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SD's First Call with BM for the Summer

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

SD talked to BM this weekend for the first time since she arrived for the summer. As soon as SD got on the phone, SD's sister says they are getting a puppy that day and sends her a picture of the puppy. SD of course when she got off the phone was worried that the puppy wouldn't be a puppy anymore when she goes back and we assured her that the dog would still be a puppy. When we got a puppy and SD wasn't here we didn't tell her until she got back home because we didn't want to upset her or have her feel left out. Just like we don't tell SD that we miss her really or anything like that when she's at BM's because we don't want to upset her or have her feel guilty, etc. When we get close to visits and such we tell her we can't wait to see her, etc. but we try not to make the swapping harder on her, but BM wants SD to not want to be here and want to go back there so she plays these emotional games with SDs head.

Anyway, SD announced to BM and the sister that she was getting a baby sister. Since we knew this was coming we were in ear shot to hear this conversation. I think BM said "Oh," but that was it. The sister instead had questions and is the one that really responded about the news. The sister asked if the baby was adopted which SD said no. Asked if the baby was born yet. Asked what her name was going to be, etc. You can tell that SD has been truthful about not calling DH "daddy" and not calling me "Mama" to BM or around her because SD was trying to explain that I was pregnant without naming us anything at all. We re-asked SD last summer what she wanted to call me since "Mama" is what she chose years ago and she still chose to call me "Mama." So I am not going to tell her she can't just because BM has never liked it, but told her she can call me by my first name at BMs so she doesn't get in trouble there. Not sure if she still calls DH by his first name at BM's or not, but we really try not to pry or ask prying questions like that unless SD says or brings up something that opens the door to the conversation.

Overall, wasn't a bad call which is good for SD, but definitely had to talk to her afterwards so the getting a puppy as soon as she left didn't bother her. It seems writing SD's schedule on a calendar for her to keep track of the going ons here is really helping her. She gets to cross off the days for the upcoming activities such as camp, swimming, and soccer. She has been really excited that our puppy turns one today. We had written everyone's birthdays for the summer on the calendar as well as DD's due date. I think it has really made the 12 days home with me while I work from home easier than previous years. We worked on the nursery more this weekend and SD was excited for that. Especially since we asked her if she wanted one of the shelves we purchased for the nursery in her room so now she loves having matching shelves with her coming baby sister. Any piece of clothing that doesn't fit well she brings up saving for baby sister, so she is pretty excited and I am happy we were able to keep the news until she got here to be in a safe bubble to be excited about it.


Livingoutloud's picture

Wait. What? SD can't call her dad "dad" in front of BM???? The what...I understand being mindful calling SM this or that but he is her actual dad!!!!

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

She gets in trouble at BMs if she calls DH dad or daddy at her home. There was an audio message from SD to BM calling DH by his first name and SD also slipped a couple times calling him by his first name here. This is when we also found out she thought DH was also BMs other daughter's dad which isn't true. DH never said anything to BM about it until during fall when SD called him his first name on a phone call because we didn't want SD to get in trouble or be scared by BM for telling us so we didn't want to break her confidence. BM denied she's heard SD do it, but we have an audio message recorded from SD to BM calling him his first name but I doubt she knows we have proof to the contrary. 

So we told SD the truth about DH only being SD's dad and that she should always only be calling DH some form of dad since he is her dad. We know she calls step dad "dad" when she's there and instead of being mad about it since she clearly knows who her biological father is that if she feels that he is fatherly to her and is comfortable calling him some form of dad, then happy SD has someone else who cares about her in her life.

floralsm's picture

SD here puts DH by his first name in her phone and calendar at BMs, I think BM doesn't encourage her to call him dad. Just another HCBM issue we deal with too. 

SD when she was 3 wanted to call me 'Mummy' and at the time I thought it was sweet and said she could call me whatever she likes but DH was really firm on stomping that out.. more so if BM had a partner and encouraged them to call him Dad, DH would hate that and early on made it clear to BM their children would only call their parents 'mum' and 'Dad'. Now I have children of my own I completely understand. I would not like my daughter calling another woman mum (if ever I separate from DH). But that's my experience, if your DH doesn't mind it, and your SD doesn't feel conflicted then I wouldn't worry too much. 
BM said 'Oh.. cool' when she found out I was pregnant with our second. Don't think it would go down well if we fell pregnant with a third though haha. The skids made it clear they do not want another brother or sister. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

We know SD calls step dad "dad" when over at BMs, but since SD knows DH is her biological father, DH isn't bothered by it instead more happy SD has someone in her life she feels comfortable calling that and also loves and cares for her. If she didn't feel positive about him or was forced to call him that, etc. would be a different issue, but we have always been clear BM is her biological mother and DH is her biological father, that stepdad and I are her step parents who also love and care for her. DH has always been supportive of it since SD wanted to do that all on her own and we continue to support her on it since she still wishes to do so. 

Oh boy. SD asked what we would do with all the baby stuff when DD grows up and I was vague about it and said I didn't know. Don't want to start talking about having another kid down the road when DD isn't even born yet. If what SD said last summer is true, BM and step dad were trying for a baby so I imagine they wouldn't be happy about it. Plus hard to play the sister card she always plays when SD will have a sister here too now.

Rags's picture

There is so much over thinking and over catering to BM and her toxity in all of this that it is mindboggling to me.  IMHO it is far better to just be clear, factual, and confident with SD instead of avoidant of reality.

On the dad thing... I was dad, and so was SpermDad.  I was the firts person SS called Dad(dy).  His mom and I started dating when he was 15mos old.  As he became vocal beyond daddy and mama, SpermDad became Daddy (Firstame).  No one told him to refer to either me or SpermDad by those titles. He was corrected in SpermLand and he ended up calling us both Dad depending on who he was with. Though SpermGrandHag would rage over him calling me Dad.  It is infurating that your SD has this crap to deal with from her BM.

I hope that this young woman can have some semblance of normalcy at some point in her very convoluted avoidant and manipulated childhood.  BTW, you are not the manipulative side.

Congrats on the baby.  That SD is excited is a great opportunty for your family to bond on the future and growing together on a family journey.

Harry's picture

She is causing problems on purpose.  You are not playing her game.  Taking other kid.  So she is doing everything to make your life miserable.  You can't let BM control your life. You have to move closer to BM. where you get weekly or bi weekly visitation.  This holidays and summer schedual will not work.  

BethAnne's picture

How does moving closer to BM stop BM controlling their life? It is upending everything because of BM...

If this BM is determined to mess up her kid to get back at her ex, she will most probably succeed, no matter where her ex lives or how often sd sees her dad. We hear here time and time again of kids refusing to see the parent that lives in the same town because spiteful BM has put lies in their heads and manipulated them into hating their fathers and step mothers. Distance will makes no difference to these women, they will do what they do.