BioDad Taking Advantage
DW and I were chilling Sunday afternoon, doing some household chores, till her son's baseball game, whereupon we were going to take custody afterwards, about 9pm. Today being Columbus Day, the kids are not in school, so....
Anyway, there I was in the garage, getting some stuff to work on some project about 2:30pm, when up drove Fuzzy's car. He dropped his spawn off HOURS ahead of time. I thought, "Awesome. Oops, I mean, Awe, some... idiot dropped off his kids because his wife can't figure out step-parenting." I know it's complicated and can be a challenge, but dang...
So when I went in, DW was pretty mad, said her X sent her a text FIVE MINUTES BEFORE the kids came blowing through the front door. Basically, "sorry, I have to go out of town, kids coming early." Turns out, Fuzzy knew he was going out of town, could have given us a heads-up, but he is an inconsiderate a-hole. Ho-hum, nothing new or too surprising there. Sunday was not a day of Great Epiphany at JavaRanch.
DW sent a "we don't appreciate this last-minute change" text, and he responded with a "It was the children who insisted they come early." WHAT?? My thinking is... for stuff like this, I don't get to make unilateral decisions, and it's MY HOME! We all live together, and in the name of RESPECT TO THE OTHERS IN OUR HOME, I DON'T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OTHERS AND DO THAT. I wouldn't dream of *just dropping by* unannounced to their little lovenest, and when Thing 1 and Thing 2 need something from their dad's, I am DEAD-SET against going there until THEY ACKNOWLEDGE our heads-up messages.
Anyway, both kids said they didn't ask to get dropped off early, DWX said they insisted. So, one party or the other someone is covering their tail (or flat-out lying). I honestly can imagine them all "safe-siding" their stories because DW just allows it to happen with NO repercussions.
Then Thing 2 said she needed some school supplies NOWNOWNOW. DW said, "You were at your dad's ALL WEEK, and you're barely in the door here on a Sunday night, and demanding I take you? I don't think that's reasonable at all (DW had surgery and can't drive for a few more weeks). You should have had your dad take you." Thing 2 motioned her hand to me, "There's Java. He can do it." I kicked my burner from Simmer to Sear... No. This pill had a friend spend the night last night, and... NO. I'm putting my foot down.
So, I am thinking I need to call a family meeting and set some boundaries. Bear in mind, I was told, "My kids HAVE two parents. They don't need more." So I've been told I will NOT be a parental figure in their lives. With all of that, I will reap no parental rewards, and I will take on no parental responsibilities. As I see it, I can't correct them or give them instructions, therefore I am not required to provide for them or be their chauffeur, especially when they are being dummies. I don't clean up after them, and any chore around the house that they should be doing, I have taken to letting it sit a while to give DW an opportunity to assign it. One day, she'll get tired of them watching cartoons and messing up the house - and she'll assign them some work - or her kids will become The Dreaded Millennial.
But I want to say to them all:
I do way too much stuff for everyone, and am getting nothing in return. Today, that stops.
If you forgot something at your dad's house, that's on YOU. If you forgot something here when it's your dad's week to host you, that's ALSO on YOU. Keep your stuff together. This *just showing up and running into the house* junk will not be tolerated again.
When you're at your dad's house, I buy food for your mom and I to eat, the two of us. YOu come by every school day and eat the food I bought, and while of course, your mom doesn't mind, I DO. I bought that. I get NO child support, but you kids are eating MY FOOD. This is a little deal, but it blows up bif when you take food THAT I BOUGHT, over to your dad's house. That is like stealing my money. Please stop. Food that was bought for the four of us STAYS HERE.
When you kids walk into the house, you will take on some responsibility. Your mom and I stay VERY busy cooking, cleaning, and repairing things around here, and it's because we take pride in what we call HOME. We know that taking pride in your home starts with taking some pride in what you do, so I would like for you both to choose a few chores to do that you can do well, to help out your mom and me. You'll feel good about it and will get a sense of accomplishment that goes with it.
I am not your taxi. If you need a ride, you may ask me for the favor, but know this: If you don't come asking for it like it's a favor and it's my option, I WILL say NO. Hint: If you want a favor from me, offer a favor. This is how the world works, and developing social skills on how to ask for help or favors is important.
Sleepovers are not a necessity. Because we've had problems with rambunctious kids late at night when I had to go to work the next day, I have a policy: You may or may not have school the next day - but if I have to go to work the next day, NO - don't even ASK if you can have a sleepover, because the answer will be NO. Don't try to bargain or negotiate, because I'll ban all sleepovers for a month; keep pushing, and I'll ban them for the following month.
Your mom and dad are DIVORCED. Your mom doesn't tell him what to do, though she may ask him for a change in the schedule. They have to talk about it and negotiate. Your dad doesn't tell your mom what to do, as they are not married anymore. And when your dad drops you both by unannounced or brings you kids by at a different time than previously negotiated or agreed, that's a lot like he's not just *telling your mom what to do,* but he's telling me what to do - and that DEFINITELY won't be the case. So if he starts saying stuff like, "Well, let's do XXX or YYY," it's your responsibility to remind him that I'm not going to play that game anymore. DW, please make sure you emphasize how very serious I am about this.