  2. Mary, thanks for leaving a word. "Tear stained t-shirt" - YES! Please tell me - were you able to burn that shirt when it was all done, or do you have to wear it forever?! I'm dying to take it off and put on something pretty....

  3. Let me just say, I understand.

    That tongue biting? As hard as it is on you? In my opinion, it's better in the long run. Unfair, unfortunate, painful, aggravating, infuriating - and more - and worse, if it's a pattern that continues over the years, it will be absorbed by your daughter as acceptable / expected or possibly expected / unacceptable male behavior, or some other variation.

    And we wonder why our children don't have a good sense of who their fathers are... And why our girls / women choose less than admirable mates...

    Sometimes, over time, the less engaged parent may come around. It's a matter of the age of the child, shared, interests, etc. Other times, not so much.

    I wish for you and your daughter the former, and not the latter. Meanwhile, ice for the sore tongue.

  4. Whenever I start to feel sorry for the louse,I pull out the
    t-shirt. The stains are faded ,but they're still there!