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#31 of 52 Old 01-10-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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I didn't think you came off sounding bad, I can understand wanting to know where your child will be sleeping. I think the thing I don't get is why you are working with him if he is controlling and manipulative, and lies to you, and interferes in your life. That is abusive, and not a good example for your daughter. I understand wanting to be friendly and civil, but your ex is not being those things to you if he is scaring off men you are dating, and lying to you about things. He has no right to know who your dates are, let alone harassing them at their work.

  If I were you, I would document some of this stuff with either a therapist who specializes in domestic abuse, or a dv agency, and get some advice on how to proceed with the visitation, and your rights. If you can afford it, a consult with a lawyer would be good as well, and might help you decide what to do about the visitation.

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#32 of 52 Old 01-11-2011, 02:02 AM
 
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See, for us (every family looks different, i get that) visitation is a consistent time the child gets with her other parent.  It's not "cinema this weekend if dad feels like it", it's EVERY saturday night/all day sunday, EVERY tuesday night/all day wednesday and EVERY Thursday afternoon for 3 hours (though that's contact time, not visitation, so i'm there too).  I don't get why it's so ad hoc that your DD will never know if she's seeing dad or not unless you're working, y/k?  It seems like her access to him is set around your convenience (if you're working) and more so HIS convenience ("if he feels like it").  That's a weird set-up to me.  It should be around your DD having consistent, frequent time with both parents, no?  Who cares if he's excited about it?  He HAS to do it, he's her father.

 

And as i said, i think your internal reaction to not knowing where she slept is completely utterly normal.  I just think that if you didn't have other issues with him it would have been less of a concern for you - he wouldn't have declined to tell you, or lied as you call it (is it a lie?  It is a lie if he knew all along he was going to be in his marital home, but maybe he DID end up going over there late, maybe it WAS a last-minute thing, and maybe he DOESN'T want you getting in on his business as regards his marital issues...?).  If i found out after the event that my DD slept somewhere other than i thought she was going to i would want to throw up, but i know her dad would do such a thing out of unthinking oversight, not wilful lying/to hurt me so i wouldn't be mad at him about it.  I would agree that 10pm is late to say goodnight to a 4yo, and i would not call later than 8pm to say night night to my own DD even though she is sometimes up later at his house.  Basically i don't think you're coming off really bad, BUT i don't think the faults all lie with him either.

 

The controlling thing is a real issue.  What did you do when he went to see these men you were dating?  I would have confronted him, i would have been furious.  Ok, he says he never did it, it was a lie, i am "crazy" - i would tell him it's happened twice, if i hear it happens again i will take speak to a lawyer about stalking and getting an injunction, point out that the police could very easily figure out if it really happened or not.  It's a serious boundary issue.  I think in some ways you are giving him too MUCH say in how you raise his DD.  He gets to veto parties?  Did he take her to an alternative party in a safer neighbourhood?  I would have taken her to the party and told him i was sorry he didn't think where my friends live is safe but that i WILL be taking her to the home of people who love her to celebrate Christmas.  Being "involved" isn't being in control of someone else's actions.  My XP complained to me that DD wasn't seeing enough other kids (he wanted her in nursery because "everyone goes to nursery" and he feared a bad repercussion of not following the crowd - it didn't last, he's very happy we never put her in nursery now) i didn't rush off to enrol her in more groups, i told HIM that he had her 2 full days a week and was welcome to take her to groups on those days.  He didn't.  He stopped moaning to me about it.  Really if *I* have to take her to the dentist then i get to pick the dentist.  Take back control of your own affairs.  He can "demand" all he likes to know who your dates are - but it's none of his business and you don't have to tell him.  Don't tell him!  Don't "handle" that, correct it.  He can be controlling in general, but he can only control you if you allow him to.

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#33 of 52 Old 01-11-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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"I didn't think you came off sounding bad, I can understand wanting to know where your child will be sleeping. I think the thing I don't get is why you are working with him if he is controlling and manipulative, and lies to you, and interferes in your life. That is abusive, and not a good example for your daughter."

 

You don't sound like a bad mom or even a bad coparent, but you DO sound like somebody who is enmeshed in a very bad relationship dynamic that will have serious consequences for your DD if she grows up seeing that this is how men treat women, and learns that this is what she should tolerate from the men she is intimate with. 

 

If you think your DD is safe and happy in your ex's family's care, then the problem you need to address is strictly between you two. Don't. Talk. To. Him. About. Your. Life. If the stalky behaviors escalate after you cut off that communication, then you might end up calling the cops or going to court for a formal support and custody order. 

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#34 of 52 Old 01-11-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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I suggest you go ahead and never allow him to have overnights again.

 

Then, he will either get angry and dump the whole shebang, and your DD will never know her father.

 

Or, he will get angry and decide he wants something more formal.  He will get the DNA tests, get on the birth certificate and get regular, court ordered visitation.  Then, the next time you ask where your child will be sleeping, he will be within his legal rights to refuse to answer.

 

Or nothing at all will happen and your dd will grow up in what appears to be a not healthy dynamic for anyone.  Dealing with a teen in that sort of dynamic is going to be really tough.

 

Why, if you have his cell phone, does it MATTER where the child will be sleeping, as long as she's still with him (and obviously safe?)  "In case of worldly disaster" all you have to do is CALL and ASK.  "In case of worldly disaster," they could be anywhere.  At any given point, they could be at the ER because his mother slipped and fell.  At any given point, they could be dealing with any sort of minor emergency, which may not involve your daughter in any way, but might require that she NOT be where he said she would be sleeping. 

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#35 of 52 Old 01-11-2011, 11:43 AM
 
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I just want to offer you hugs sugar.  I don't think you came off bad to me at all.  I understand.  My ex's scheduled day was the 1st and he asked to have her the evening of 31st as well (his family celebrates a Christmas then).  I arranged to make this happen and there was a tornado that morning.  Two hours before he was to pick her up I text him to let him know not to come until I gave him the all clear because we were moving to safety.  I kept him up to date with what was happening with us and the tornado.  It was over in time so that didn't effect our plans but it was common courtesy.  I don't care how late it was, he should have at least sent you a text message that said, "Hey, plans changed we'll be at home instead of Mom's."  The difference to me lies in the fact that you are custodial parent and he is not.  IMO, this means, if his plans with DD change drastically (they're sleeping somewhere different or dealing with a minor emergency) he should send you a text or call just to let you know.  If they plan on going to the zoo and then don't that's a different matter.  You, since you are the main parent, would in turn let him know if there were a serious disaster (such as my example with the tornado), were at the hospital, etc.  I 100% agree with the others though, he doesn't sound like a healthy parental figure at all and needs to get his act together for his dd.  He should have no right to tell you your dd can't go to a holiday party, harass your dates, or even ask unless it becomes serious.  (Even if it becomes serious what he would be entitled to know would be limited.)

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#36 of 52 Old 01-11-2011, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you again for your input. 

 

 

"If you think your DD is safe and happy in your ex's family's care, then the problem you need to address is strictly between you two. 

 

She's happy.  I'm not too sure about the safe part sometimes.  He bought a new (used 1995) Caprice.  He threw the car seat in.  I asked him to take it to the police station for a car seat check.  He drove her for a week without me seeing him (he'd pick her up from the sitter and I didn't see him).  Yesterday he picked her up at my house.  He had the car seat in the middle.  None of the seat belts "locked".  He tied a knot in the belt to "secure" the seat.  When I bumped the side of the seat, it moved 6 inches across the back row.  I refused to let him drive her.  I took our daughter to work with me while he went to the police station to install the seat.  It took all of 30 minutes and he picked her up at my job and drove off in a properly installed car seat.  All he could tell me was that he hadn't had time to get the seat installed. 

 

When he dropped her off last night, her chest straps were so loose that I could have fit 2 children in the car seat. Today, I taped the lever that releases the straps.  I told him and our daughter that whoever is loosening the straps needs to STOP!  (It *could* be daughter loosening it.  But she doesn't do it in my car.  Either way, I taped it so fingers can't lift the lever to loosen it). 

 

This is a common occurance.  Her car seat is always wrong one way or another.  It's like he doesn't care.  *I* care.  I don't want my daughter killed or badly injured. 

 

At his house, the bedrooms are upstairs.  There is no fire escape.  There are windows, sure.  But the only way out is to jump and land on concrete from a second story window.  I've requested a "fire ladder" to be used upstairs when and if my daughter spends the night.  He doesn't care.  (That's where my daughter was, the night he lied to me.  Upstairs in an old farm house with no fire escape.  Had I known our daughter would be at his house, I would have requested (for what it's worth) that she stay downstairs in case there was a fire.  These are things we had talked about previously, anyway.  I care about my daughter.  I plan for what-if's.  Maybe I'm weird?). 

 

My daughter has told me that his house is dirty.  My daughter has contracted MRSA.  Doctor's orders are bleach batch twice daily to try to alliviate her from the painful boils all over her bottom.  He doesn't bathe her.  Last week, his mom bathed our daughter in the kitchen sink because the bathtub was too dirty.  MRSA can happen to anyone.  It can happen to people where houses are really clean.  But it really makes me wonder where/how she contracted it.  And nobody is helping me "care" for her and get rid of the problem, except for his mom I guess who bathes her in the kitchen sink. 

 

She had bread for dinner last night.  Just bread.  I asked her if she ever eats fruit at his house.  She said no.  I asked if there IS any fruit.  She said no.  She packed her lunch box with a banana, apple and yogurt to take with her. 

 

There is a long list of problems with him.  I've bit my tongue.  I've only complained about major issues, such as the car seat.  I stressed to him how important a fire escape is, if our daughter would ever spend the night upstairs in his house.  He apparently doesn't care. 

 

My best girlfriend told me to find another sitter,  to not let him have our daughter anymore if he can't be responsible (bathe her to keep the MRSA at bay, secure seat well, etc).  I don't want to tick anyone off.  I don't want to keep our daughter away from her father.  I don't want a legal dispute.  I really don't know what to do most of the time.  My gf also told me that I should perhaps involve dcfs?  That would make his blood boil.  Sigh.  I just don't know.  I'm low-income.  I make pennies more than minimum wage.  I'm a student.  I've called lawyers for consultations.  They charge $225/hour.  I turned to Legal Aid but I haven't been able to get thru on the phone.   

 

Maybe I'm just uptight?  Should I not voice an opinion about her carseat or having a way to escape a second story fire?  Not care if she's being bathed to help care for the MRSA she has?  Is this what you're supposed to do with visitation issues?  Just cross your fingers, pray and hope everything will be well?  Or do you speak up when things like this are not right? 

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#37 of 52 Old 01-11-2011, 03:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ButterflyBaby11 View Post

Thank you again for your input. 

 

 

"If you think your DD is safe and happy in your ex's family's care, then the problem you need to address is strictly between you two. 

 

She's happy.  I'm not too sure about the safe part sometimes.  He bought a new (used 1995) Caprice.  He threw the car seat in.  I asked him to take it to the police station for a car seat check.  He drove her for a week without me seeing him (he'd pick her up from the sitter and I didn't see him).  Yesterday he picked her up at my house.  He had the car seat in the middle.  None of the seat belts "locked".  He tied a knot in the belt to "secure" the seat.  When I bumped the side of the seat, it moved 6 inches across the back row.  I refused to let him drive her.  I took our daughter to work with me while he went to the police station to install the seat.  It took all of 30 minutes and he picked her up at my job and drove off in a properly installed car seat.  All he could tell me was that he hadn't had time to get the seat installed. 

 

When he dropped her off last night, her chest straps were so loose that I could have fit 2 children in the car seat. Today, I taped the lever that releases the straps.  I told him and our daughter that whoever is loosening the straps needs to STOP!  (It *could* be daughter loosening it.  But she doesn't do it in my car.  Either way, I taped it so fingers can't lift the lever to loosen it). 

 

This is a common occurance.  Her car seat is always wrong one way or another.  It's like he doesn't care.  *I* care.  I don't want my daughter killed or badly injured. 

 

At his house, the bedrooms are upstairs.  There is no fire escape.  There are windows, sure.  But the only way out is to jump and land on concrete from a second story window.  I've requested a "fire ladder" to be used upstairs when and if my daughter spends the night.  He doesn't care.  (That's where my daughter was, the night he lied to me.  Upstairs in an old farm house with no fire escape.  Had I known our daughter would be at his house, I would have requested (for what it's worth) that she stay downstairs in case there was a fire.  These are things we had talked about previously, anyway.  I care about my daughter.  I plan for what-if's.  Maybe I'm weird?). 

 

My daughter has told me that his house is dirty.  My daughter has contracted MRSA.  Doctor's orders are bleach batch twice daily to try to alliviate her from the painful boils all over her bottom.  He doesn't bathe her.  Last week, his mom bathed our daughter in the kitchen sink because the bathtub was too dirty.  MRSA can happen to anyone.  It can happen to people where houses are really clean.  But it really makes me wonder where/how she contracted it.  And nobody is helping me "care" for her and get rid of the problem, except for his mom I guess who bathes her in the kitchen sink. 

 

She had bread for dinner last night.  Just bread.  I asked her if she ever eats fruit at his house.  She said no.  I asked if there IS any fruit.  She said no.  She packed her lunch box with a banana, apple and yogurt to take with her. 

 

There is a long list of problems with him.  I've bit my tongue.  I've only complained about major issues, such as the car seat.  I stressed to him how important a fire escape is, if our daughter would ever spend the night upstairs in his house.  He apparently doesn't care. 

 

My best girlfriend told me to find another sitter,  to not let him have our daughter anymore if he can't be responsible (bathe her to keep the MRSA at bay, secure seat well, etc).  I don't want to tick anyone off.  I don't want to keep our daughter away from her father.  I don't want a legal dispute.  I really don't know what to do most of the time.  My gf also told me that I should perhaps involve dcfs?  That would make his blood boil.  Sigh.  I just don't know.  I'm low-income.  I make pennies more than minimum wage.  I'm a student.  I've called lawyers for consultations.  They charge $225/hour.  I turned to Legal Aid but I haven't been able to get thru on the phone.   

 

Maybe I'm just uptight?  Should I not voice an opinion about her carseat or having a way to escape a second story fire?  Not care if she's being bathed to help care for the MRSA she has?  Is this what you're supposed to do with visitation issues?  Just cross your fingers, pray and hope everything will be well?  Or do you speak up when things like this are not right? 


When she is in his care she is in his care.  No, you don't get to inspect his house and tell him all the stuff he has to fix before she can be there (unless there are drugs paraphernalia or guns in which case you inform the police).  There is no escape from MY house except out of windows onto patios - should my children be in care?  My XP lives in the first floor of a tenement!  They would have to jump 40feet onto pavement/road if there was a fire.  Fire is a very unlikely danger, and most people in the world live in a place where it would be very dangerous.  You cannot expect to be able to micromanage something like that.  If you really care to you can buy them a fire ladder, but if you do you still cannot force him to take it upstairs or guarantee it will be in the fire-free room if there is a fire.  The carseat thing is annoying, i agree.  The seat is installed properly now, if he had refused to fit it properly i would have waited until he drove off then called the police and reported an incorrectly restrained kid anonymously.  Problem solved.  Him not doing it immediately doesn't mean he doesn't care, it means he doesn't care about the same things YOU care about.  I agree that fire and car safety are very important - he seems to feel keeping strange men away from his DD is very important.  I'm sure there are plenty of victims of house fires and car accidents and plenty of people molested by a step-parent to back you both up, but the point is that it isn't YOUR business how he deals with the potential fire in his home and it isn't HIS business whether the people you expose your daughter to might or might not be harmful to her.  Unless harm is apparent there is nothing to answer - you cannot, either of you, live your lives according to the "mights" the other thinks up.  MRSA really can happen to anyone, and while i get that the bath being dirty is an issue, she has only once ever stayed there overnight, so perhaps he really feels it's better, since you're very particular about it, that YOU do the bleach bathing.  I certainly wouldn't want to bathe such a delicate area with bleach unless i was absolutely forced to for fear of doing it wrong.  Has he been shown how to do it?  My XP leaves the vast vast majority of medical things up to me - even when she had flu and a temperature he phoned me EVERY time to check the dosage of the ibuprofen to give her and double-check if this was the right time to give it.  FWIW in this house, with DP, *I* do all the medical care because it's safer (no chance of both of us giving medicine and causing accidental OD, because he NEVER gives it and would not unless i was physically absent for longer than manageable).

 

It is scary being a parent.  I know it.  But you cannot force him to prepare for every eventuality you can conceive.  You are treating him as if he's a terrible parent, i'm sure he feels it.  Have you considered his lack of effort might be due to fear of being berated by you for doing it wrong?  What if he came to your home and commented how dirty it was?  Or how dangerous?  We all have different standards, most people who suffer from it catch MRSA in one of the cleanest places - the hospital.  What if he came to your home and made comments about your dirty MRSA house?  What if he suggested since she probably got MRSA in your care (since she's usually IN your care) HE should have her from now on?  Do you see how hurtful it might be for him, and how tiring, being constantly treated like a danger to his child rather than a loving parent?  Maybe he DOES do these things, maybe that's why your dynamic is this way - because he criticises YOU.  

 

I mean really, i can't tell you how exhausting it is when my ex nags me about things.  For example he doesn't like to use OTC meds for fever.  Once when DD was 2 she got a fever of 106.5 and he STILL made very vocal disapprovals of me giving her paracetamol to try to bring it down a little.  He feels he is justified, he speaks up out of love.  I feel like crap to know he sees my love as harmful dangerous drugging of his precious child.  It's a terrible dynamic and we are still dealing with it EVERY time she gets sick.  The only time he's given her the full doses of medicine (as opposed to a third or half the recommended dose) was when she had mesenteric lymphadenitis and literally had just come out of hospital where we'd rushed her due to the agony she was in.  Even then i had to insist, her pain would come back if he didn't give her the medicine, the DOCTOR told us to give her the full dose of the medicine.  He was skeptical and argued but luckily he did it.  And yes, i had to leave her there that night not knowing if he would, or if i'd be rushing her back to the children's hospital in the early hours in agony again.  But he's her dad, and he has his rights to the same chance to make a total success/mess of it that i do.

 

Massive hugs to you, i know my posts probably aren't fun for you to digest.  But i do think you are making one another unhappier than necessary and that your DD will ultimately suffer for that, not to mention YOU suffering NOW from it.

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#38 of 52 Old 01-11-2011, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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GoBeckGo, yes that is a lot to digest.  I guess I never took any of that into consideration.  I've heard of things like this--the car seat, major safety stuff, etc--being agreed upon in court.  That's why I've been wondering if I should initiate legal action or not.  But I guess I've heard wrong. 

 

So, in a nutshell, I'm just supposed to allow him to have our daughter in unsafe situations (what I find to be unsafe such as the car seat and no second story fire escape) and just deal with it.  Shrug off the thought of my daughter dying because of his careless actions?  I guess it's really time to consult a high priced lawyer and get the facts straight.  If it's possible to specify these things in the visitation agreement, I think I will go legal. 

 

I'm a little confused I guess.  I've used this site for safety resources and parenting resources for a long time.  Parents here seem to be very knowledged with car seats and safety.  Her car seat wasn't "annoying".  She would have been dead if some idiot crashed into them. 

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#39 of 52 Old 01-11-2011, 05:40 PM
 
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GoBeckGo, yes that is a lot to digest.  I guess I never took any of that into consideration.  I've heard of things like this--the car seat, major safety stuff, etc--being agreed upon in court.  That's why I've been wondering if I should initiate legal action or not.  But I guess I've heard wrong. 

 

So, in a nutshell, I'm just supposed to allow him to have our daughter in unsafe situations (what I find to be unsafe such as the car seat and no second story fire escape) and just deal with it.  Shrug off the thought of my daughter dying because of his careless actions?  I guess it's really time to consult a high priced lawyer and get the facts straight.  If it's possible to specify these things in the visitation agreement, I think I will go legal. 

 

I'm a little confused I guess.  I've used this site for safety resources and parenting resources for a long time.  Parents here seem to be very knowledged with car seats and safety.  Her car seat wasn't "annoying".  She would have been dead if some idiot crashed into them. 


The car seat is bad news bears.  The second story fire escape?  No judge is going to put that in a custody order. (I just graduated law school and went through HELL in a custody battle that ended in September)  I have a fire escape, but I live on the SEVENTH floor, and its not even in my bedroom - god forbid theres a fire in my kitchen cause I'd never get out and neither would my son.  But, I can't worry about it b/c its the only place I've got to live right now.  My ex  doesn't have a fire escape, and he lives on the second floor, and doesn't even have access to the first floor b/c he's in an apartment too.  My ex's family lives in a huge old house that is great, but all bedrooms are on the second floor, and there are no fire escapes.  Its very uncommon for fire escapes to be present in single family homes, you're going to have to get over it. 

 

The car seat, its dangerous, and not a good idea, but one thing I've had to learn, and its HARD to learn, is that I have to let go.  When my ds is with his dad, he is loved, and cared for, and taken care of. 

 

That said, my ex does listen about certain things - like how to put on the carseat straps when ds is wearing his coat, and he actually CARES.

 

If you do not feel like you dd is safe, you need to limit contact.  But you use this man as her babysitter - so which is it?  I would NEVER leave my ds in the care of a babysitter I didn't trust - not willingly anyway.  Is there a court ordered visitation plan?  If not, you have no legal obligation to let him in her life.  But since you've been allowing it, it would be hard to argue in court against not allowing it now.  Really, I think you should focus on just a few things.  Show him how to use the carseat (do not physically alter it though - thats overstepping), explain how important it is, but in a nice, concerned mom way.

 

And about the guys you are dating - you shouldn't even be telling him who you're dating.  None of his business.  NONE.  Practice changing the subject, "So, did you know dd can do______  It's hilarious!!"  He can't force you to tell him anything, b/c you can turn around and walk the other way.

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#40 of 52 Old 01-13-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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GoBeckGo, yes that is a lot to digest.  I guess I never took any of that into consideration.  I've heard of things like this--the car seat, major safety stuff, etc--being agreed upon in court.  That's why I've been wondering if I should initiate legal action or not.  But I guess I've heard wrong. 

 

So, in a nutshell, I'm just supposed to allow him to have our daughter in unsafe situations (what I find to be unsafe such as the car seat and no second story fire escape) and just deal with it.  Shrug off the thought of my daughter dying because of his careless actions?  I guess it's really time to consult a high priced lawyer and get the facts straight.  If it's possible to specify these things in the visitation agreement, I think I will go legal. 

 

I'm a little confused I guess.  I've used this site for safety resources and parenting resources for a long time.  Parents here seem to be very knowledged with car seats and safety.  Her car seat wasn't "annoying".  She would have been dead if some idiot crashed into them. 


Some things you MIGHT be able to specify with a legal agreement, but remember that works both ways and there may be things HE wants specified which he will get (and depending on the judge your chosen parenting style might get held under a microscope - for example not everyone thinks CLW and co-sleeping are good for the child and not every judge wants to be educated on such matters).  Co-parenting is a two-way street, whether you go the legal route or not, an expensive lawyer will not necessarily be able to get you everything the way you want it unless your ex agrees, and if he agrees why line the lawyers pockets?

 

I definitely think you were absolutely right to insist he did the LEGALLY REQUIRED thing and get his carseat properly fitted, and he has.  But i also know lots of people (i'm one of them) who was driven around unrestrained for most of our childhoods and didn't die, and so it's possible he doesn't feel as passionately about it as you do.  It is illegal for him to drive her unrestrained, but it is not being a bad father to not feel it is his first and major priority.  The fact is that sometimes restrained children die, and sometimes unrestrained children do not, it isn't as black and white as "if someone had hit them she would have died" and he probably doesn't think someone will hit them.  I'm not saying that attitude is correct, only that it's common, normal for many people, and NOT an indication of a lack of caring or love.  The issue is resolved, the seat is properly installed, so you don't need to worry about it now, thank goodness.  

 

I want to share with you some things which have happened to my daughter.  She once ran into a doorframe and smacked her head and blacked both eyes in the care of me and DP.  She once lifted a hot coal out of a lit fire (though was miraculously unharmed unlike the rug she dropped it onto!) in the care of me and DP.  She once climbed into a scalding hot bath, fully clothed, and narrowly missed burning both her legs to the mid-calf in the care of XP and myself (bath was running, i was sorting her night time drink, he was fetching her pyjamas, i thought he had her, he thought i had her).  She once had shampoo poured directly from the bottle into her eye (accidentally of course) by me.  She once ran across a carpark, tripped and scraped 3 inches of skin of each knee in XP's care.  I love her.  XP loves her.  DP loves her.  Accidents happen.  Mistakes are made.  You cannot prevent EVERY accident, you can only do your best.  Your best might not be good enough, i know mine hasn't been on more than one occasion, yet i don't feel this should warrant me having to be micromanaged by XP or face a legal fight to see my kid.  When these things happen to DD whoever was looking after her feels deep and terrible regret.  The other two parents invariably reassure the one who was in charge, and comfort them.  I told XP when she skinned her knees "hey, remember when she lifted that coal out of the fire we didn't think she could get to!" and he said "at least that never physically hurt her" and i said "maybe next time" and smiled and we were ok again.  He might have been the wrong partner for me but i know he's the right daddy for DD, not because he is perfect, but because he wants to be there for her, he loves her.  Hard as it was to begin with, i have to have faith that he's trying his best, and that her father's best is adequate for her.  Obviously if he was getting terribly drunk or doing drugs while responsible for her, not feeding her (my DD once told me her dada never gave her anything for lunch or dinner and upon enquiry i found she had had baked beans and cheese on 2 slices of wholemeal toast, a carrot, 2 apples, a bowl of pasta and veggies and a big hunk of cheese - when i mentioned that to her she said "well APART from that he never gave me ANYTHING!") or there was clear-cut abuse things would be different, but him just not having the same priorities as me and not doing things the way i do them, doesn't mean anything, however much it annoys me.

 

So i think when there is a clear issue like the carseat you're right to do the needful to get it fixed (like refuse to let him take her until he gets it fixed which he did right away), but things like the eating habits and the fire ladder?  I'm sorry, but yes, gently, i think you just have to get over it.

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#41 of 52 Old 01-13-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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GoBecGo expressed my opinion nearly exactly.

 

When we went from an informal custody agreement between two never-married parents to a formal, legal custody agreement, our lawyer was VERY clear about the concept that restrictions go both ways, and that we should not ask for anything we are not willing to give ourselves. So if we want her mom to have to get the okay from dad to take her to any extra-curricular activity, we had to be willing to do the same. If we wanted mom to need written consent for travel outside her home state, we had to be willing to get the same. If we want mom to give my husband contact information in advance every time their daughter would be sleeping away from home, we had to be willing to share the same information on the same timeline every single time. There are some things that my husband still chose to require, but knowing that it was going to go both ways really helped us to prioritize the things that should require consent and agreement and which things we'd rather be left to our own good judgement.


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#42 of 52 Old 01-13-2011, 11:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflyBaby11 View Post

 

  

My daughter has told me that his house is dirty.  

 

She had bread for dinner last night.  Just bread.  I asked her if she ever eats fruit at his house.  She said no.  I asked if there IS any fruit.  She said no.  She packed her lunch box with a banana, apple and yogurt to take with her. 

 

 When dss was 4 his grandmother asked him why he peed his pants at our house.  Not sure how it came up.  He told her because I put him in time-out in his room and wouldn't let him out to go to the bathroom.  Just so you know, that never happened.

 

When he was 6 he told me his mom wouldn't let him ride his bike when I asked how he liked his new bike that dad bought him.  Also not true.

 

When children are put on the spot they will say what they think you want to hear or what will make you less angry with them.

 

So, she said his house is dirty, maybe something, like the bathtub was dirty and she didn't like it.  So she says his house is dirty.  You were upset that she had only bread for dinner.  Did she tell you that or did he?  Because if it came from her, he may have offered other food that she didn't like so she only ate the bread.  Or maybe you had something at the house she wanted and she figured that she had to tell you something so you would think she was hungry.  Or maybe she had a sandwich but only remembered the bread.  Or maybe she had a huge lunch and only wanted a snack at dinner time.  You see what I'm saying.  Maybe she didn't know there was fruit at his house.  I mean if it's canned fruit as opposed to fresh she may not have even know where to look for the fruit.  See.

 

All I'm saying is that children tend to see things from a skewed perspective and when put on the spot will fill in the holes with whatever they think sounds right.  Asking leading question gets this result almost every time.  For instance, she comes home and says she's hungry, you say, "what did you have for dinner?"  She says "bread".  My next question wouldn't be, "so all you had for dinner was bread?", it would be, "oh what kind of bread was it?  Did you like it?  Did you put butter on your bread?" etc.  Expanding on what she told me to get to what actually happened.  If she said something about not having fruit my next question will be, "how do you know daddy didn't have any fruit?" 

 

I happen to agree with the others, you seem to think that being her mother means you can control what happens when she's with her father.  The fact is, legally, you can't.  Right now you can, but if you push it and he wises up and gets a legal CO in place, you lose that right.  I know you care for your dd, but it seems to me that you are allowing your personal feelings for her dad to affect your perception of his parenting. It seems that you are looking for things he is doing wrong.


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#43 of 52 Old 01-14-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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"I guess it's really time to consult a high priced lawyer and get the facts straight..."

 

... it really is. I agree with most of what's said here re: you can't control what happens to your child when she's with her other parent, but legally, of course, this child HAS no other parent right now. Should she? It's worth a conversation with a lawyer, in which you are scrupulously honest about all details of the situation, to help you get clear on that question.

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#44 of 52 Old 01-14-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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This is excellent advice, and very similar to what I got from my attorney. I had reams of little issues and things that I was gung-ho for, and he very quickly pointed out that formalizing some of these things would make EVERYONE'S life more difficult in the end. Like the pp's husband, some things I considered important enough that it didn't matter to me that it placed the same restrictions on my life. Other things I went, "Hmmmmm. Not so important".
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post

GoBecGo expressed my opinion nearly exactly.

 

When we went from an informal custody agreement between two never-married parents to a formal, legal custody agreement, our lawyer was VERY clear about the concept that restrictions go both ways, and that we should not ask for anything we are not willing to give ourselves. So if we want her mom to have to get the okay from dad to take her to any extra-curricular activity, we had to be willing to do the same. If we wanted mom to need written consent for travel outside her home state, we had to be willing to get the same. If we want mom to give my husband contact information in advance every time their daughter would be sleeping away from home, we had to be willing to share the same information on the same timeline every single time. There are some things that my husband still chose to require, but knowing that it was going to go both ways really helped us to prioritize the things that should require consent and agreement and which things we'd rather be left to our own good judgement.




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#45 of 52 Old 01-15-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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DNA doesn't make a father.  If you trusted him with her and he lied about where she was... imagine if something had happened to you or her and you could not get to her...

I would never trust him again.  Sorry.

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#46 of 52 Old 01-16-2011, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, thanks again for the replies.  I have spoken to a lawyer and I know better where I stand and what agreements can be put into the legal agreement. 

 

I understand a three-year-old's perspective may be skewed.  Someone asked if her dad or if she told me she had bread for dinner.  This time, it was my child who told me that.  In the past, he had told me she had "noodles" for dinner because she liked them.  He thought plain white noodles were healthy.  I didn't "fight" him on that.  I only "fight" on the big issues, like the car seat and general safety.  So when she says she had "bread" for dinner, I do completely believe her. 

 

My three-year-old has told me that elephants were walking in our bedroom.  She's told me numerous things and I know I have to pick and choose what is fact and fiction.  I don't ask her leading questions.  She's told people that I leave her home alone and our dog babysits her.  (Completely false, just for the record).  So I do realise that you have to be careful listening to a three-year-old.  Having "just bread" is not something that I bark about with him.  I just roll my eyes and prepare a healthy meal for my daughter and encourage her to eat better things when she is with her dad. 

 

I have seen his mom's house so I can vouche for my daughter's honesty there.  I have a couple of other reasons to question his house.  I don't care other than the fact that our daughter has MRSA and I can't fight her condition alone.  She needs a bath, at the very minimum, when he has her.  He had her for 2 days last week (8 hours each day) and no baths.  I called his mother today and told her that DD needs a bath every night when she is with him, asked her to please pass on the information to his wife.  Telling him anything is useless, so I will continue going to the women so my daughter is actually "cared" for.  Honest to God, he just sits on his butt and lets the women take care of our daughter.  His own mother even agrees--that's what he does.  Honest to God, he is never alone with our daughter.  He can't do it!  He has to be with his mom or his wife because they are the one's who take care of her.  (I joke how I'd like to see all the women vanish and leave him home alone with his daughter for a week....he would surely lose his mind).  So, anyway, hopefully talking to his mom (and her passing info onto his wife), my baby will get a bath from now on.   

 

I only bark when my child's health or safety is an issue.  The smaller things, well, that's what girlfriends and margaritas are for ;)    

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#47 of 52 Old 01-16-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflyBaby11 View Post

Hey, thanks again for the replies.  I have spoken to a lawyer and I know better where I stand and what agreements can be put into the legal agreement. 

 

I understand a three-year-old's perspective may be skewed.  Someone asked if her dad or if she told me she had bread for dinner.  This time, it was my child who told me that.  In the past, he had told me she had "noodles" for dinner because she liked them.  He thought plain white noodles were healthy.  I didn't "fight" him on that.  I only "fight" on the big issues, like the car seat and general safety.  So when she says she had "bread" for dinner, I do completely believe her. 

 

My three-year-old has told me that elephants were walking in our bedroom.  She's told me numerous things and I know I have to pick and choose what is fact and fiction.  I don't ask her leading questions.  She's told people that I leave her home alone and our dog babysits her.  (Completely false, just for the record).  So I do realise that you have to be careful listening to a three-year-old.  Having "just bread" is not something that I bark about with him.  I just roll my eyes and prepare a healthy meal for my daughter and encourage her to eat better things when she is with her dad. 

 

I have seen his mom's house so I can vouche for my daughter's honesty there.  I have a couple of other reasons to question his house.  I don't care other than the fact that our daughter has MRSA and I can't fight her condition alone.  She needs a bath, at the very minimum, when he has her.  He had her for 2 days last week (8 hours each day) and no baths.  I called his mother today and told her that DD needs a bath every night when she is with him, asked her to please pass on the information to his wife.  Telling him anything is useless, so I will continue going to the women so my daughter is actually "cared" for.  Honest to God, he just sits on his butt and lets the women take care of our daughter.  His own mother even agrees--that's what he does.  Honest to God, he is never alone with our daughter.  He can't do it!  He has to be with his mom or his wife because they are the one's who take care of her.  (I joke how I'd like to see all the women vanish and leave him home alone with his daughter for a week....he would surely lose his mind).  So, anyway, hopefully talking to his mom (and her passing info onto his wife), my baby will get a bath from now on.   

 

I only bark when my child's health or safety is an issue.  The smaller things, well, that's what girlfriends and margaritas are for ;)    



I'm glad you were able to speak with a lawyer.  DH was relieved when he spoke with a lawyer about his rights, and his ex was shocked when she spoke to a lawyer about what she could do.  We found the dh honestly didn't know most of his rights, and ex was actually over estimating her control in the situation.  So I think it's always best to get a professional to weigh in.  I wish the law were simple enough that anyone could figure it out. 

 

Did you get a free consult, or did you have to come out money for it?  I know sometimes they have free consultations. 

 

Anyway, just wanted to say that I'm glad you were able to consult with someone who could give you real answers.


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#48 of 52 Old 01-17-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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While it is upsetting to be lied to, if you do anything drastic.... it could get worse.

 

by this I mean he could decide to take you to court & ask to keep your DD every other weekend.. and a month in the summer. and every other holiday.. If he is the vile person you say, he would be doing this just to be mean & possesive... and while she was in his care at those times weekend, she might not be provided for at the care level you would like. she might be pawned off on someone else while he does something more fun.

 

and even if you bring all of these matters (her not bathing, feeding her correctly) he could say you are lying, it would take alot of time and real evidence for the court order to be changed... in the meantime there would be nothing you could do legally.

 

 

if there is ANY way.. you can kinda manage him & keep your DD outta his hands on your terms... that would be better than what most likely would happen if you went to court...

 

of course he might bugger off at the prospect of paying court ordered child support.. & if he is an abuser then you'd be better off but.... itsa big risk.

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#49 of 52 Old 01-19-2011, 07:48 PM
 
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i would think that having a serious medical issue suchas mrsa would be plenty good reason enough to ensure that any court order require a certain level of care and monitoring. my dear grand neice has this and it has been a nightmare for her mama. something as simple as a teeny diaper rash when she was a baby could turn into a huge medical problem almost overnight, so you seem totally justified in that area. i know i would be hyper careful and sensitive to cleanliness matters if it were the case with any child in my care. not only for their health but for everyone around them as well.

iam glad that you spoke with an attorney and know where you stand a bit better.

 

good luck to you, and keep us posted here on how things go, i hope that your ex begins to see the seriousness of your dd's medical condition and acts accordingly. is there any way that you two could take her to an appointment together where you could have the dr. explain it to your ex, so you arent being accused or blamed for being over-reactive or silly in your requests? that way is is coming from the "horse's mouth" so to speak and he can ask any questions he likes and then in future not be able to claim not knowing the facts or the proper care and attention required.

 

cheers, vs

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#50 of 52 Old 01-19-2011, 08:46 PM
 
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Sending you hugs. Honestly it sounds to me that you know what you need to do and I don't blame you in the least for being concerned for your child's safety. This forum is supposed to be for support and while I think we need to be honest it can just get so judgmental and snarky sometimes. I don't get it. No one here knows you or can have the full story of your situation from one post. Do what you know is right, girlfriend!

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#51 of 52 Old 01-20-2011, 04:12 AM
 
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Mama I TOTALLY agree with you because I can sooo relate to what you are saying .... My ex was/is a glorified babysitter. A father is more than someone who watches their kid for a couple hours and gives you a little money to help take care of THEIR child. A father is involved with doing things with the child, activities as well as daily needs which my ex still cannot seem to do such as baths, clipping nails, cleaning ears, putting lotion on a child with very dry and sensitive skin ect. You are the mother and you have EVERY right to be upset because you didn't know where your child was. It was as simple as him picking up the phone and saying "hey, there has been a change of plans, just wanted to let you know we were going to be at _____ instead of moms", not that hard and should have been done. And the comment that was made about it being a pity that you used him for childcare and took money from him ... that's the most ridiculous thing I have heard .... He is the child's Father ... you don't use someone who should step up and take responsibility for their child ... I mean REALLY .... My ex didn't pay cs for 2 yrs and I still allowed him to see my son because regardless of my opinion of him, he is still my son's father and my son doesn't understand ... He moaned and complained because he didn't get to see him as much as he wanted to After he started seeing his current wife (coincidence) huh. He was allowed to have him every weekend overnight until she moved in, and those were the main days he was able to spend with him, keep in mind his complaining, yet on several occasions, while I was working my SECOND job, he called to see if I could leave work early so he could go hang out with his buddies, when I said I couldn't, he called my dad and had him watch him. Whenever it was convenient for him to keep him is when he did ... You did not overreact , I would have done the same thing ... and depending on what state you live in, if he is not on the BC, he doesn't have any rights until a judge says otherwise ... 

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#52 of 52 Old 01-21-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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i missed that comment about using him for money but taking his child care or what have you and i dont think that is neccesary, with a little more information on the table it does make sense why you woud want to know where you child was sleeping and what they arrangements are when he has her. bathing and other normal everyday activities are a little more than that for your dd when you consider that the slightest cut or rash or irritation or what have you can blossom into something a lot more serious. when that is factored into the equation it changes everything. my grandneice has msra and it has been so difficult for her mom.

with that information in hand as i am sure you talked to your/the lawyer about, it changes a lot of things in that you would be able to have a more direct control or say in and about, especially the conditions in which she is to be staying and who and how she is being cared for. mrsa is serious and the people caring for her have to be on board with what you as her usual care giver and therefore "expert" in her personal needs and idiosyncrisis <<sp? you do know what is best and what works best for her in this situation.

 

i still think it might be a good idea to have her father attend an appointment and maybe his mother too, with your dd's doctor so that they can be given the information about her condition and their responsibilities in her care needs, especially regarding cleanliness. it might help in that you dont come across as the bossy ex, rather the doctor is the "expert" opinion that they would probably have a little more inclination to listen to. some exes are great but others see any input or info from their ex-wife as interfereing or all manner of negative adgectives kwim. the doctor takes you out of the picture rather and hopefully they would get on board with you.

 

good luck,

 

vs

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