The Ex and Me

The Ex and me, we don’t always see eye to eye. Different parenting styles, different people, different lives all around.

Last evening one of the girls was over at his place for an evening of drinks and relaxation. And this was what she overheard. All I can say is that I am sure that this is the sweetest thing bar none that he has ever said about me:

‘She is a great mom. We have an amazing relationship and parent so well together. But she speaks her mind and doesn’t hold back. But that is okay.’

Now it has taken us a long time to get here. When first we split up and then when I moved out there was so much animosity. We could not tolerate one another and when we did have to interact World War III was simmering beneath the surface. There were a few times where I nearly stabbed him with a fork I was so angry however was able to maintain a level head. I really did not want to go to jail for stabbing him.

I am sure that there are things that I do that he does not agree with. I tend to be more open with T about things. I explain. My parenting is not about ‘do this because I said so’. My actions speak so much louder than my words do and if I want T to be l00x better than I am or ever was, I had better be providing him with a damn good example to follow.

I do have language issues. T is forever telling me to watch it. I have to laugh because he also tells characters in the t.v. shows we watch and any singers with explicit language in their songs, to watch their language. I have heard him a few times use shit or hell. As one of his dad’s siblings is married to someone who was once a farmer, I watched their three kids grow up and using the word shit as young as 5. I cringed but as it was explained to me, they heard it all day long. It was used to fertilize the fields.  So on and so forth. At least T waited until he was 9 before I heard him.

It is also important to me that he treats everyone the same. When he does not say good morning, or thank you, or please with others (i.e. school crossing guard, someone holding the door open for him/him holding doors for others and so on and so forth) I lecture. And I will do so until it becomes second nature.

T is an amazing kid. He is smart. Funny. Has a sarcastic sense of humor much like my own. He is fast to quip.

We were discussing how I needed to ensure that he was properly equipped for school. Jacket, that is a big one a) because at 9 he is too cool to wear proper winter attire and b) because it is March and who wears winter coats in March? Well if you live in Manitoba, you may well be wearing your winter coat until June. As we are going back and forth T looks at me and says if I am to make sure he is properly equipped for school where were his rubber boots? I admit, I barked with laughter before attempting to school my face into a disgruntled mom look, it did not work.

I also see his dad in there too. He is great with his hands. The designs he creates in Scrap Mechanic and Minecraft amaze me. Mechanically inclined as he has been helping his dad in the shop since he was 2. He can fold clothes from the dryer better than I can. (Which is why I hang everything up that can be hung up)

While there are times that I wonder what the Ex is thinking he is a good dad. He loves T with every fiber of his being. And when they have the time to hang out together, they have a blast.

As always this ended up being more about me and T than my thanking the Ex for the kind things he said about me. But I can only take the idea and go with it, the rest flows to my fingers and onto the page.

While neither the Ex nor I were good partners for one another, we are great parents together for T. And really at the end of it, is that not the best example that we both can provide him? He saw the fights between us and now he sees that we talk to one another. That we are friends. These last few months, the Ex helped me with food and lunches for T. He let me keep his share of the baby bonus each month so I could ensure that my bills were paid and I could buy groceries.

He really is not a bad man. And I hope that he is with the woman that is going to make him happy forever. Because I do want him to be happy. I want him to have a love that fills him from head to toes with light and laughter and songs. I was not that person and it is okay. We had a good life together and we have an amazing son. And now we are friends. And I can turn to him for help whenever I need it.

 

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My Ex

A while back I wrote about how my ex and me were getting along and I realized how much I had matured. Well today I took that one step further. Today I looked passed the man who made me unhappy and spoke to my friend.

This is a man who at one point and time I loved. It is not his fault nor is it mine that in the end we just were not happy together. We are such very different people with little in common. 

Today was the first time that we had a conversation in a long time. And we both laughed. Not the fake ‘yeah get out of my face you are annoying me’ laugh but a real laugh. One that sets the other to laughing. 

We also still have inside jokes and can say things to one another that we are unable to say to anyone else. There have been a few times, where I have been spitting mad and the only one I can vent to is him.

In talking with a girl friend today, she informed me that I was taking the mature route with him. All I had said was his girlfriend was good for him.

And I no longer had to take care of him.

This man is helpless as a baby attempting to organize a tea party. I sent him numerous texts regarding the dates he had T over the summer. I also sent him several screen shots of my calender so he had it. Finally his girlfriend messaged me asking what the dates were. 

That is only one example. 

I can afford to be nice and decent to him. I am happy and in a great place in my life. And I really am working hard to let go of negativity.

It was easy to be angry with my ex when I left. I was blaming him for my unhappiness. Which really is unfair because I had a hand in my own unhappiness. I could have stood firm when I tried to leave three months prior to everything imploding. 

Now though…I am in my own space. I am writing daily. My relationship with my son and mom are amazing. 

So yes, I can afford to be kind with M2. And I even like his girlfriend even though we have not really spoken. But she is excellent with T and that more than anything makes me like K3.(Lol too many K’s- best friend, Auntie and now M2’s girl friend. M1 being my bestie.)

M2 loves T with all his heart. And at the end of the day that is all that is important. He is doing his best to be a great dad. Our failure to make our marriage last aside he will always be my friend. 

End of an Era

Today is going to be the 2nd hardest day of T’s life to date. I would say his first hardest was when I moved out of the family home into our apartment. Like that time period, he had to adjust and redefine his reality. This is going to be the same. Today is the day that T’s best friend K is moving. An hour away.

Yesterday T and me, we put on a helluva show for the neighbors and others who were lucky enough to have caught it. At one point the RCMP drove by and all I could think was wonderful, I am going to be arrested for making T go for a walk. Again. This time I did not even make a lap around the park I was so furious. Walking back I steamed. When we got home he refused to come in.

It was awesome. His dad had text to say he was going to take T shopping. I text him back and said come and get him. I cannot deal with this attitude. I went outside and told him his dad was coming to get him. And I ruined his life even more by telling both of his friends that he was grounded. The t.v., the play station, youtube, computer, all gone.

When his dad arrived I explained everything to him and handed the Fire Kindle back saying T is not allowed any electronics. I assumed that he would think that I was over-reacting so was a bit on the defensive.  He did not. And when T came out and was snarky with me, my ex said T’s name and looked at him.

I went back inside, still angry. I was so tired of T’s attitude. All I had wanted was for T and me to go for a quick walk while his friends were not home. This whole show was for a point he had snippily informed me, as he did not want to go for a walk. But your friends were not even home, I pointed out, so there was no one to play with. You did this all for nothing.

I mulled it over. Text back and forth with K’s mom M and finally I decided that because it was K’s last night I would allow T to play with his friends. I still was not giving him back his electronics because he acted like a little snot, but I would not be the cause of irreparable childhood scars for not letting him play with his best friend, on his last night, as our next door neighbor.

They played and all things were grand until T came in and he had tears on his face. Angry that he could not play with his friends, he could not understand why they had gone into one’s house without him. He wanted to go knock on the door again, and while I sympathized with him, I had to caution him that it was inappropriate to go banging on the door again. In under two minutes. Than he heard the boys and went off running. Only to return three minutes later tears leaking down his cheeks.

I held my arms open and he flew over to the couch. I held him, rubbing his back and rocking him, my heart breaking and my own tears falling. I told him that K was only an hour away and that with school starting he would make new friends, people he had never met before. T shook his head and said ‘no mom, I have no other friends. And I know everyone in grade 4.’

I had no argument for him. I held him until he felt better and he sat up. I cajoled him into the shower. The tears had left tracks in the dirt on his face. And he had said it was shower night anyways. We sat on the couch and talked a little bit more. I let him watch Larva and I watched it with him. A show that I cannot fathom nor explain. It is on Netflix.

He was in bed and asleep at 9. I am holding firm on that one. We have been getting back into the swing of a 9 p.m. bedtime so I won’t have to fight next week. This morning when he got up, I text M to see if they were awake. They were. T and K are together for the last little while.

As I was writing this, any residual anger that I felt at T for his behaviour has leaked away. Instead I am ashamed that I was not more compassionate towards him. He is 9. His best friend since he was 1.5 years old is moving today. They have been neighbors for over a year. Don’t get me wrong that does not excuse T’s behaviour, and the repercussions still stand, but compromise might be possible. After I get my house cleaned. And his room purged. And the cat litter boxes cleaned………..

 

 

How does that make you feel?

So, the week after my car died (cancelled 1-more to follow on that thread) I had my son. It was the coldest week of the season thus far. I had no car. Had to rely on my best friend (forever after known as BFF) to drive both myself and my son to and from work and school. My sitter (also a wicked ass friend will be known as Sitter lol) also drove me to work and son to school. The fact we had to rely on others did not go unnoticed by my son.

Finally get car back when son goes back to his father. No problem. I do require a fuse, bolt on inline battery fuse.  Still waiting for him to either a) order it for me or b) drop off to me so I can go in and order. I do not have radio or clock. My wipers also did not work but that was a fuse issue. (Cancelled 2)

Sooooooooooo……..I pick my son up from the sitter’s on Wednesday December 28th. We are now going to spend the next five days together and I am pumped. Driving along talking about our day when my son drops this bombshell on me: “Mom dad totally didn’t want to fix your car. That is why it took so long.”

Wow. Okay my son is 8. He is trying to instigate. Not even going to answer this.

Deep breath. Deep deep breath.

“Okay. So why are you telling me this? Are you trying to start a fight between your dad and me? Cause it just isn’t worth it dude. Not worth my time, not worth my anger, not worth anything I have.”

“But mom does this not make you angry?”

“I have a question for you. So we had to rely on our friends for a week to get to and from school and work.”

“Yeah we did.”

“And I got sick. Had to have BFF take me to the walk in. You had to wait at school to get picked up.”

“Yeah, so why are you not mad?”

“How do you feel about this? How do you feel about the fact that we had to rely on friends to get us around this week? How do you feel that mom ended up getting sick (totally unrelated but related) and had to stay home?”

“I was kinda mad mom. When I have a shop I will always fix your car first.”

“Baby…..one day you will look back at this and you will understand. You will understand why I left your dad, why I could no longer be there.”

“Mom?”

“Yes baby?”

“Dad’s girlfriend is 21.”

And there was nothing more to say.

This is why I don’t like going back and forth

So despite my writing yesterday that I do my best to not let my son know about my depression, tears, etc when he leaves, I failed. Huge. Melt down about the pants situation. All the sweats (he does not like to wear jeans but his dad persists in buying them) I have purchased since moving out on my own have disappeared. Told my son I was sick and tired of purchasing items and having them disappear into the abyss.

Told him that if he came back next week without his sweats I was done and he would be wearing shorts to school. We have like 4′ of snow on the ground. Our average temperature is -10 to -15 Celsius before the windchill. We will probably drop to like -25 or lower. I am not a perfect mom.

So after I hollered at him, he is in his room with his best friend and I hear him say “This is why I don’t like going back and forth between my mom and my dad.” And my heart dropped.

He has no choices. He is 8. His father and me decide his week to week moves. But clothes, clothes he does have a choice on. He can decide his tee shirts or the style of pants he will wear. And I realize he is stealing his sweats because that is something he has control over. He can choose whether to wear sweats or jeans. And his choice is sweats.

So damn it really it is all my fault. This actually started out as a pity me…..can you believe that he is doing this…..to an epiphany. My son likes his comfort clothes, just like his mom. Really there is no reason for me to get upset.

I know that it is a bitch for him to have to go back and forth. And there are different rules at mom’s house as to the rules at dad’s house. Sooooooo I will let him steal the sweats that he has stolen and I will buy a few to replace them. In larger sizes and than hide them. He is 8. I am lucky if he showers twice a week and changes his clothes every other day. Just going to deal.