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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, i usually don't ask for these types of advice, because i can usually step back and evaluate situations pretty fairly. but i am having a hard time with this one, so I wanted to see if others thought i was being overly emotional, or maybe I'm just plain wrong? Or am I right - is this incident as bad as i think it is? I can't stop thinking about it.<br>
It's been somewhat rocky with dh's ex, especially at first, right after the divorce, she was extremely hurt and behaved poorly, but for the most part, we've kept it civil and at times, even almost friendly. She sometimes gets into funks where she gets bitter, but she is now with someone new and they have been together for a few years and are happy, and in general, things are good. there is a lot of co-parenting, we get the boys a coulpe times a week, more in the summer, dh is an involved parent, goes to important school meetings, events, scout camp, church events, etc. He has also paid every single cent of child support early or on time, and helps out with other expenses frequently, like school clothes, camp fees, sports fees, etc. So..like I said..it's generally 2 responsible, dovirced adults who are re-partnered, working together civlilly to parent their 3 children together.<br>
But there was an incident this week that just hits me as really unacceptable.<br><br>
The boys came over for a weeknight visit after school, and dss12 had his head shaved. This isn't horribly surprising, as the boys are generally allowed to expirament with this, and have had unusualy haircuts or even dyed their hair sometimes, etc. Also, in the past, when the schools had outbreaks of lice, their mom shaved their heads rather than deal with lice treatment/risk being held out of school. Okay.<br>
Since it was just dss12 whose head was shaved, the lice thing was clearly not the answer, so I wondered what made him decide to shave it. Iknew wrestling tryouts were coming up, and thought maybe it had to do with that.....<br>
And he said, as to why his head was shaved<br>
"mom and momspartner said I was looking too much like dad, so they shaved off my hair."<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bigeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bigeyes"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"><br><br>
Now yes, out of the 3 boys, dss12 does look the most like dh, it's a pretty strong resemblance, especially now that dss is getting older.<br><br>
but...OMG. Is that not just an AWFUL thing to say to a child? To imply that looking like their father is a BAD thing? That's...really inappropriate, right?<br>
Not that it matters, but it's not even like dh is a "bad" father, the kind I sometimes hear referred to as a "sperm donor" from upset single moms. He's a good man, who works to support his families, pays all his child support and then some, sees his kids multiple times per week, shows up at their choir concerts and football games, plays with them, takes them swimming and to the gym, and is an all-around good person and good dad.<br><br>
We've had some issues with her saying rude/inappropriate things in the past, but that was a while back, back when the pain of the divorce was still fresh and while still inappropriate, somewhat understandable. But really? It's been a decade. she has a good new partner and claims to be happy, is back in college.<br>
And she's going to say that crap to dss12?<br><br>
Dh asked ehr about it when he dropped the kids off, to make sure we weren't getting an inaccurate account, and his ex and her partner verified thatyep, they shaved it because he was lookling too much like dh.<br>
Everybody sort of laughed and played it off like a joke, and even dh didn't seem too upset.<br>
Her hasn't mentioned it since, and it's been a couple days. But...i keep thinking about it. As I said, it's stuck in my craw. the more i think about it, the more inappropriate I think it is.<br><br>
So...am I completely crazy? Or am i right about how wrong it is?
 

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yea, that's not cool. if ds initiated the thing, that's different, but for them to do it--no way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">
 

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It IS inappropriate and - especially since your husband seems to be able to communicate with his ex - he needs to say something to the effect of, "I recognize you seem to be joking about this and therefore must not have meant it maliciously, but if you think about it for a second, it's a pretty rotten message to send our kids that looking like <b>either</b> of us is bad and warrants drastic measures, to avoid it. At our house, we simply never make denigrating jokes like that at your expense and I'd like you to show the same respect for the kids' relationship with <i>me</i>. I know I laughed along, when you told me about it, but the more I think about it, the more I think we really shouldn't talk like that to the kids, about each other."<br><br>
But it would be a much bigger deal if this were the latest event in a subtle, manipulative campaign to alienate the kids from your husband. In contrast, it sounds like the ex does a pretty good job of sharing the kids with him. This may very well be a difference in senses of humor. My older sons, their dad, my step-son and my husband all enjoy ribbing each other, which sometimes sounds pretty insulting but is <b>really</b> loving and playful. Some women join in this type of thing with the guys in their life. Some don't. You also don't know the larger context of the discussion, unless they hashed it out for you, word-by-word. It could have started with one of the boys saying his dad's looking old, or he has a dorky haircut and the ex got carried away joining in the joke and said, "Well, let's just shave yours off so you don't risk looking old and dorky," and the kid called her bluff. It's still inappropriate, but it may not have been that malicious.
 

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wow, I know my first response is they must have been joking, but the confirmation has me scratching my head. But maybe it was more in a looking older way, not so much that looking like dad was bad? I don't know, I guess from what you say about the relationship, I'd have a hard time believing it was indeed malicious and would probably outright address that aspect of how it sounds to you and your husband.
 

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It seems like it was a joke but not any joke that should be shared with children. We aren't supposed to say bad things about the other parent because what we say about the other parent children see in themselves. Shaving a kids head because he looks like the other parent....that's a bag of worms.
 

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I am surprised that your DH was so chill about the situation - it would have really bothered me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, talked with dh, and he said that yes, it did really bother him, and that yes, it was clearly meant to be offensive and rude towards him. *sigh* Seruiously, she is pushing 40, has 3 kids, it's been a decade since the divorce, why can't she fricken GROW UP? We've never said a fricken thing against her or her parenting in front of the boys, and we thought this petty crap of her saying inappropriate things and trying to poison them against him was over with a long time ago. blah.<br>
well, we'll jst see if she gets her xmas present now. I think I might need to eat her yummy pricey chocolate.
 

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So. Not. Cool. And you aren't over-reacting at all and this is coming from a mother whose son is the spitting image of his dad. It has never crossed my mind that it was ever a bad thing <i>for him</i>.<br><br>
The thing I <i>cannot</i> wrap my head around is that a mother would do that to her son, regardless of if it was true or not!!!! She is just sowing seeds of resentment (against her) by saying and doing those kinds of things. Doesn't she realize that eventually this children are going to grow up/wise up and see how offensive her behavior truly is????
 
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