Retainer (orthodontia) appointments. Emails to teachers. Music Lessons. These things are not rocket science. You make an appointment, you pick the kid up, you drop the kids off, you take the kid home. Simple.
HA HA HA. Add to the equation 1) a mother who is used to scheduling all things; 2) a father who prefers the mother not exist during the weeks father has custody; and 3) two control freaks. Result? A camel where a horse once stood (the old joke my dad told me - what's a camel? A horse made by a committee).
Today's email exchange went like this: (CUSTODY STATUS: HIS)
EX: retainer appointment still on? I forgot to mention to child.
ME: so far so good, I will text [note long story short I had volunteered to cover this and he accepted - unusual during "his" week]
30 minutes later....
ME: unexpected meeting at 4:30 - move appointment to tomorrow I will cover?
HIM: NO keep to today, I will cover. ... blah blah blah [READ: I will martyr it up and drive back and forth to school and home twice just to make it all happen because you created this evil situation i.e. the divorce, not me and now every other week my life is a mess] Can you cover makeup flute tomorrow because I can't [be in two places at once]
ME: ok I will cover flute. I had not yet texted child re: appointment. Want me to?
HIM: NO. I will call later.. more blah blah with the undercurrent [I am the master and have things completely under control while you mess things up with your meetings and your travel. I plan my life around my children, you plan your life around you]
OK PEOPLE WE LIVE NEXT DOOR TO EACH OTHER and I was volunteering to cover something in my off week. and it's a retainer appointment. Not life-saving surgery or an equally important appointment.
Perhaps it was the simultaneous exchange going on about my travel next week (during my week) and whether they would see me at all or whether I would forfeit all rights all week because of my horrible mothering and 4 day work related travel? WE LIVE NEXT DOOR - CHANGING HOUSES IS NO BIG DEAL. And then, when we got down a tangent and I offered him 4th of July, even though it falls during my week, I got cut off at the knees..
I think I spent an hour emailing him today. YES I offered to have a civilized discussion about it (during non-work hours!), about the summer, and travel and weekends. etc. He declined. The exchange ended as most of our exchanges have for the past 20 years. "We'll do it your way even though it makes no sense because I am the martyr and you are the evil selfish mother." I have long since stopped being manipulated by that (yes I really used to fall for it - he's quite good at it) and just say, "OK I was willing to be flexible but if you don't want to accept my offer, we can leave things as they are."
READ: [You ARE the weakest link - GOODBYE]