Always taking steps back
I don't post much, since I'm mostly disengaged and we still live in separate houses/separate suburbs and things have been pretty good. Coming up on 6 years together!
I only see SO on weekends, but we talk every day, sometimes we meet for lunch. I see the kids sometimes on weekends when they're not at their Mom's and we do stuff. They are pretty decent kids, so I am generally a happy camper!
The oldest, SD17, is graduating HS this spring and going off to college in the fall YAY!!!! One down, two to go!
She has a busy schedule so I don't see her very much. She's not a bad kid or hostile to me or anything like that....but she is who she is, and she is a lot like her mother, whom I do NOT like, so what I'm trying to say is that SD isn't a person that I would like to be around in general. Rude, argumentative, monopolizes conversations, on top of the typical teenagery stuff. So, in small doses, she's fine to be around, and I just quietly remove myself when she gets to be a bit much. I do NOT say anything to SO about these moments cuz he gets all Daddy Defensive and then we argue.
HOWEVER, events unfolded last weekend as such that I stepped out of my disengagement and spoke up.
SO and I were taking our dogs for a walk and had just left the house when SD17’s boyfriend’s car pulls up right in front of us to drop SD17 off. She opens her car door, the boyfriend waves, I wave back and say hello. SD17 immediately says hello to the dogs all friendly and fuzzy-umpkinsy. I just stand there and say nothing. She stands up and starts walking to the house. SO says, “Um, aren’t you going to say hello to anyone else????” She turns around with that snotty RBF (resting b!tch face) look and says, “Whaaaaaat????” They go back and forth a couple of times and then she finally huffs out, “Oh…..hello Dad and DarkStar.” I laugh and walk off with the dog.
About a block down I turn to SO and say, “Next time you start in on me about not liking your daughter, THIS is why. It’s stuff like this.” He goes into Daddy Defensive mode and I stop him. “No, SO. You can’t make excuses for her. Either she’s being deliberately passive-aggressively rude, or she has the manners of a slug. Which is it?” He hems and haws for a bit. I say, “This stuff happens ALL.OF.THE.TIME. Mostly when you are not in the room. I don’t say anything, because then THIS type of conversation results and I don’t want to argue about this.”
When we get back he starts making dinner and I’m sitting in the kitchen chatting with him. When SD17 is home, she usually holes up in her cave, UNLESS I am there, then she is ALL UP her Dad’s butt. So of course, up comes SD17 where she proceeds to take over the conversation. I quietly grab my wine and go to the living room to watch TV. He comes out 10 minutes later to ask why I’m not keeping him company, I reply, “Your daughter is keeping you plenty company.”
After dinner, we sit down and watch a movie. I cannot even follow the movie with SD’s incessant chattering and questions. About halfway through the movie I quietly grab my wine and go to SO’s room and lay down on the bed stretching out my back. About 10 minutes later SO comes in and starts going off on me about leaving and “being rude.” OH HELL NAW!!!!!! I lit into him. I asked if we were going to have ANY adult time to ourselves tonight seeing as how SD17 has glued herself to his ass and taken over every conversation and talked throughout the movie. I said, “Again, this happens ALL.THE.TIME. I don’t say anything because you choose to ignore it and I’m not going to fight Daddy Defensive.” I asked him how often she was in the kitchen while he was making dinner when I WASN’T there. And how often she sits and watches TV or movies with him when I’M NOT THERE. He gets very quiet then, so I know that I’ve hit a nerve and perhaps even a glimmer of understanding has passed through his Daddy-soaked brain.
So, many steps forward and still there will be steps back. But, it will be interesting to see if he starts calling her out on her alpha female behavior. He usually does when he has these light bulb moments, few and far between as they are. I don’t think SD is deliberately, thoughtfully, planning on doing and saying these things…..I think it’s more “back of brain” type of behavior. It’s like when I’m around, her alpha female alarm goes off in her subconscious brain and she starts defending her territory, ie, Daddy. It’s not like I have this horrible relationship with her, I am just kind of following her lead. She doesn’t say hello, I don’t say hello. She talks to me or asks me a question, I engage and talk with her and answer questions. As soon as the rude, argumentativeness starts. I end the conversation. It’s kind of funny how SO is so oblivious to all of this.