So when the kids come home from their dad's house in the middle of a rainstorm WITHOUT their raincoats or boots...what should I do? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-05-2011, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The kids' dad lives two hours away.  He sees them every other weekend.  Four kids came home with zero raincoats and three pairs of boots (not four). 

 

It seems unfair for me to have to come up with a second set of raincoats.

It seems unfair to the kids to condemn them to ten days without raincoats because their dad couldn't be bothered to make sure they returned with the kids.

It seems unfair to the kids for me to tell them they can't bring their raincoats to their dad's house in the future.

It seems reasonable for me to expect this might happen again.

 

What is the right thing to do here?

 

What about their woolen long johns, wool socks, snowpants, winter boots, hats, mittens, winter coats???

 

I am on a very tight budget, in part because he hasn't gotten child support to me yet, and it shouldn't be my job to provide two of these things, right?

 

But my poor kids - I want them warm and dry.

 

I don't feel I can trust him to keep track of their valuable stuff - he lives in a cohousing community with a ton of other kids.  It's hard enough keeping track of their stuff when they stay at one friend's house, let alone when they're at a perpetual block party.

 

I'm tempted to say they can't take their expensive woolens to their dad's house.  (Where he lives, the heat is up to 70 all the time anyway - where we live, we keep it at 55-60 in winter, so they NEED their woolens here.)

 

Argh.  What is the MOST reasonable, fair, right, responsible thing to do in this situation?


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Old 10-05-2011, 07:45 PM
 
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I would scrounge for extras for them to keep at his house or explain to him that he needs to provide them for him.

I am the one who is bad at returning things to xh s house.

So not much help.


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Old 10-05-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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if my ex forgets coats, lunch bags, whatever, he has to go home and bring them for me. maybe doing that once or twice for that looong drive will help him be more careful.

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Old 10-05-2011, 10:01 PM
 
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I don't think it's unreasonable to give him warning that next time you send the kids up they will be coming without XYZ and that he needs to provide them for them.


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Old 10-05-2011, 10:59 PM
 
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Are the children involved in the packing of their own stuff at all? At least the older ones?


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Old 10-05-2011, 11:32 PM
 
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I am coming to terms with the (annoying,sad,terrible) fact that my ex will not turn into a responsible person any time soon, and I will continue to do way way more than him and be the only grown-up.  Sounds like your ex is in the same club as mine.  Can you go to Salvation Army or Goodwill and get the kids some coats etc. to leave at his house?  Of course, that may not help much...they just may end up with two coats as his place :(

 

My answer would also depend on whether a court is still watching your situation closely....in which case you have to unfortunately take their likely perceptions into account...


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Old 10-06-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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My 2 hard and fast rules for visitation day are as follows;

 

1) Do not send anything with/on the children that you/they must have, because it more than likely will not be returned. I don't send spare clothes, I don't let the kids take favorite toys, I don't even send diapers and wipes anymore, because they don't come home and I can't afford to replace them every week.  

 

2) Don't send the children wearing anything you don't want ruined. I don't ever insist that my kids stay squeaky clean, but we have a miniscule clothing budget and I have to make a reasonable effort to take care of their clothes. My ex makes NO effort at all, and several outfits have been destroyed because of his carelessness. I don't send my kids off in their most tattered and stained things, but I don't send them in the stuff that I want them to be able to wear to school again, either. 


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Old 10-06-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

Are the children involved in the packing of their own stuff at all? At least the older ones?


I would expect kids of 13, 11, and 9 at the very least to be responsible for their own clothes, and surely they could pack for the 7 year old?
 

 

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Old 10-06-2011, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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They are responsible for their own packing, and they get little to no help from their dad, and at this point they need little help from me, too.  But certain items are in a sort of premium category, you know?  If they leave a sock or a pair of underwear or something like that, big deal.  But they only have ONE raincoat and ONE pair of boots...ONE pair of woolens... 

 

Is it fair to leave it completely up to them to bring back every single thing they brought to their dad's house?

 

I feel like it's his responsibility to doublecheck and keep track of stuff and make sure they go home with the same categories of things they arrived with, yk?  Or is that one of those skills that only moms have and dad's don't (barfy sarcasm)?

 

It seems a lot to tell a kid that they have to remember their raincoat (even though it was sunny when they came back to mom's) or not have a raincoat for two weeks.  I think we're supposed to be - both parents, all parents - helping our kids develop these skills, not leaving it up to "sink or swim."

 

The 7yo is actually the most detail-oriented of the bunch - she is amazing and keeps track of her stuff.  The older two are spacey about things when they're not reminded in the moment.  I have no idea if their dad is helping them develop routines to help them remember their stuff or not, but I have to assume not.

 

The image of my four kids shivering in a rainstorm while being dropped off to meet me was just pathetic and broke my heart.  They were wet and cold.  And he offered no explanation and no apology.  Of course, I didn't help; I freaked out a bit, and I know I should not have, but I did.  I asked him to mail them, but of course he hasn't.

 

If I had extras I would send them, but UGH, is everything my responsibility?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post

I would expect kids of 13, 11, and 9 at the very least to be responsible for their own clothes, and surely they could pack for the 7 year old? 

 



 


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Old 10-06-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worthy View Post

They are responsible for their own packing, and they get little to no help from their dad, and at this point they need little help from me, too.  But certain items are in a sort of premium category, you know?  If they leave a sock or a pair of underwear or something like that, big deal.  But they only have ONE raincoat and ONE pair of boots...ONE pair of woolens... 

 

Is it fair to leave it completely up to them to bring back every single thing they brought to their dad's house?

 

I feel like it's his responsibility to doublecheck and keep track of stuff and make sure they go home with the same categories of things they arrived with, yk?  Or is that one of those skills that only moms have and dad's don't (barfy sarcasm)?

 

It seems a lot to tell a kid that they have to remember their raincoat (even though it was sunny when they came back to mom's) or not have a raincoat for two weeks.  I think we're supposed to be - both parents, all parents - helping our kids develop these skills, not leaving it up to "sink or swim."

 

The 7yo is actually the most detail-oriented of the bunch - she is amazing and keeps track of her stuff.  The older two are spacey about things when they're not reminded in the moment.  I have no idea if their dad is helping them develop routines to help them remember their stuff or not, but I have to assume not.

 

The image of my four kids shivering in a rainstorm while being dropped off to meet me was just pathetic and broke my heart.  They were wet and cold.  And he offered no explanation and no apology.  Of course, I didn't help; I freaked out a bit, and I know I should not have, but I did.  I asked him to mail them, but of course he hasn't.

 

If I had extras I would send them, but UGH, is everything my responsibility?!

 



Well, the natural consequence of leaving your raincoat behind is to be wet and cold. I suspect that your kids will pack more carefully in future. Some things need to be learned the hard way. I honestly would expect a 13 yr old to be able to double check the packing, and remember their own coat.

 

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Old 10-06-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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I send along what my son needs.  His father has much more money than I do, and can/should make sure our son has whatever he needs - but he won't.  And though it's hardly fair to me, I don't want my son go without when he's not with me, so I pack stuff as I would if he was visiting a friend's house - I send whatever he'll need.  If ex forgets stuff, and he does, I leave a message to leave it on our porch.  If your kids are older, they should start remembering.  It might help to put a list into their bags, of what they brang (they can make their own lists, even), so when it's time to pack up & come back home, they can check the list.  I did that last winter as our son had just one really good pair of boots - I taped "Don't forget boots!" into the inside of his bag.

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Old 10-08-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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I would try sending them with a list of what they need to pack when they get ready to leave dad's house.

 

I have to make lists for myself or I forget stuff.

 

And, yeah, this all sucks. Sorry :-(

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Old 10-08-2011, 09:32 PM
 
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Oh I so understand your frustration.  My STBX does that same sort of stuff.  Mine get sent in clothes that fit and I get them back in way too small clothes that is not acceptable for school.  So I had to go out yet again and buy more clothes.  Right now I have a stack of clothes he needs to exchange me back for clothes that fit so I have stuff for them.  I can't afford more clothes and suggested to him I'd send him the bill.  In reality I'm too much of a scardie cat to do that.  But I'll insist on getting them exchanged.


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Old 10-09-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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My children do not go with anything from home other than what they are wearing as they walk out the house. I tried packing for them for a bout 2 months, but items didn't get returned, and the way I see it is sbx had enough unreturned clothes that he could cloth the kids for 2 days with no difficulty, so why did I need to pack clothes as though the kids were going on vacation? He picks the kids up from our home at 5pm so no school uniforms need to be returned. This might seem unreasonable but it is far less stress for my 3 children as well as for myself. I have just started letting my children take toys with them, but if parts are missing (like skateboard safety equipment) when they come home they will have to stop that.

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