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SD's banquet = raging success!

Caitlin's picture

You may or may not remember, but last month I was fretting about whether or not to attend SD's swim banquet because of BM's history of making everyone's life a living hell trying to keep me out. Well, we all went yesterday and it was a raging success!

We dropped our little one with my mom so we wouldn't have to sit through 3 1/2 hours of awards with an active toddler and we arrived 25 minutes early. BM was already there because she volunteers with the swim team. I went straight to the restroom (the baby had been jumping on my bladder in the car for an hour and a half!) and when I came out, there was some confusion at the registration table. BF was signing us in and BM was saying something like "no, you owe $16" and the parent at the registration table said "no, everyone is all paid up according to my records." Apparently, she was trying to make BF out to be a deadbeat dad who was refusing to pay for their daughter's ticket, but when he had offered last month she said she didn't have to pay because she's a volunteer! Isn't she a gem? Anyway, the parent at the registration table explained that "BM paid for SD and she would like you to pay us so we can reimburse her." We put on a happy face and went back to the car for my checkbook. BF has no money, so I put up the $66 for the tickets. I'm not complaining. It's for SD. I didn't get angry at BM's stupid games. I just paid with a smile and I'm so proud of myself that I didn't let it get to me!

So while we were getting the checkbook, SD had disappeared. We walk past BM who is storming off to the restroom, hairbrush in hand, shaking her head, saying "I'm going to brush her hair whether she likes it or not!" as though SD hadn't already taken care of that herself at our house. Just another jab at us in front of everyone to show that we're bad parents. It gets even better: BM had sent SD to the restroom to change out of the clothes we brought her in and into the clothes she brought for her while we were getting the checkbook! Does she have control issues, or what? Then she had the nerve to put the clothes that *I* bought for SD into a zipped backpack and placed it under her table. I just calmly went over to SD when BM was off schmoozing and said "hey my love, you wanna grab your clothes so we can bring them back with us? You're getting low on clothes since they're not making it back to our house very often. Isn't it hard living in 2 homes?" She ran off and happily got her clothes. Later, BM tried to get them BACK! These are clothes she's never even seen before and she was trying to say they were hers! I said, "oh no, I bought them for SD for Christmas. I still have the receipts if you want." And low and behold, I didn't get mad - I just laughed at how ridiculous she is! Hooray!

When we came in to find our seats, we had our pick because we were so early. We started to sit next to SD and BM laughs long and hard (a little too long and hard because it wasn't that funny). She said "oh no no no no no, the parents don't sit with the swimmers! hahahaha ahahahaha! mwahahahahaha" Wow, she really gets off when we're wrong! She couldn't stop laughing at us. Oh and by the way, there were plenty of kids sitting with their parents - mainly the 10 and under crowd though. I totally understand that SD, at age 11, would want to sit with her friends. I preferred it that way anyway, for a couple of reasons. 1) It meant I didn't have to sit there and play nicey-nice for 3 1/2 hours with BM and her father, both of whom despise me. 2) I got to observe SD interact with her friends, which I don't have a lot of opportunity to do and I got a kick out of watching her be the little leader of the pack. It's a different side of her that I'm not used to. Very cute. I enjoyed it, especially when SD brought her best friend over and they begged to have her come over to our house after the banquet.

This was probably the crowning moment. For 2 1/2 years, we've told SD she can invite friends over and she always looks uncomfortable and declines because BM pours it into her ear that her friends' parents would be uncomfortable letting their children go to someone's house they don't know. Well, we know this friend's parents because we've seen them at every swim meet for years now and they happily obliged. The girls were ecstatic and BM was fuming. Amazingly, she didn't make a scene, just insisted that we bring them back to her place instead of dropping off the friend at home. I guess she didn't want us getting THAT close to the friend's family by going to their house. That was fine, because it gave us more time to play!

We had the best time with the girls. SD showed off her room and her things and her friend was so impressed and excited to see her other home. Then we ran off to the stables where SD is taking riding lessons so she could show off "her" horse. They had changed out of their dress clothes and SD lent an outfit to her friend so we ended up losing not one, but two more outfits to the other side because they didn't have time to change before heading back. (sigh) Oh well, there's hope that SD will bring them back. If not, I guess I'll just have to buy her more, as is customary.

So there was plenty of trivial crap over the banquet, but NONE of it got me down, my fiance and I just relished the lovely day we had with SD and breathed a sigh of relief that BM was relatively drama-free. I mean, she's had SD driven to fits of tears for weeks before events like this because she's on a rampage to keep me away. When SD disappeared, both of us were petrified she was off crying somewhere because of something BM said or did because that's what has happened in the past. But we made it through this one completely unscathed! I am so tickled!

Just thought I'd share, as I know there are a lot of you following this saga. God, it feels like some kind of soap opera! It feels good to have a good episode. Stay tuned!


Little Jo's picture

Caitlin, so happy it went pretty well. I'm so proud you! you kept your cool as she made an ass out of herself.
So glad you had a great time with the girls.

Turn around, big pat on the back.
Hugs too. Jo

ItsMe's picture

I cannot believe the grace and dignity you presented in dealing with this woman. Your post really inspired me.... that is how I want to act when dealing with my husband's ex. I still let her get to me at this time but hopefully I will be like you soon!

Anne 8102's picture

So happy for you!

~ Anne ~

Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice: Pull down your pants and slide on the ice! -M*A*S*H (Sidney Freedman to the OR staff on dealing with stress)

Caitlin's picture

You guys have either read it here how bad it can get with BM or you know firsthand from dealing with an especially vindictive one yourselves, so you know how significant it is that BM did not throw any fits over my attendance. This is huge! Usually she puts SD in the middle to do her dirty work for her when she doesn't get her way and we get calls from a sobbing little girl saying "please don't come! It's Mommy's idea, but I support it." etc.

The only thing she did was insist I not come at a family therapy session a few weeks ago when she found out from her "sources" that we had RSVP'd. She said I had no right to be there and the therapists said "yes, Caitlin should be there for SD. She's a part of her life too." She went on to say that the money we put toward the tickets should have been given to HER (yes, can you believe this?!) for SD's tutoring that we refuse to go in on with her because we can't afford it and neither can she. (By the way, SD is doing great in school using the free resources available to her like daily study group.) The therapists didn't even reply to that one because she didn't let them get a word in edgewise. She continued her rant, saying she didn't feel like we were "there" yet, that she wasn't ready to attend the banquet all together. The therapists asked her how long they had been separated. She launched into that weirdo too-long-and-too-hard-to-be-appropriate laugh and said "why don't you ask BF? hahahaha mwhahaha!" The therapists persisted and said "no, we asked you - please answer the question." After several rounds, she finally said "SD was in 2nd grade." So the therapists said "ok, so it's been 4 years. You've had plenty of time to adjust to the idea that you and BF are no longer together and that there will be times that you have to be civil to each other and to each other's new partner as the case may be at an event of SD's." She finally dropped it, but we were sure we hadn't heard the end of it. Miraculously, we had! She never brought it up again!

Interestingly, SD didn't even KNOW her banquet was last weekend. BM never mentioned it to her. SD was like "are you SURE it's this weekend? Mommy would have TOLD me if it was this weekend. Do you think we should check with her? I think there must be some mistake." I bet BM was hoping that by not discussing it with us or SD, that we would forget and she could "prove" that we're unfit parents. I guess she didn't realize that we have calendars too.

New Stepmom's picture

I was just thinking about this yesterday morning and wondering how things had went. I'm so glad that it went well. You are doing such a great job at sucking things up and not letting all of her idiotic actions get to you. I know SD was ecstatic to see the adults in her life act civilized at her special event (i.e.: BM!). She was probably questioning the fact that the banquet was this past weekend because her mom hadn't been grilling her about whether or not you would be there - or further more, how you shouldn't be there.

I'm happy for you guys! Things just keep getting better and better for you! Oh yeah, any updates on pursuing the divorce?

Caitlin's picture

Well, I wish I had more news, but we have had a consultation with 2 different lawyers and we didn't feel 100% confident in either of them. If I'm going to be spending almost $300 an hour, I want to be darn well sure that they will take care of us! We are looking into a couple of other options and my aunt belongs to a women's referral network so she's putting her feelers out there for us as well. It would be good to have a recommendation from someone we trust.

Maybe I shouldn't be so picky - I'm just so afraid of what BM will do to destroy us. We really need to have top-notch legal representation to protect us, both financially in terms of ending alimony payments so that my fiance can finally contribute to our household, and legally in terms of any false allegations she'll throw out there to keep us from getting custody. We know she will stop at nothing, so we need an experienced lawyer who will know what to do when she tries to say that we've abused SD or some such nonsense.

Anyway, thanks for asking! Hopefully I'll have more news soon! Anything new on your end?