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The birthday dinner is over...

Rhinodad's picture

The day did not start off well, as I've come down with some type of cold. So I wasn't in a great mood, but I sucked it up. We went to a seafood restaurant for SD8's birthday. As I mentioned in previous blogs, this is BioDad's week with SD8 and SD8 was even confused about why we were having this joint dinner together. Of course I did not want to go, but I agreed to it and I kept my word.

Anyway, we get there and the MachineMan family is already there. I took a seat at the far end of the table, and BS3 was between DW and I. Hellos are exchanged. That is about it. Then, guess what? The extended family of MachineMan shows up. (I did not know they would be coming).

So now, it is BioDad, GF, GF's daughter, BioDad's mother, BioDad's brother and his wife. And me, DW and BS3. Terrific. I'm sitting down to a family dinner with MachineMan's entire freaking family.

I mostly kept to myself. I was annoyed by a couple of things but managed to keep my mouth shut:

1) MachineMan insisting on taking pictures of my BS3. This was SD8's birthday, take pictures of her. You have no reason to be taking pictures of my child. Petty, maybe. But it annoyed me.

2) DW going around the table asking BS3 "Who is that? Who is that?" Of course he doesn't know. Then DW says "That's Grandma so-and-so. That is Uncle XXXX. That is..." you get the picture. This is infuriating to me. There is no reason BS3 needs to know anything other than what to call these people: Mr. or Mrs. XXXXX. Really he shouldn't even be at dinner with them! How confusing for him. But to make matters worse for DW to refer to them as "Grandma" and "Uncle" - for eff's sake. They are not related to BS3! They are not part of YOUR family, DW! Way to confuse the kid even more. I was fuming mad. I gave DW a look after the third one... and she got the hint. Started say "That's Mr. XXX, and that is Mrs. YYYY" etc. Still, am I wrong for thinking this was ridiculous? I swear it seems like sometimes DW wants to be a part of that family still.

3) The conversation at dinner. These are grown-ass adults, and the ONLY things they talked about were video games and comic books. MachineMan asked me what video games or movies BS3 likes... I just told him we didn't really allow BS3 to play video games, and he doesn't really want to watch whole movies. He was shocked. Said at that age he could barely keep SD8 away from the TV or video games. (Well, no shit. It's because I actually parent and restrict my child from doing those things 24/7).

Anyway, as promised to DW, I was not rude or sullen. I just sat there, responded when spoken to, ate my dinner and dealt with BS3. Thankfully it was only 1.5 hours of my life spent with that crew. The funny thing is, I could tell that BioDad's GF was not in a particularly great mood either - she barely said 1 word all night that wasn't to her daughter. I wonder if it had something to do with the fact that BioDad has this pathological need to do things jointly with DW?

So, afterwards when we are driving home, this conversation happens:

DW: "So, was that really so terrible?"

Me: "Uh, yes, yes it was."

DW: "Are you serious? You had a TERRIBLE time?"

Me: "Yes, I'm serious. I just had to spend an hour and a half at a family dinner with your ex-husband and his extended family! That is not my idea of a good time. This is not something I would have ever wanted to do."

DW: "Well you'll never have to again."

I'm silent because I just don't want to have this argument again and I do not know that I can believe that last comment from DW.

DW: "Well thank you for sucking it up and coming to the dinner."

Me: "You're welcome." (I should have stopped talking but I sensed she wanted me to say something else to her, or else she wanted to say something else to me.) "I just don't want to have to do that again."

DW: "Again, thank you for sucking it up and coming to the dinner."

Me: "You're welcome. What else do you want me to say? I feel like you want me to tell you it wasn't bad or you want to say something else to me."

DW: (Huffs and rolls eyes).

That was the end of the conversation. I am just still amazed at why she thinks that it is perfectly normal to spend time with her Ex and family - even on SD8's birthday. And why she just cannot seem to see how incredible uncomfortable that is for me. Hopefully it is over now.... but I doubt it.

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if BioDad invited DW to his wedding to the GF. And then have DW agree to go!


Rhinodad's picture

Ok, maybe that is the case... but then take pictures of SD8 and BS3 together. Instead he was snapping pictures of BS3 by himself and with DW. I just find that odd.

DaizyDuke's picture

... and probably why GF was quiet and most likely had steam about to come out of her ears....

WTF...REALLY's picture

Sounds like some out of a bad movie. And talk about confusing a child.

Jerry Springer would be proud. Ugh...

Rhinodad's picture

I'm angry too, but I can't address it with DW anymore. I have to give her the chance to actually make the change so this doesn't happen again. If it does happen again, well, I guess something will have to happen. Even if that means me and BS just not attending.

I did tell her no more joint gatherings. It has been a huge, ongoing argument for the last several months. It started with a discussion about Halloween. DW finally agreed to it and said she'd talk to BioDad about it. She still has not talked to him about it and my gut is that she will wait until a couple of days before Halloween to bring it up to him... and by then it will be "too late. So can you just deal with it this year."

I also brought up the spending time with my Ex thing to her. Her response is "oh, that is different. you guys didn't have kids." First, thank god we did not. Second, that is irrelevant. Use your imagination, DW - what if we DID have kids? She still maintains that she would be fine with it. I seriously doubt that.

Rhinodad's picture

Yeah, I think it was. I mean, she has to question their engagement if BioDad cannot disengage from his ex-wife, right? Right?

Rhinodad's picture

Yes, she does. And that is a good idea, but we did a separate party for her this year on our vacation. And her dad is having a separate party for her NEXT weekend. So with the dinner on her actual birthday, she is getting THREE parties!

O/T - It's funny that you brought that up, DW is getting frustrated by that. All of SD8's friends live in our neighborhood. She is constantly pestering us for playdates with them. We try to accommodate that when we can. However DW finally asked her if her dad has ever taken her for a playdate. The answer was no. DW asked SD if she ever ASKED her dad to take her to her friends house or let a friend come over. SD said "He always says no, and to go watch TV or play a game."


Flying.Purple.Step.Monster's picture

Why was there any kind of joint meal. If we have the kids on their birthday then we have a party. If BM wants to have a second party then fine. By no way are we doing a joint thing. There was 1 time when we had a swim party for SD11 (I think on 9th birthday) that we let her invite BM but that is because her birthday is in summer and NOBODY she invited was able to go. We had already paid for the party and BM came, swam for a little bit, ate cake and then went home. I had no issues with that and BM thanked us for the invitation.

If it's a school event the kids sit with whomever they are staying with that day. They can go visit the other parent but we don't all sit together.. that would be odd!

Drac0's picture

Do me a favor and force your DW to watch every Uwe Boll movie ever made and then ask her "So, was it good? Were they really *that* bad?". Unless she is that one woman in a billion (aside from Uwe Boll's wife) that actually likes Uwe Boll movies, she will never understand how you felt at that dinner.

Rhinodad's picture

See if I did that, I would have to be subjected to Uwe Boll as well, at least in passing. And I don't want that to happen.

Hanny's picture

We do this for adult skids! Every year I say it's time to stop this blended family stuff. We need to take the skids out for their BD's on our own, and let BM and her extended family (BF and his kids, and BM's brother and sister in law) take them out. But every year we end up at a joint dinner. Hell, we've even had dinner a couple of times at BM's house. SO always thanks me for going. these kids are now 20 and 25! So that makes 2 dinners a year, and oh yea, every time the younger one heads off to college there is a dinner! BM loves it, she plans it all, (she and SO split the bill)she even said once to SO (text) I think the girls like us all getting together...I know I do! I told SO I don't do it for her! Honestly, I don't think the kids care either way.

ChiefGrownup's picture

My DH, who is truly wonderful in spite of a couple tiny blind spots, also says he wouldn't mind if I spent 4 times a week in idle chatter with an ex.

Recently he even mentioned he actually found it a bit annoying that I dislike being trapped in my kitchen with the dinner getting cold and dried out while BM babbles on about her work day and other non-kid-related just-kill-me-now flotsam and jetsam of her life at the Friday dropoffs.

So I told him I was sorry and could fix it. From now on he can make family dinner himself on Fridays, talk to BM all he wants about that trainee at her job who didn't get as a high a score as BM did when she hired on 4 years ago. I won't be there any more to suffer through it, I would be off at the movies or dinner or something else fun with Gary. Or George. Or Gilbert. Or you get the picture. I named off a bunch of old friends, all male, who have known me a lot longer than DH has.

He got the deer in the headlights look right quick.

It seemed to have a much bigger impact on him than when I've used my ex-husband as the example. If I were you at that party, I might have asked to switch places with whoever so I could sit next to GF and her daughter, taking BS3 with me. I'd happily say, "Oh, you two have so much to share with it being SD8's birthday I wanna give you that space. GF and I have more in common today, we'll free you two up. And BS3 needs to get to know and love GF's daughter!!" Then introduce GF to BS as "MommyFirstName."

Oh, I really like that vision.....

hollyissad's picture

Oh, Rhinodad, I'm at a loss for words...

I would be beyond livid if my SO ever did this to me. The BM is deceased, but I know not in a million years would he ever consider this to be a reasonable thing to do. And I would never put him through something like this either. I feel hurt on your behalf. Sad

If it were me, I would have a very serious conversation with DW, as I think this is a hill I would be willing to die on. Something along the lines of "DW, I love you, and I know that you love me. But I can't understand for the life of me how someone who loves me would want me to be in a situation that I find extremely uncomfortable. I would never want to put you in a situation that made you as uncomfortable as I felt today. It's one thing to do a joint birthday party if you really feel the need to be a part of this. But I would hope you would understand how this could make me feel, and I would hope you could be respectful of that."

I would also have a few other choice words, but since I don't think they would garner the desired end result, I might keep them to myself...*maybe*...

DaizyDuke's picture

Has this been going on for years? How long have your DW and Machine Man been divorced... at LEAST 4 years if you and DW have a 3 year old correct? I MIGHT be inclined to understand them wanting this joint meal IF it had only been maybe a year or so since the divorce and they didn't want to make it hard on SD8, but for cripes sake, SD8 most likely doesn't even remember her mother and father being TOGETHER.. which makes this so incredibly dumb.

Drac0's picture

What makes this even dumber is that according to the OP, SD8 was questioning why they were doing this. Doing activities like this is solely gratifying for the bio-parents. There is no other explanation for this madness.

Rhinodad's picture

We've been together for 5 years. They have done this Every. Single. Year.

SD does not remember them being together.

JingerVZ's picture

I hope your DW gets the message and believes you: no more get togethers to play pretend happy family. Wow! I would hate a situation like this.

ChiefGrownup's picture


No more pussy footing. Make a boundary. A big ole monster big one. Apparently she can't see it otherwise. Do it now.

QueenBeau's picture


GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

Wow. Since they're so tight, maybe they should have stayed together. I wouldn't put up with that garbage for another second. Ew, what a nightmare! I cannot imagine.