We've been apart for 4 years now. My 6 year old had a holiday concert at school today that she was really looking forward to. She was so proud of her songs and had been working hard on them. She told her dad last week about it and reminded him this weekend. He told her last night that he couldn't get the day off work. I wasn't there so I don't know her reaction but this morning when she was getting dressed and I was doing her hair she looked at me upset and angry-ish and said, "why can dad NEVER get the day off work when I have a concert???" And the truth is, if he had any other job with a normal 9-5 day and a boss looking over your shoulder, it would have been believable. But he is in an office with 2 other people, with the ability to work from home pretty much whenever he chooses, and a lot of flexbility to take the day off without charging it off as sick leave. He will take the full day off for things like a doctor's appt in the middle of the day or because he needs to do laundry because he waited a month to get to it, etc. But 2 weeks ago when one of our children was sick and I had an appt at the same time as her pedi appt, he was home all day but just COULDN'T take her to the doctor for me(making me miss a critical appt I'd been waiting for, as both appts were not capable of being rescheduled). And this is ANOTHER school event he has missed for no good reason it seems. Last week he missed our oldest daughter's chorus concert in the evening outside work hours without giving a reason. So it's a pattern with him. And I don't know what to tell them. I told her I didn't know why he couldn't get the day off but that I would be there and I would videotape it for him to see later.
To compound that, my oldest is 11 and hasn't seen her biological father in 9 1/2 years(obviously she doesn't remember him but she knows she has a father out there somewhere that is no longer in her life other than my exhusband who treats her like his own daughter). She asked out of the blue the other day(in an inappropriate time to discuss it so I blew her off) why she doesn't see him. The truth is he has no desire to see her. I have never told any of my 3 children anything negative about their dads(there's 2). I don't plan to start. But there's no nice way to say that he is a complete tool and doesn't love her or want to be in her life. She's 11. She's curious. I don't know how much longer I can delay and I've been dreading this as she's no longer pacified by simple "baby" answers like "well we live in our house and dad lives in his house in XXXXXXX."
Thoughts on what to say? I know it's two situations with different scenarios but it's 2 dads failing their children and not living up to the children's expectations. And I'm trying to figure out a kinder spin than "your dad is a d-bag."