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Old 03-20-2005, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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...To spend a week or more alone with Dad?

Some background: Ex-Fiance and I were never married. We have no Custody order filed with the Courts, etc. He "freaked out" and pretty much dumped me (which I was actully okay with - the love was gone on my end while I found out I was pg, all due to his childish ways) when I was pregnant, so it is my honest opinion that he's an "ok" dad, just not a mature and highly responsible one that should have my child for an extended period of time in his care. An "okay part-time dad" would be the best title for him.

Our DD is 16 months. He called me yesterday and TOLD me that he is going to take her away [the exact date I don't remember] for a week in June. I polietly said no. I said that I felt it was inappropriate for a baby to be away from her custodial home for that long.

So what do you think? What would you do?

This is an example of why I say no to his having her any more than a night a week (which I am not even happy about but am trying to be at least somewhat fair...) Apparently when he picked her up Friday night after work she developed a cold with some yellow snots. That warranted no less than 3 phone calls from him within a 12 hour period to me about it, and even though she didn't "feel like she had a fever, more like a cold sweat" he WOKE HER UP TO TAKE HER RECTAL TEMPERATURE!!! I told him not to, yet he did. And he wonders why she "wasn't very pleasant." I asked him if the house was too hot, was she dressed too warm, was she not eating/drinking, was she vomiting, diapers wet, etc., and every answer he gave in response indicated a cold. I told him to keep a watch on her, offer Tylenol if she seems too warm (and a sits bath if there IS a fever and Tylenol doesn't break it) and as many fluids as she'd take. AND LET HER SLEEP.

But no. He called in the morning and freaked out about her still being "not right" because "usually she sleeps until 7:30 am or so but today she wanted to sleep later but I still got her up" : So the child could get what it sounded liked she needed above all - REST - I picked up her early, as I was planning on being in the area to lunch with a friend.

When I got her I will admit she didn't look well. Extremely "out of it." I got her in the car, unzipped her winter jacket and took off her winter hood AND hat and she immediately fell asleep. By the time we got home she was wonderfully fine with ZERO signs of a cold, other than a slightly clear runny nose from time to time.

Oh, but her shoes were on the wrong feet and in addition the winter jacket she had a sweater on AND 2 T-SHIRTS. He's an idiot. Just an idiot.

And hmmmm....to add to this big "sniffles" problem that miraculously cleared itself up by the time I got her home....I noticed tons and tons of construction debris on the back porch, with a discarded tub, which means he is remodeling his one and only bath. Which means she's being exposed to that, and in a ranch-style home that's probably only 1200 square feet MAX, that's a lot of exposure. I don't speak to him on any terms unless related to DD, and I'm no Engineering major, but couldn't the construction debris be a reason she was having some, as he called them, "breathing issues?" I know he is not the cleanest person being that in his mind, it's okay for him to eat toast out of a toaster after a big black spider lived in there. It's okay for dust webs as thick as fake snow to collect on/around his furniture and as for dusting - NEVER. Vacumming? Ha! It's gross, and why I couldn't live there, but I fear the Couts will say that's being "petty" and make her go anyway, should we go to court, so I figure get her used to it???

Well, that's just the tip of my complaining iceburg. If you read it all I THANK YOU and, please, be honest in your opinions, as I am interested in hearing all thoughts.
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Old 03-20-2005, 11:31 AM
 
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It depends on how long she is used to being away from you. If she's used to being away from you for a couple nights in a row, she could maybe handle another day or two. Only you would know.

I have read some things that suggest that kids really aren't ready for week long visits away from home until they are about school age....but again, it would depend on what she is accustomed to.

My oldest is 6 and the most he has ever been away from me is one night at a time. My 3 year old has never been away at night. For both of them, a week right now would be too long and too traumatic. However, my cousins have left their kids who are under 3 with their parents for a week and they are just fine. It really depends on the kid.

If your ex really can't handle it, they would probably come home early, unless he's planning to fly somewhere and they couldn't. Then it could be very traumatic for both of them.
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Old 03-20-2005, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply L.J. I should mention that my daughter only spends 1 night a week away from home, every Friday night. No more. I don't think it's appropriate for any more.

And the way she comes back from his home - unreasted, crabby and out of sorts - implies to me that she is not getting what she needs with him during one day, let alone an entire week!
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:06 PM
 
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My dd is 16 mos too. She was spending an overnight with her father once per week but I stopped it as she was exhausted the next day.

A week is WAY too long... IMPOSSIBLY long in my opinion. Especially for a baby that is rarely away from you. He would do better to take her frequently (several times per week) for a few hours at a time, during daytime hours. And let her sleep at home with her mama where she belongs.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:10 PM
 
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Then a week would be WAY too long for her. It has the potential to be very stressful and no one needs that at such a young age.

I'd make sure that if you're discussing it with him that you make it ALL about your daughter. Reinforce that it would be difficult for her and could create some problems for her developmentally & emotionally.

You can do some research. There are some great resrouces on the importance of attachment in the first 2 years of life. John Bowlby is the leading pyschologist in that area & has written & researched this alot.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:13 PM
 
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Please remember your ex had not had the time to develop parenting skills as you have. So the cold and spots were completely out of his field but HE DID DO SOMETHING RESPONCIBLE he called you!! He asked for help. That is a plus in my book. My ex and his second wife had my son for 1 1/2 weeks and he came home with double ear infections and a sinus infection so bad that puss was coming out of his tear ducts and no medical care (not even homopathic). Be thankful he did something, even though it was all wrong. My son was very ill and they did nothing.

As for the shoes, I have been guilty of this. I actually did this to my 4 year old. I have three kids so that is pretty bad.

The dressing my mil and sil did this to my nephews all the time. My one nephew had constant heat rash. Me being the “new” (one child mom) suggested this. BUT NOOOOO I could not be right, well they finally took the kid to the doctor to have the doctor say what I did. “The boy is chronically over dressed.” I work part time and you would be amazed at how many babies/kids I see overdressed. I see kids walk through the mall for hours with snow suits on, all hot and sweaty.

Many things that seem obvious to us are not obvious to the parent that only has the child one night a week. So don’t say he is a bad father he is an ignorant parent. There is a difference. He is making an effort to be with his child that is a good. He didn’t dump the baby off on his mom so he could go out to a bar all night.

Accept that he will do things differently. As long as it isn't potentially deadly (like not using a car seat) take a deep breath. Your child will survive.

Accept that your child will pick his weekend/time to get sick or be sick. If you talk to divorced parents this phenomenon is common. It has nothing to do with parenting but when the pick up bugs.

Accept that when she comes home from dads that there will be emotional adjustment. If she is in love with dad she will miss him when she comes home and take it out on you. Many parents complain about the grumpy disrespectful child after visiting non-custodial parent. It really is an emotional adjustment for them. They have many emotions to deal with from resentment, excitement, sadness, anger, happiness. They are happy to see mom but miss being with dad. I know your little one is young but these feelings are developing. So please accept this from your child and help guide her to better ways of being. She might be feeling two or more things at once and it can be overwelming in the best situation.

Accept that he might over do it because he just wants time with her and if she is asleep he does not feel like he is spending time with her. Co-sleeping is a MDC activity but not every one agrees with us. I have a male friend that ex use to get all over him for co-sleeping. He just wanted to be with his dd and co-sleeping gave him 8-10 extra hours of holding her. His ex could not understand his need to be with his child just the inconvenience it brought because when the child went home she wanted to sleep with her.

Now as for the week visit, nope would not do it. She is not use to it. I would compromise though to starting two night visit. With the understanding that she might not be ready and that it is a “NO FAULT ISSUE” if he says come and get her.

I would also find better ways to make him learned instead of being ignorant.

Making statements like “You know you had that construction going on. I wonder if that triggered her cold or maybe some allergies?” Or even get a doctor’s note and say doctor says we need to make sure we dust well because dc has dust allergies. Also accept that he might not have ever been taught how to dust nor vacuum. If you use the doctor’s excuse this can give you an opportunity to educate him on how to do it properly.

In general conversation happen to mention about dressing kids the same way you would dress. Be aware he might dress himself that way. That was part of the problem with my nephew, mom and grandma always overdressed. Many, many, many people over dress little kids because they fear that they will get cold because they are tiny.

As for the spider, I think this one you need to get over. Spiders live in everywere. They are not all bad. Yes they might gross you out but……… many of us battle the spiders year round. I have found them in my toaster. I have given them a reprieve since they greatly help prevent flies, fleas, and wasp. I have several in my basement that effectively prevents me from having to spray for wasp every summer. I cannot tell you how many times I clean out old webs that have wasp in them (I cannot find were the wasp are coming in.) I find the spiders better than spraying.

Actually many of the house things you have complain about you could take the stiff upper lip and say immunity building. LMAO (Try to find a since of humor where you can). As long as he is not doing something that will/could kill her try to let it go. She will learn daddy has a different way than mommy. Your job is to make things peaceful not hateful even if he is driving you nuts.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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I want to first say I sympathize with the OP. My three kids get suboptimum care still (at 13, 12 and 10) at their dad's when he takes them every other weekend. Ultimately, however, I want to applaud marsupialmom. You really took some time to write that post, and I think it hits it dead on. That thread should be stickied at the top of the single parenting forum

That said, a week is too long to be away from her mommy for a child that's 16 months. My son is 16 months. He has spent 1 night overnight away with grandparents and that's fine. I'd even consider a 2 night stay should circumstances present themself. But no more than that. It was hard enough for me to take him and my other kids off on a mini (2 night) vacation away from his dad (who couldn't get off work when the kids were off school).

I can only imagine how hard this must be. Thankfully, my youngest was 4 when I split from their father. Just remember, you will be co-parenting with this man for many many years. It is in everyone's best interest to have as pleasant relationship as possible. I just don't let myself think of the bad stuff about my ex. It would drive me insane. I hate it. But I procreated with him, and the kids are half his, and I have to let him see them. So I deal.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:55 PM
 
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I think you should document everything- the condition of his house, the way she was overdressed, the number of times he called you, etc etc.

If there's no court order, you don't HAVE TO send her over there at all. You have every right to refuse a visit if you think she'll be unsafe. Of course, if you deny him too many visits, it will make you look bad if/when you end up in court.

At her age, I would suggest seeing Daddy one evening a week (or several evenings a week) in addition to one day on the weekend, rather than an entire week in June. If you suggest an option like that, it makes you "look better" court-wise while still keeping her safety in mind.Another option would be for her to sleep at your place but go to Daddy's every day during waking hours for that week in June that he's available.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
I would compromise though to starting two night visit. With the understanding that she might not be ready and that it is a “NO FAULT ISSUE” if he says come and get her.
I agree with much of your post, Marsupialmom. Just not this. Getting enough sleep is vital for a child's growth and mental well-being. If she's crabby and exhausted after one night, it is not respectful of her health to up it to two. Once she starts coming back rested and happy, then two nights might be a good idea.

As for the week, ds will be going away for a week in August with his dad for the first time ever. He'll be almost 5. I'm still not entirely sure that he's ready for it. He's been spending two nights a week (not in a row) with his dad for almost a year now, and that's gone well. He's doing a trial run this week by taking him to visit a friend out-of-state for three days. They're driving, so they have the flexibility to come home early if ds needs to. Part of my willingness to let this all happen is that I trust ds' dad to actually recognize that ds needs to come home and/or respect his wishes if he says as much. If I didn't, it would be a no go.

It sounds like your daughter's father is not adept at reading her cues, so even despite her young age (which would be reason enough for a "no"), he's not accomplished enough as a parent to take her away for that long.

Does he see her at all besides the night he has her?
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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Given what you've written- no, I would not let your dd go for a week with her father. That is way too long for a 16 month old BABY to be gone from her mother, when she's only gone 1 night before.

My 17 month old has only been away from me for 3 hours at a time. There's no way in h*ll I would let him go with his father for a week (he currently sees his father up to 9 hours a week- 3 hours monday, wednesday, and friday- depending on if his dad shows up).

I would suggest this to your ex...

"Another option would be for her to sleep at your place but go to Daddy's every day during waking hours for that week in June that he's available." (great idea Ruth!)

But make sure ex understands that this will only happen if your dc is doing well. If, after the first couple days, she isn't handling it well then I would back off.

Did he plan on taking her far away on vacation or something? Why does he suddenly want a whole week? Just curious. I would imagine a whole weekend would come after 1 overnight. And then maybe 3 days together. Then 4.... ect, until you get to a whole week. It really irks my tator how people (most notably some fathers and courts) expect a child to just up and go off for a week and be fine with it. Argh.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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Old 03-20-2005, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Firstly, wow, I have to thank all of you for your thoughtful opinions. I am very grateful for the amount of time you each put into your replies! I so appreciate seeing other perspectives and thank you each very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
My dd is 16 mos too. She was spending an overnight with her father once per week but I stopped it as she was exhausted the next day.
You could just put a stop to an agreement that you had? Perhaps your ex is more understanding/less stubborn/more realistic than mine! You're lucky! I am glad that you share my opinion that a week is too long for a, let's face it, baby. They may be walking and starting to talk and "toddlers," but they're still babies, and I feel still should be treated as such.
Quote:
Originally Posted by L.J.
I'd make sure that if you're discussing it with him that you make it ALL about your daughter. Reinforce that it would be difficult for her and could create some problems for her developmentally & emotionally.

You can do some research. There are some great resrouces on the importance of attachment in the first 2 years of life. John Bowlby is the leading pyschologist in that area & has written & researched this alot.
Thank you for your continued advise and recommendation! I will definitely look this up. And I swear to goodness, I am not using our daughter as a pawn in any sort of power struggle between us. I want what's best for her; I want her to feel as secure and rested and happy and content as possible. As she gets older and has a say in things and wants to spend time with her dad as a young child/adolescent, I am going to be very encouraging of their fostering a relationship. I guess I am trying to justify my saying NO to him, because it's very rare that I have in terms of seeing her. I'm no saint, but I've tried to do what's best for everyone, but now want to do what I think is best for a 16 month-old.

Marsupialmom, I could quote your entire post and respond bit by bit, but I can sum it all up on one word: Your response was very insightful and made me think of the "there's 2 sides to every story" theory. I do agree with what you've said from your perspective. I guess this is where I'm a little, shall we say "mean," in that I am VERY GLAD that he called and consulted me about her not feeling well, however, at the same time I kept getting the impression that he wanted to dump her off on me because she wasn't well. Like he didn't want to be inconvenienced with a cranky, not sleeping and not as normally pleasant and easygoing baby as she is. Also, because of the fact that when I did pick her up she displayed NONE of the symptoms that had him "so concerned," I felt like he was trying to get out of something, yet still trying to look like the "big" guy. He even wanted to wake her up from a much needed nap to drive her almost an hour back to my house! How does that make sense?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
Accept that he will do things differently. As long as it isn't potentially deadly (like not using a car seat) take a deep breath. Your child will survive.
That's an excellent point and probably 85% of the time this is exactly what I do. I have faith that for the most part no major damage will happen, although I still worry that he doesn't have all his guns locked up or that it's sort of inappropriate to read hunting magazines showing dead animals...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
I would also find better ways to make him learned instead of being ignorant.

Making statements like “You know you had that construction going on. I wonder if that triggered her cold or maybe some allergies?”
Our text message conversations:
Me: "Looks like you are remodeling; perhaps all the dust/dirt as a result of that did not agree with her?"

Him: "doubt it dirt dust is isolated to one room" I don't know how that's possible, as it's the bathroom and guess what, he made a big deal about bathing her... I just don't know!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
As for the spider, I think this one you need to get over. Spiders live in everywere. They are not all bad. Yes they might gross you out but……… many of us battle the spiders year round. I have found them in my toaster. I have given them a reprieve since they greatly help prevent flies, fleas, and wasp.
Can I assume that when you found the spider in your toaster that you removed it from there and cleaned the toaster as opposed to allowing it to live in there and in your kitchen and hang in communes in your kitchen windows where you prepare food? In the basement I can understand. Although I know they are not dirty whatever-the-are, I prefer not to see 5 daddy longlegs hanging in the windows over where I prepare my food. He also lets all the windows and doors open (without screens) so all the bugs come in the house and die in the sink. I found dead flies IN HIS FRIDGE! I mean, ack!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
Your job is to make things peaceful not hateful even if he is driving you nuts.
VERY sound advice that I will take to heart.
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gethane
Just remember, you will be co-parenting with this man for many many years. It is in everyone's best interest to have as pleasant relationship as possible. I just don't let myself think of the bad stuff about my ex. It would drive me insane. I hate it. But I procreated with him, and the kids are half his, and I have to let him see them. So I deal.
Oh, as much as I know this, I have to try extra hard when he is impossible to get along with. Logically I agree with what you said totally. But he insists on fighting with me and making things as UNpleasant as possible. I wish I could give the history of our relationship but it's long, it's boring and it's in the past. But lets just say our no longer being together is because there was never a time he put me or our daughter ahead of him, his family, his friends, his wants. And that has not changed on his end. So it makes it hard to deal when he wants public credit for privately not living up to the bragging, you know? (just very frustrating and I'm trying to "talk it all out" and get a handle on it)

Quote:
RuthlaI think you should document everything- the condition of his house, the way she was overdressed, the number of times he called you, etc etc.

If there's no court order, you don't HAVE TO send her over there at all. You have every right to refuse a visit if you think she'll be unsafe. Of course, if you deny him too many visits, it will make you look bad if/when you end up in court.

At her age, I would suggest seeing Daddy one evening a week (or several evenings a week) in addition to one day on the weekend, rather than an entire week in June. If you suggest an option like that, it makes you "look better" court-wise while still keeping her safety in mind.Another option would be for her to sleep at your place but go to Daddy's every day during waking hours for that week in June that he's available.
I have been documenting for some time...when he picks her up, when he doesn't, conversations between us, e-mails, etc. If with him I have denied a request (which, again, was not often), I ALWAYS ALWAYS counter with another suggestion that is more suited to our daughter. And that's been my suggestion for that week - he may come down and pick her up for day trips, but I want her returned to me in time for bed so that she gets a good night's rest, etc. But the idea of him traveling with her is not one I am comfortable with at her age.

And my attorney said the same thing you did - that I have all the legal rights because of, in essence, our situation and lack of a formal agreement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
As for the week, ds will be going away for a week in August with his dad for the first time ever. He'll be almost 5. I'm still not entirely sure that he's ready for it. He's been spending two nights a week (not in a row) with his dad for almost a year now, and that's gone well. He's doing a trial run this week by taking him to visit a friend out-of-state for three days. They're driving, so they have the flexibility to come home early if ds needs to. Part of my willingness to let this all happen is that I trust ds' dad to actually recognize that ds needs to come home and/or respect his wishes if he says as much. If I didn't, it would be a no go.

It sounds like your daughter's father is not adept at reading her cues, so even despite her young age (which would be reason enough for a "no"), he's not accomplished enough as a parent to take her away for that long.

Does he see her at all besides the night he has her?
Firstly, I hope your son's first extended trip away goes well. It is wonderful that you have that trust in your ex, that he "gets it" when your son needs something. As evident this weekend and many prior, mine does not "get it." For goodness sake the man woke her up to make sure that they were at Wal-Mart early in the morning in the dead of winter to have her PICTURE TAKEN.

And to answer your question bluntly: He does not see her any times other than his Friday after work pickup with a Sat. by 6:00 p.m return. He has never asked for more time when she was there or even brought her home on time - he has always been early. And she's been on this planet for 16 months.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen
Did he plan on taking her far away on vacation or something? Why does he suddenly want a whole week? Just curious. I would imagine a whole weekend would come after 1 overnight. And then maybe 3 days together. Then 4.... ect, until you get to a whole week. It really irks my tator how people (most notably some fathers and courts) expect a child to just up and go off for a week and be fine with it. Argh.
I don't know. He said, "And the week of June ____ I want to take Courteney away somewhere. I'll talk to her and let you know." Okay, I don't know exactly WHO he's talking to about this...Our daughter's vocabulary is pretty much limited to doggie, uh-oh and piggy, so I doubt she's adding much to the travel conversation! I don't know what his plans are, and while on the phone I pretty much nixed the whole thing. I said, "I will not go for your taking her for an entire week. I think it's inappropriate that she be away from home that long. We can talk about you coming down and seeing her a few days that week and spending time with her, but an entire week is unacceptable."

He's just an idiot, plain and simple. HE wants her for this time so it should happen. He doesn't believe or understand that children aren't that on-demand and can emotionally switch gears and environments because he feels like playing not-so-absentee father all of a sudden.

My daughter is my world, my life, my everything and what I think is best for her is what goes. He has the common sense of a tadpole, perhaps less (at least they have instincts), so I'll tow the line on the parenting thing for now, I do believe!
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Old 03-21-2005, 02:30 AM
 
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[QUOTE=Teryll] however, at the same time I kept getting the impression that he wanted to dump her off on me because she wasn't well. Like he didn't want to be inconvenienced with a cranky, .... From my experience he could have been trying to get you to bail him out. Remember he has not dealt with her being sick as much as you have, so he is inexperienced. Also, I can tell you from my first marriage my ex did this for several reasons 1. He was a jerk (LOL, sill is) 2. He hated seeing his child this way (in pain). 3. He felt completely helpless. He felt he was inadequate. My current husband admits that when the kids were sick at first he felt completely helpless and inadequate but the difference was I learn not to rescue him so he became confident in his skills. Both my husbands try to bail out at these moments the difference was how I handled it. By letting my dh2 learn how to parent and handle these situations he now can. My dh2 still hates seeing his kids sick but has learned the value of taking care of a sick child.

probably 85% of the time this is exactly what I do. I have faith that for the most part no major damage will happen, although I still worry that he doesn't have all his guns locked up or that it's sort of inappropriate to read hunting magazines showing dead animals... [/FONT] Nobody is perfect... Just keep trying. As for the guns at a non-confrontational time ask him flat out. I know this is kind of a lie but one morning call him early. Tell him you read an article about a little girl shooting herself then you dreamed that it happen to your dd. Then apologies for being a "freak". If he doesn't have them locked up. Bite your tongue (I would be pissed) and offer (or buy) him gun locks. (I Have done this with a our dd friend who dad is a cop, sneaky but I feel I got an honest responce. Plus he did a gun safety things with my kids).

As for reading hunting magazines. I would have a hard time saying this will cause harm to your dd unless you make it. I use to fish, clean fish, see farm slaughtering (or results of), as a small child. Our world has revolved around this process and it in itself does not cause harm unless the parents handle it wrong. For me it made me very aware. You might want to approach him more in a manner of like if you leave those out she is going to get them and tear them up.

Him: "doubt it dirt dust is isolated to one room" I don't know how that's possible, as it's the bathroom and guess what, he made a big deal about bathing her... I just don't know![/FONT] That is a man for you :LOL Could he have bathed her in the kitchen sink? Honestly I have scratched my head at a few things my dh has done. There has been moments that my husband has done and said similar stupid things, BUT THEN AGAIN……… he has a few stories about me. :LOL :


Can I assume that when you found the spider in your toaster that you removed it from there and cleaned the toaster I shook/shake the toaster out in yard. As for cleaning there is no real good safe way to clean the inside of a toaster, other than shaking it. You could damage the elements and cause a fire hazard. My dh would have push the button down and burned it (UGH! No one is perfect). I just cannot kill spiders or/any insects. I agree about the spiders being excessive but make sure your imagination might not be going a little wild. (I do this with roaches. I could tell you some roach stories from my military travels. My dh still teases me because of the roaches (beetles) I found in this house.) Also would an offering of lady bugs help the spider situation? Another thing granddaddy long legs help keep other bad spiders away. http://www.stretcher.com/stories/01/010716a.cfm Even though the home is dusty it might not be anything a judge would warrant as a horrible living environment. BUT I would happen to take pictures of dd at his house just in case.

I see many compromises. He is wanting time with his daughter. That is why he is asking for June. I would not doubt he has a friend that gets to see their child more. I would not be surprised if this is getting egged on by another source. He might not know of his options. I would approach him more as "I know you want more time with dd. I don't think a week in June is best for her. How about you come and get her for a few hours on XYZ night plus Friday?" Start out with maybe one night a week then two. Many people get stuck in to every other weekend and holiday visitation instead of being flexible. He might not have asked because he didn't think he has options.

I do think in spite of his failings he is important to your daughter. I have talked about my ex. My son has not seen him since he was 3. My son is 10.5 years old now. He still ask. He wants to see his bio-dad. I see his heart ache for his bio-father, even though my dh is a wonderful father. I see this longing in several of his friends. I have heard them come up with reasons why their dad’s don’t bother.

It was not until recently did I even think or learn that maybe my ex is staying out because he thinks he is doing right. I met a man that is very remorseful that he stayed out but he honestly thought he was doing best by providing keeping out. He did more damage than good and lost many years.
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Old 03-21-2005, 02:44 AM
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Meeting all of his demands will not give you a better relationship down the line. In fact, it'll do just the opposite. Don't do this. You'll put him in a position where he thinks he can continue laying down the law and telling you how it's gona be, and he won't understand if and when you do finally put your foot down. What he is demanding is unreasonable. You ex sounds like a real dope when it comes to kids. A helpless, flailing dope. Even if he was the greatest dad out there, a week with a guy she's never spent more than a night with is nuts. Tell him no way. no way. Just no way in Hell is it going to happen, and drop it.
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ladies, here's what I'm dealing with:

E-mail conversations between us just last night and this morning:

From: Teryll
Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2005 9:30 PM
To: B
Subject: Doctor's Appointment & This Weekend

C's doctor's appointment is at 6:45 p.m. with Dr. F on 3/28. If you want to be there for the appointment that's fine, and as I said in my text message, meet us at the pediatrician's office.

As for this upcoming weekend, I think it will be better for you to pick Courteney up around 10:00 a.m. on Friday rather than Thursday evening. I will expect her home at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, as usual.

I seemed to have doodled too much on the notebook with the days you will be out of town in July. I know the return is the 6th of August; will you not be picking her up the last weekend in July as well?

As for my trip in July, originally I was going to be out of town from the 2nd - 9th, but I am now planning on coming back earlier so she will definitely be home in time for you to pick her up on Fri. the 8th.

Please communicate to me that you've received this e-mail so I know you got the dr.'s information, etc. Thanks.


His reply?

From: B
Date: Mon Mar 21 07:49:33 CST 2005
To: Teryll
Subject: re: Doctor's Appointment & This Weekend

Thanks, It is important for me to go to find out how she is doing as well any developemental issues in the future. Please give me directions from your house as I cannot find it without them.

I don't understand the difference between Thurs./Fri. Unless you have made plans for Thurs. evening anything else is unacceptable. You are only hurting her. She gets equal quality care at my home so for you to TRY to put limits on my vistitation with her is only hurting her as well as me. This is the only time I will tell you this but I will not tolerate your games...ever again. This is not about you and I as there is no YOU and I, this is about the relationship between C and I.

That is correct, if something changes I will let you know. My trip in late April/early May will be verified this week. I will let you know as I know.

That sounds good, I will plan to pick her up on July 8th.


I cannot deal with him. He keeps making this about US and his rage that we are no longer an US, and HE'S the one using her to relate us, not ME!
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:27 PM
 
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My ex was/is very similar. He thinks it's all about us when really it's all about what's best for the kids.

I would suggest finding some research or getting some "factually based information" to give to him instead of just using your opinions vs. his opinions. There are books & articles and also you may seek the help of a good child psychologist who understands development and recognizing when too much is too much.

I would also document all your child's behavior when she comes home. It's an indication that her visits away are "too much" when she comes home crabby & overtired, etc. Also make sure you document when she is okay too. If you have to go to court or anything and you only have negative information against him, it looks like you're very biased. If you go with 3 times she was unhappy and 1 time she was happy, then it looks like you were being more objective.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Teryll
I don't understand the difference between Thurs./Fri. Unless you have made plans for Thurs. evening anything else is unacceptable. You are only hurting her. She gets equal quality care at my home so for you to TRY to put limits on my vistitation with her is only hurting her as well as me. This is the only time I will tell you this but I will not tolerate your games...ever again. This is not about you and I as there is no YOU and I, this is about the relationship between C and I.
Yep. Typical. My son's father has done the same thing even after I've told him very clearly multiple times that it is not about "us" (because there is no "us"). For some reason, they just can't see how self-centered they are being - and how selfless we are being. One of my stbx's favorite jabs is to tell me I'm selfish when, in reality, it's him that is being selfish.

Sorry you're dealing with this. Just stick to your guns - realize that he's probably never going to get it, don't waste your energy trying to get him to get it, and do what is best for your child. You don't need his permission. L.J.'s idea about giving him factual information is great, though I've found with my son's father that it doesn't really work when it comes from me. It's as if he thinks I've somehow influenced the author with my opinion. (He will, of course, readily accept the same source if it comes from someone else.)

Good luck.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My response:

As for the rest of your e-mail, I already know I’m wasting my time with this reply as I know you don’t READ anything, as if you did, no way would you have been as asinine in your reply. To say I am “playing games” or putting limitations on your visitation with her is ridiculous. If I was “playing games,” I would’ve told you she already was at the doctor and you missed it until her next checkup in a few months. If I was “playing games” I would’ve told you I made plans thru the entire Easter weekend and seeing her isn’t possible. Or better yet, I wouldn’t have made you aware that I am abbreviating my week’s vacation in July and will be home early for you to spend your regular weekend with her on the 8th. And I would have never made the offer to your sister that she is welcome to pick C up during the day to spend time with her if she would like to during the week. So what exactly are you “tolerating” from me that you won’t “ever again?” Cut the crap HERE AND NOW because your self-portrait of the victim is uncalled for. I have really tried to make this as fair as possible with you, yet you insist on fighting on those odd times when I tell you no to something YOU want, by using C as your reasoning to lash out. Understand this: Courteney is my ONLY consideration.

I am going to make my position clear. I am her mother and her custodial parent. I determine what is in her best interests for the most part. She is a 16 month-old BABY who will not spend more than one evening away from her home until she is old enough to understand and wants to visit for longer periods of time. As for quality care on your end, it’s a matter of opinion. My opinion? She doesn’t get it for a long-term visiting situation. That child, just about every single weekend, is returned to me cranky, tired and miserable. When I recently spoke to my attorney, she was SHOCKED that I let her spend overnight visits with you at such a young age, and have done so since she was about 3 months old. I want to be fair, and I will continue to do so, but first and foremost to C. Right now a baby of her age has a place, and that’s at home with her Mother. You understand this? So again, I repeat my feelings on the matter of this weekend: Pick her up at 10:00 a.m. on Friday to spend the day with her with her usual Saturday return. I can’t see where that is unacceptable at all.

If you are mad that I told you no to your taking her some week in June, I’m sorry, but the no stands. She is not used to it, she is too young to be cognizant of what is happening and I won’t allow it. My suggestion was that you come by and pick her up for a series of day trips, but I want her returned to my home for bedtime, period. You’re the one making things difficult and confrontational. For every no I have given you, I have offered alternatives for you to see her, so I REFUSE to be tagged as someone “playing games” or making this about me (Or “us.” You are the only one who still refers to an “us” in any case). Truth be told, the only “games” that are going on are the ones in your head. So take the time to really READ what I write, and understand it, so we both can avoid you making a fool of yourself in the future.

As for clarifying the dates, being that you are looking to go away in April I think I will take that as my time to as well. I had been deciding between April and May and can get better rates in April, so consider me out of town for that weekend too, and that way it won’t interfere with any weekends that you have with her.

And finally, it was interesting to me that you said “well she has come to my house the last 5 wks with 2 t-shirts on under main clothes,” as that has never happened. She has had on her main shirt and a shirt underneath. You should know what has been going on since February 4th, as per your decision and direction, you’ve been the one providing the clothes and dressing her while she’s with you. I have counted just 2 shirts each and every time. Well, honestly, the shirts that are under her outer shirts are actually meant to be worn as shirts themselves, not as undershirts (just because it snaps at the bottom doesn’t mean it’s to be worn under everything) but whatever. It served the purpose of keeping her warm. But I peeled off a sweater and another shirt and then yet another shirt this time and was just curious why, if you told me she was in what seemed to be a “cold sweat” the night before, you would overdress her the next day. But to say that’s the way she’s been coming to you is incorrect and I wanted to mention that. I’m no college graduate, but I can count and do know the difference between 2 and 3.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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:LOL Gosh I'm long-winded!

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Old 03-21-2005, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And his:

I am not going to argue you., however how is she more cognizant going somewhere with you than with me? Or better yet how is it that she is too young to spend a week with me and not with you. Regarding the 3-shirt thing...I know what I know and I know that she has been sent back with (3) shirts on (both mine and yours). I do not lie! A small but interesting stupid accusation of yours. Don't make accusations unless you know the facts and were acutally there.
On another point I don't care what your lawyer said. For you to even bring that up is a he-said, she-said relative thing that does not matter at this point. What does matter is Courteney. As far as the victim...well wake up girl because she is the only victim here. I am not a victim at all and nor do I make myself out as one. I wish you would stand back and take a clear look at yourself. Neither one of us is a victim...only she is.
My point is this: I want to spend ample time with my daughter so she knows she has a father that cares and loves her. If I feel that I am getting biased or (unfair to her) treatment then I am not going to go along with that. I don't care about you, what you think or what you do, especially when you told me you want to take Courteney out of state. That proves beyond the shadow of a doubt what kind of person you are and your continual self-centered-ness.

Now with that aside I need directions to her pediatrician.
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Old 03-21-2005, 07:37 PM
 
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Or better yet how is it that she is too young to spend a week with me and not with you.
That has got to be the most rediculous thing I have heard today! I don't even have a response to that one.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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Old 03-21-2005, 10:14 PM
 
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That has got to be the most rediculous thing I have heard today! I don't even have a response to that one.
No kidding. He sees his daughter once a week and he thinks that she should be as comfortable spending a week with him as with her mother who nurtures her every.single.day? He isn't even in the realm of "getting it."

It sounds like he isn't ascribing any sort of personality to her. He's acting as though she's some sort of offshoot of his self that is supposed to automatically know who her father is and not have any feelings of her own.

One thing, though: I'd drop the shirt thing. Drop any nit-picky things, really, that aren't going to really harm her. Stick with the big issues. Otherwise he's going to grab onto the small stuff as a way of making you out to be unreasonable.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One thing, though: I'd drop the shirt thing. Drop any nit-picky things, really, that aren't going to really harm her. Stick with the big issues. Otherwise he's going to grab onto the small stuff as a way of making you out to be unreasonable.
This I agree with. However, it really irks me that he is lying on my mother and me by saying this! And if he really believes it to be true, something this insignificant, it scares me to think where is mind is at in general.

I am just so grateful to have these conversations in writing because I think they will be helpful in the future, should this go into mediation/court.
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Old 03-22-2005, 01:00 PM
 
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However, it really irks me that he is lying on my mother and me by saying this! And if he really believes it to be true, something this insignificant, it scares me to think where is mind is at in general.
This is so true and something I've thought of often. If you didn't read one of my previous threads not too long ago my ex and/or his mother fed DS something he is allergic to. When I called him on it he first started to admit it (said he saw his mom feed him it) but once his mom started to deny it he did too. It's gotten to the point where I think he even believes it now when he has already told me he believes she fed it to him :

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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Old 03-22-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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Uh... 10 (years, that is...)
I'd be careful, though - with no custody agreement, he has just as much legal right to her as you do.
IOW, he could TAKE her for a week or longer (saying he was tkaing her for regular visitation) and there is nothing you can do to get her back - other then file for legal custody.
Be careful.
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Uh... 10 (years, that is...)
I'd be careful, though - with no custody agreement, he has just as much legal right to her as you do.
IOW, he could TAKE her for a week or longer (saying he was tkaing her for regular visitation) and there is nothing you can do to get her back - other then file for legal custody.
Be careful.
I had gone to see my attorney relative to my pushing it further and wanting to move out of state (which I am in the process of pursuing). She said that, and this surprised me, I am the custodial parent because the child lives with me all but for 1 day a week. She advised against my officially filing for custody, saying it’s unnecessary because of that fact. She is a very well-respected attorney here, so I will take her advice as fact, despite the fact I originally thought otherwise.

And believe me - this dude is way too ill equipped to just take off with her for a week. He’s immature and unreasonable, no doubt, but in no way would he go so far as to inconvenience himself for that long. It’s very demanding caring for a toddler daily and when he goes on vacation he wants to do what HE wants. And IF he would just take her, he probably never would again until she was older.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:07 PM
 
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Honestly, I would get a second opinion. Especially if you're considering moving out of state. That could be seen as a fairly hostile move toward her father and a judge might look less favorably on you.

Never hurts, well-respected attorney or not. You can't ever count on how a judge is going to rule.
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She was very up front relative to my wish to move. She made it quite clear that moving out of state is a gamble; I have a right to move and he has a right to contest it. She also emphasized that it all hinges on a Judge's opinion of the overall situation and nothing is to be assumed that things will go in my favor. As for my potential move being seen as hostile (which I've read about as well), in being fair of my thought process and potential plans, I told him in Nov. of last year and again in Jan. of this year that I am seriously considering it and why. I offered a generous visitation schedule, even bearing cost of transportation and flexibility as she gets older. Financially, my reasons are strong to move, as well as my living conditions when moved. But again, there is that doubt that a Judge will see things differently, despite the fact I have e-mail after e-mail of his asking nothing about our daughter, rather who am I dating and other comments. Those snipets of e-mails I posted here earlier are just the tip of the iceburg, sad to say.
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