Thursday, September 28, 2006

Long Frustrated Ramble

Well, yesterday pretty much sucked. I finally got an "answer" from, which was basically that they can't personalize my ring the way I want to (and why didn't I figure that out already). Nice of them to finally get around to that FOUR MONTHS LATER. So they're sorry, but pretty much all they can do is refund the order. Which they did. Less shipping. And I immediately sent back a pretty pissed-off reply along the lines of "you morons, after you frigged up the least you can do is give me back the whole thing." Only of course phrased much, much more nicely (catch more flies with honey than vinegar, right?). Am waiting for response on that one. Not very hopefully, really. So this whole little fiasco is going to end up costing me, not just four months of aggravation, but actual cash. Which was supposed to be a Mother's Day present. (did I mention FOUR MONTHS???)

So anyway, like that wasn't enough to sour my day, I get a call in the afternoon from X. (yesterday was kids' day with him.) Not even a 'hello,' he starts right off with:


Now, as soon as he starts acknowledging that I'm actually one of the parents (and in this case, apparently she was also immaculately conceived), it is not a good thing.

X was beyond frustrated. Apparently Kira had one of her spectacular meltdowns with him when he picked her up from school. (Mark had a field trip, wasn't getting back till later.) There was screaming. Crying. Resisting getting in the car. Refusal to buckle in. Hitting him in the head from the backseat most of the ride home. I've experienced one of these meltdowns. They are severe. (I've actually experienced more than one, but only one in the car. It *is* its own hell.) X was in tears. TEARS! Letting me see that told me a LOT about how bad it was.

So this is the point where it gets weird. See, I knew for awhile that he was having this kind of problem with Kira pretty much every visit. She would have these massive meltdowns, do much hitting, screaming, out-of-control behaviour, etc. There was threatening from X that he wouldn't take her anymore. And then, after awhile, it stopped.

Or so *I* thought.

Apparently not. They just stopped TELLING me about it. APPARENTLY, for the last several months, it has continued to go on, and just nobody mentioned it to me. Not X. Not D. Not Mark or Kira! Everything was "fine" at Daddy's. Oh, except that, as X put it to me on the phone yesterday:



So yesterday it all comes out, how this has been ongoing, and in fact it had gotten SO BAD that X and D had an appointment scheduled yesterday with a counselor to talk about it, but they had to cancel cause they didn't have anyone to watch A (hello? what happened to the daycare she was going to?). And X didn't want Kira in his house anymore. And could I come get her RIGHT NOW.

Might I mention that she doesn't do this with me? And X knows it.

So I went over, for my very first visit to X's new house (very nice, very uncluttered, and I suddenly have this major desire to get my house the hell in order, but that's another blog). And I get there (probably 15-20 minutes later) and Kira is still crying. Uncomforted. So the very first thing I do is get her calmed down. Help her get her breathing under control. Ask her if she wants a glass of water. (You know, the stuff that he should have already done before I got there.)

Then comes the part where I get a tour of the house and everyone carefully avoids talking about the issue while I figure out that D's mom is on the way to pick up A so that A won't be "exposed" to this. And I'm trying to be polite as Jane comes and "rescues" her granddaughter. (Jane was very nice to Kira, by the way, asked for and got a hug and everything.)

So Jane leaves and the gloves come off. X very coldly tells Kira to have a seat. Which is when I figure out that X is planning some kind of confrontation with Kira or something. Well, that wasn't a particularly good idea. So I tried to guide it a little, talking calmly to Kira and stuff. Then X starts "talking" to her. Which meant lecturing her. And putting her on the defensive. And using words and terms that she doesn't understand ("On average, how many of these do you have a day, Kira?", she's SIX. She doesn't know what the hell "on average" means. Although she probably has more of a clue of that than when D tells her that last week was the "pinnacle"). That's about when I brought it to an end. Or started to. I explained that for tonight, Kira was coming home with me so everyone would have a chance to calm down. At which point Kira starts freaking out, and I am THEN told that X had told Kira in the car that if I came to get her she was never coming back.

OHBOY. These people are completely clueless. They have NO IDEA how to talk with a six year old, much less reason with one. And Kira is ANGRY. She doesn't even know why herself, not to mention not knowing how to tell anyone. But there are points:

* THE BABY. Kira is experiencing classic middle-child syndrome, mixed in with the whole "A lives there all the time and I'm just a visitor" thing. A receives priority attention.

* Mark has a friend who lives close by to X, and spends most of his time with Taylor. Which leaves Kira with nobody to play with. And a whole bunch of rules about having to be quiet while A naps, or D sleeps (she does night shift as a nurse).

* X and D have NO IDEA how to communicate at a six-year-old level. They're just about right to handle Mark's age. They can handle A (who is about 1.5). They think Kira is able to handle more than she can, and communicate at a higher level than she can. She's bright, but she IS only six.

* She misses her mom. Kira's very "mommy-mommy" right now, and there is no doubt that she feels the suppressed hostility that X displays towards me. Which confuses Kira, and gets into a whole other range of psychological levels.

Have no doubt. Kira loves her dad. I know X loves Kira. But he doesn't know how to handle her. He doesn't GET it. He just flat out won't see most of these problems. To him, this is HER problem and SHE should just shape up. He doesn't know any other way to deal with this besides yelling, threatening, and punishing (she's grounded all the time over there, for like a month at a time).

I can see a lot of things that could help, but he won't accept advice or direction from me. So I'm stuck.

Anyway, I straightened out the whole "if you go home with Mom you're never coming back" thing, and Kira and I left. (after hugs and I-love-you's....he does try. He's just clueless.) And she had a peaceful night. Went to bed a little early, in my room (which is not unusual when Mark's not here, she gets nervous being upstairs all alone). And there she is.

So I've gone on and on, and of course nothing is resolved, nothing is better, except now I'm feeling sleepy again (it's now 4am, I've been tossing and turning until I finally got up at 3). I'm gonna go see if I can get a little more rest before the alarm goes off at 6:30. Busy day today. Doctor's appointment (first physical I've had in several years, oh joy), Mark's got soccer practice, there's a parent meeting tonight to learn about the laptops the sixth graders are using and get trained so the kids can start bringing them home in October (oh, and pay insurance for it. yay.)

Later. mk

1 comment:

The Beast Mom said...

this sounds incredibly frustrating. I can't believe how calm you sound. I admire how you handled the situation. I doubt I could've resolved all that as well as you did. You think you didn't resolve or fix anything, but you did resolve a potentially relationship ending situation or at least a temporarily cut-off one. I hope you can sleep better tonight - that just stinks when life keeps you up like that.


saw your other story about the gameshow shower. so very funny. I can picture the whole thing. My son does stuff like that too.