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Don’t tell!

Hastings's picture

So after a blissful, kid-free week, SS12 is back (well, has been since Sunday). So far this week, I have found an empty Goldfish bag, an ice cream bar wrapper and a candy bar wrapper in his bed. I suspect when he gets up to get dessert in the evening, he sometimes slips another thing in his pocket. DH thinks he's also coming down sometimes in the middle of the night. That's the only way to explain the ice cream.

It's ridiculous. We've made it clear to him that if he wants a snack or wants seconds, all he has to do is ask. 99% of the time, we'll say yes. He's just not allowed to take it upstairs. Yet he continues to break the rule.

Dh also figured out SS has been sneaking out and getting his electronics late at night. From now on, he's putting them on the top shelf in our bedroom closet, where SS can't get to them. (Why he wasn't already doing this, I don't know.)

When SS gets home from school, DH is taking all electronics. He's also informing him that we will no longer stock candy, ice cream, chips, or anything of that nature. There will be sandwich makings and fruit and veggies in plentiful supply. But no junk food for SS. (We'll keep treats for ourselves in our closet.) He's also notifying BM that no food is to come to our house from hers.

He's sure this won't work, though. No way will BM enforce anything. Today, DH told me he knows a lot goes on at BM's that we don't know about. Last weekend he spotted SS and BM going into a new fast food restaurant while he was running errands. When he mentioned it to SS (in a "hey, I saw you going there -- how was it?" way -- not accusatory), SS was cagey, like he wasn't supposed to talk about it. On our way to church, we spotted SS and BM coming out of a bookstore with a big bag of stuff. Again, he was secretive when DH mentioned it. Normally he's chatty about what goes on over there. BM knows DH is against constantly buying SS things and encouraging bad eating habits. (We like pizza and burgers, too. We just moderate.) DH suspects she's told SS not to tell us about all this. She's done that sort of thing before.

At his latest ballgame, he had a brand new bat, batting gloves and fielding glove. His old ones weren't even 6 months old.

DH is getting more and more resigned that he's lost the war. I don't know if it's quite that hopeless, but, yeah, probably...


thinkthrice's picture

When the skids are sneaky and are "not allowed" to tell you what is going on with the BM's house you know the PAS is ramping up.

AgedOut's picture

I hated when my son would come home from Dads house and I could tell he was told not to say something. It ate at him. Simple questions and he looked like he was in pain. It sucks when a parent pulls that crap. I feel you guys and kind of for him too.

JRI's picture

All you can do is set your home's standards and let the rest go.  You and I know BM is going to do what she wants, whether it's healthy or right for SS.  It's hard but liberating to realize you are helpless to influence BM's choices.  It's probably even harder for your DH.  But, he sounds like a conscientious, caring dad so that's the best you can hope for.

I observed that 2 of my SKs were sneaky.  I'm sure that sneaking the food enhances SS's enjoyment.

Hastings's picture

Oh yes. I've come to that realization. And I think it's finally getting through to DH, too. She'll run her house the way she chooses and we'll set our own standards over here. We just have to let that go. If he continues to prefer her house (what kid wouldn't?) we have to be prepared for where that could lead.

CastleJJ's picture

My SS is 11.5 and for the last year or so he has been super secretive about BM's house, which is difficult since we are long distance and he is there 90% of the time. We can't know anything that happens in his life because it all happens at BM's which he can't talk about. But when at our house, BM expects SS to give a full report of all the places we went to, what was talked about, any conflict or dirt going on, what our house looks like, etc. If we ask SS about anything at BMs, or BM or GF, SS gets all paranoid and awkward like he can't tell us. You can tell his anxiety kicks up when we ask. Just a few weeks ago DH asked him "What have you been up to?" and SS replied "I've been sooo busy." DH asked "doing what?" and SS got all cagey and awkward and goes "Nothing!" We can't even talk about the weather. We've gotten to the point where all conversations are about pop culture or sports because they are neutral topics. Sometimes SS will let his guard down when he is with us and gets comfortable, but it's rare.

We've never been negative to SS about anything BM or GF related so we know this is fueled by BM forbidding him from saying anything. The tween/teen years are hard, especially with HCBMs and PAS and loyalty binds. What a sad way to live. 

Hastings's picture

It is tough -- and not good for the kids.

We don't know this is what's going on. Just a suspicion. But several years ago, SS kept getting in trouble at school for misbehaving, so his mom rewarded him every week he got a good conduct report. We're talking $50 worth of stuff and activities every week. It got to the point SS would throw a fit every other Saturday because he wanted to go to her house early -- for his damned reward. It was enough of a problem DH talked to BM. She agreed that was a problem and she would take care of it. A couple of weeks later, SS told DH he was still getting rewards. BM just told him if he threw a fit or talked about the rewards, she wouldn't give him his reward that week.

So, history of knowing there's a problem, continuing to do it and making SS keep quiet about it.

Meanwhile, she freely criticizes us for running our house "like a prison" and not treating her Precious Prince in the way she seems proper (in other words, buying him everything he wants, treating him like everything he does is perfect, and never making him do anything he doesn't want to do).

CastleJJ's picture

Ugh, it's the entitlement and ass kissing for me. Heaven forbid you have any expectations or rules. 

Rags's picture

Make sure the SKid knows that you and daddy know she tells BM everything about her time with you.  She needs to know that telling BM about her visitation activities, etc... is fine. It is part of her life.

And... let SS know that she tells you and her father about everything in her life at BM's. Whether BM likes it or not.

I do not nolerate this crap. No one should.


Hastings's picture

Agreed. I thought of that. DH isn't up for locks, but we're either not buying desirable stuff or keeping our treats in our room.