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Taking Bets: Will DH actually say no???

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'm inclined to think he will say no because of how disappointed he is in YSS right now.

As I mentioned on the last episode of As The Stepmom's Head Turns, YSS is failing 3 classes, mostly because of missing assignments. So, it's not an issue of not understanding. It's an issue of not doing the work. And if it is an issue of not understanding, he hasn't mentioned it to any of us.

Anyway, he gives DH an envelope yesterday saying, "oh yeah, I need to give this to you". Mind you, the only reason he did this is because the envelope fell out of his bag and OSS reminded him to give it to DH.

What is in the magical envelope? Why, information about a school trip to Washington, DC, of course!

Guess when the deposit was due? If you guessed "two weeks before Christmas", you'd be correct. DH vaguely remembers BM mentioning something about the trip in early December, but as YSS nor BM have mentioned it AT ALL in two months, DH forgot about it.

So, DH asks YSS why he wants to go. YSS says he just wants to go. Note that he's answering while his eyes are GLUED to YouTube. DH asks why he thinks he should get to go with failing grades. YSS squirms a bit, says he doesn't know but wants to go.

So I look at the packet. Price is $1,100. NOPE. Not a snowball's chance in Hades that we're paying fully for this. We're already fully paying for OSS's trip to Disney World with his band (which he has more than earned and has done fundraising through school for). The ONLY way I'd even halfway entertain US (yes, us; haven't separated finances since DH has been adhering to the "not buying sh*t last minute" thing) paying for this trip is if BM paid half AND YSS turned in every assignment, including the missing ones, even if he got no credit for it.

So DH drops them off last night and immediately gets a text from BM saying she has talked to the sponsoring teacher and, even though it's 2 MONTHS past the deadline to sign up, she will still allow YSS to sign up.

I asked DH what his thoughts were.

His thoughts were that he wasn't going to spend $1,100 to send YSS on a trip that he isn't that interested in, especially while he is failing his classes.

I want to believe that DH will stick to that. However, my fear is that BM, MIL, and GBM will pool their money to pay the deposit and guilt DH into sending YSS. They'll throw out that OSS got to go, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity, etc.

First, OSS got to go because he got good grades and helped raise funds for the trip. And he asked nearly immediately about going. Second, for about double the price, all four of us could go to DC as a family vacation, so it's not "once in a lifetime". Third, IF YOU WANT HIM TO GO THAT BADLY, YOU F**KING PAY FOR IT.

I'll keep y'all posted on how this unfolds, but I'm taking bets.


lieutenant_dad's picture

Separate finances for now and forever, and couples counseling. Not because he can't spend money on what he wants, but because I won't be able to trust what he says after that.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Yep. I really do think he will say no, but I can't help but have this fear that he won't. He really is disappointed in YSS, so I'm hopeful.

futurobrillante99's picture

Thankfully, I never combined finances with XH2 and I knew I wouldn't for sure when his school skipping (40 days before the first semester ended) son who was a senior in high school and failing a LOT of his classes, was given airfare as a Christmas gift to go to Lake Tahoe for a skiing trip in February. Please note that BM AND XH2 chipped in for this trip AND between Christmas and President's Day weekend (the weekend slated for the trip), skid racked up MORE absences and his grades did not improve, but the little sneak turned a 4 or 5 day trip into an 8 day trip and managed to add MORE unexcused absences to his tally. I called XH2 out on this being poor judgement and XH2 said, "Yeah, I really struggled with that one." NO YOU DIDN'T!!! You're all about rewarding mediocre to poor behavior. Anything to be popular and liked for a day or two while they also lose respect for you.

smdh - some of these parents are just the worst.

lieutenant_dad's picture

For OSS, it was because BM literally didn't have the money. I honestly thought the boys were going to end up living with us after Christmad because she couldn't make rent. However, like a cockroach, she manages to pull herself through nuclear implosion.

So, DH paid for OSS's trip (not BM's rent). That was part of what we fought about in the fall because it was a sh*tload of money that, while we could afford it, could have been used elsewhere.

lieutenant_dad's picture

DH is concerned, and DH has tried working with YSS for years not to fail. He has finally told YSS it's on him, that he's not going to kill himself to help him do his work. If he gets held back (which he likely could because the classes he is failing are required), DH thinks that might be the natural consequence YSS needs.

DH only has YSS EOWE. He makes sure that his homework is done and checks over it, making him redo it when it's not good enough. He needs to do more, but he thinks he's doing enough. I just keep reiterating "he won't live with us at 18".

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I want to be positive... So I hope to high heaven your DH is smart and says no.

I get it MIGHT be a good opportunity. But I also think that childhood is a GREAT time to teach that you reap waht you sow. Prepares them for reality later...

susanm's picture

Once in a lifetime?  I didn't realize that the poor dear had a terminal condition.  Or that DC was going to be hit by an asteroid some time soon.  

Monkeysee's picture

I was thinking the same thing. I don’t get the ‘once in a lifetime’ crap when it comes to trips for kids or teens.

When I was in HS there was a trip a bunch of my friends went on through the school, it would have been a great time. But i didn’t have the money & didn’t want to ask my parents, so I didn’t go.

Did I miss out? Maybe. Was it ‘once in a lifetime’.... eff no! I’ve been to all those countries & then some as an adult, and likely had a better time doing it cause I wasn’t tethered to a teacher.

I hope your DH stays firm on this. If BM thinks it’s so important to go to Washington, she can pay for it. Her son is failing 3 classes, he should not be rewarded for that. Let him learn the hard way that doing nothing gets you nowhere, literally.

beebeel's picture

I think I would want to get ahead of this instead of just waiting around full of anxiety about it. "Dear husband, I was so proud of you when you said you weren't paying for SS to go on this trip due to his grades and procrastination. Thank you!! But if you go back on what you said and end up sending him, we will have some huge changes to discuss."

lieutenant_dad's picture

You're right. I will likely discuss this with him tonight as I highly doubt he will have replied to BM while at work.

If YSS we're doing the same level of work as OSS, I wouldn't be opposed to him paying, in part, for it. But I would like new carpet, and BM was complaining that she doesn't have $20 to replace YSS's gym uniform, so she likely won't contribute. I'm not interested in seeing that much money fly out of the house for an ungrateful kid.

ndc's picture

My bet is that your DH will stick with no.  It would not surprise me, though, if BM, MIL and GBM scrape together the money and the failing little ingrate gets to go anyway.  And if that happens, my bet is that your DH will end up picking up other financial slack because BM will have used all her $$ for YSS's trip.  I agree with getting in front of it, though.  Let your DH know the consequences to HIM of agreeing to this.  And the first thing I'd do, while separating finances, would be to take an extra $550 from the joint account.

There is really no reason that a middle school kid needs to go on a school trip to Washington DC.  My middle school did that trip every year, and while it was a LOT of fun for the kids who went, it was very rushed, overpriced and not all that educational.  I didn't go (not my thing, and the buses to the airport left at 5 am which I was having no part of), but my sister and a bunch of my friends went, so I knew what the trip was about.  A family trip would be much more educational.

thinkthrice's picture

failing three classes?  YSS16 is failing EvErY class EXCEPT Varsity Chorus.

SM12's picture

My BS went on the DC trip and I had to pay it all.  My XH was zero help with anything.   I think he gave him $50 spending money.  Whatever...

my YSS came home with the paperwork for his DC trip. It was even more expensive then my BS’s trip.  Different school systems.   Anyway, DH was

willing to pay half because YSS is a decent kid.  

BM refuses to let YSS go.  She said it cost too much and they could take him cheaper.   I agree it may be somewhat cheaper.  However, I don’t believe they will take him.   Plus he would much rather go with his buddies.   

DH is furious but since BM convinced YSS he didn’t want to go it’s pointless.   Of course now DH is wanting to plan a trip to take him ourselves.   Part of me thinks it’s a good idea and part of me is dreading it.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

If you do plan a trip, just make sure that BM doesn't try to invite herself no said trip with you.

lieutenant_dad's picture

This is my struggle.

OSS, while never being able to fully pay for the trips, has always participated on all of the fundraisers, maintained excellent grades in his college prep track at school, auditioned into the advanced band, and is a year ahead in his foreign language because he took an extra year in middle school. He DOES work for his trips, and my FIL helps pay for them because he wants him to have these experiences he works for (his trips are due to his advanced band and foreign language).

So, DH and I are willing to take "less nice" trips so that OSS can have some of these experiences. We certainly don't give up our trips, but we drive versus fly, use credit card points, skip out on overpriced excursions we could do for cheaper at home, etc. I knew once the little one got into middle school that we'd likely have to stretch a bit further.

I really am fine (mostly) with this because it means 1) no awkward family vacations, and 2) DH and I can take trips during the school months when places are less busy. The kids would still get to experience travel, and I'd get one-on-one vacations with DH.

But I REFUSE to spend MY hard-earned money on a trip for someone who isn't pulling their weight, and I'm not going to stretch my vacations (or anything else) even further on a kid who won't do the bare minimum. I don't care if it means his brother gets a week trip to Disney (which he gets this year) and DH and I get a week trip to the beach, and YSS stays at BM's by his lonesome. Had he done his work, he'd have his own cool trip to talk about.

This is ON TOP OF BM never paying a dime to any of these trips. So, I fully feel that if BM wants YSS to go, she can pay for it. YSS hasn't earned a vacation from us, and I'm not cutting my trips any more to accommodate. Nope.

ndc's picture

I don't see where the struggle is.  It's really simple.  This kid doesn't DESERVE a trip.  His brother did.  Unless YSS did not have the ability to pass his classes (he obviously does if he's failing because of missed assignments), then this is an appropriate consequence for his lack of effort in school.  Your DH should be sure to tell him exactly why he won't be funding the trip, lest YSS think there's anything involved in the decision other than his own shortcomings.