Wednesday, June 11, 2008



I joke about it, hell I centered the whole freakin' blog around it, but truth is I hate the freakin' fact that he lives next door. I hate that he's in my life. I hate that I am where I am. And it pisses me off more than it did when we were married that the kids blew off Mother's Day and he let them.

When we were married, they didn't do much for mother's day. He always said, "You're not my mother." Oh he'd get them up to help make the obligatory breakfast in bed. And I enjoyed that. Ex actually makes the best french toast in the universe. But considering he insisted on serving my favorite with the glass of OJ that he knows makes me vomit...well.

This year, weeks before Mother's day, I reminded the kids that it was coming. Weeks. Every chance I got. Daughter is a planner, I know. She takes after someone of the same gender who lives with her every other week...

So When Mother said, "Hey, Mother's day is in ____amount of time___" Daughter responded, "What do you want?" Of course I responded, "Peace on Earth...barring that, I'm easy. Bath gels, or some Tommy Girl which you can even buy at Target, or any book because you know I love to read, or a candle." Lots of options easily purchased at places they frequent. And I added, "You know Dad won't volunteer to take you - you'll have to ask to go shopping...."

Mother's day arrived, Daughter was sick with fever of 102, son the slacker slept in.

To his credit, Son installed my garage door opener. Spent many hours on it. And It was an awesome mother's day present. And I thanked him. A lot. repeatedly. Son is NOT a planner and never gets anyone presents on time. So I didn't think he would've bought me anything. And I really really really continue to appreciate the garage door opener.

But Daughter? My planner? The one who was out shopping numerous times just prior to the day? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. And I know she was upset she was sick on Mother's day. She said that we'd have a "do-over" day next time she stayed with me. Which she didn't do. And she's been here twice since Mother's day, and nothing, nada, zip, zilch in the whole "do-over" category.

And now it's Father's day.

And where did I take them last weekend? to the mall WHY? to get father's day presents.
And Son came by tonight why? To hit me up for a card for father's day - which I just happened to have an extra of, and for wrapping paper to wrap Ex's gift...sigh.

We bought Ex simple stuff: a CD, some cool REEF flip flops. Nothing expensive, just "hey I know you need/want this and I'm thinking of you and glad you're my Dad."

Meanwhile, I'm seething.

Why didn't they do this for me? Why is he such a jerk? Why can't they stop being ego-centric teenagers for one damned minute and remember something about which I reminded them 30 times? I birthed the little slugs. Carried them 9 months. Threw up most of the 9 months. Have the veins and stretch marks to remind me of that lovely 9 months. Spent countless sleepless nights tending to them. Did what mothers do. And all I ask is 1 measly day a year for a little measly "thanks mom." Some cheesy presents (I admit it - I like presents. I like stupid store-bought bath gels or candles or whatever. And they know it!) Nope. Couldn't do it.

I've started reminding them NOW that my birthday is in September....God help them and the eastern seaboard if they "forget."

And now, I am taking the weekend off to go on a little vaca all by myself -ok with Friend ;-) while my ingrateful slugs spend the weekend with Ex and his family.

Happy Father's Day! I will return a happier, more balanced person. Promise.


Alice said...

Don't worry about balance, you SHOULD feel that way. Have a great time on your weekend away!

Happy Mother's Day!!

laurie said...

poor you. i understand completely.

but....DON'T DO IT FOR THEM. don't let them hit you up for a car, or get you to drive them to the mall for presents.

that's why ex gets all the wonderful stuff and you don't---because you're the one doing it. they don't have you to ask for help for mother's day.

next time just airily say, "sorry. he's not my dad!"

and leave it to them to figure out.

bet you and ex get the same things that year.

(but the garage door opener is a great gift.)

laurie said...

i mean card. not car.

a car would be excessive now, wouldn't it?

Paranoid said...

Aw, that sucks. Stupid kids.

Hope they smarten up soon and give you some credit.

I disagree with Laurie (sorry!). If the kids ask you to help them, I think it's important that you do, even if it sticks in your craw. They'll remember that kind of thing forever, even if it doesn't sink in now.

On the other hand, if they don't ask for help, I don't see any harm in not offering and not reminding.

Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

amen, sista! love the rant! and i weep for the days when we are divorced and the children have to remember holidays and birthdays in their teens.

wait, did i just type that out loud?

enjoy your weekend! :)

dkuroiwa said...

Ranting is good...and this is a great place.
I also think that IF the kids ask for help, then, yeah, you don't wanna do the bigger person here...they'll figure it out and they'll realize who the 'adult' was when it comes to their parents.
But....The kids are old enough to know that a)they screwed up and b)you deserve just as much recognition as the "man next door" when it comes to special days.
My suggestion is sticky notes...lots and lots of sticky notes...all over the damn place to remind them of your birthday...or any other special day, for that matter!!!
Happy Mothers AND Fathers day to you dear...have a good one...with your (wink*wink) friend!!

This is cool...the "word verification" on this was "mumzziy"!! See...karma is on YOUR side!!!

The Girl Next Door said...

Actually folks, I think it's my duty as a parent to make sure they recognize Ex on his days (Bday, father's day, and at christmas). They are still kids. They need to know that good people take the time to say thank you to people. And as a parent, I need to reinforce in them that it's important that they take the time to say thanks to Dad. I won't do it for them (the extra father's day card thing was a fluke), but I will do it with them, even if I have to suggest it to them rather than them suggest it to me. I feel it's important to set the good example. Truthfully the hard part is not saying, "SEE I am showing you the right way and he is EVIL." Sigh, I know I can't say such things. I shouldn't even think such things. At least I try to remain neutral with the kids.

DF said...

The challenge for you to paraphrase: "Familiarity breeds laxness". The kids are so familiar with you doing many things for them, reminding them of various required activities, getting things done for them (gift card drawer, brownies for school, etc) that you are taken for granted in some ways. Additionally, as a way to get back at you, Ex goes out of his way to make sure that there is no reference to you or the great things you have done for all 3 of them. It is a classic "that name will not be spoken in this house" that will later come back to haunt him because both kids will see later in life that they were being played as pawns in his petty revenge.

Just remember, your kids will choose your nursing home.

myra said...

they're used to your goodness. it's always there. take it as a compliment. then go buy yourself a little happy. :)

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Well ranted without completely losing your mind or causing emotional scarring with your children.

I don't envy the "job" you have, and it sounds like somebody isn't making it any easier for you. That is sad.

Enjoy enjoy enjoy your weekend to yourself!

Carol P. said...

While I totally agree with you (and of course with DF for some reason...), I think some of it does have to do with family and family expectations.

My charming, wonderful husband has forgotten my birthday. He has not gotten me a Christmas present, any Christmas present, after I took a day or two off work shopping for his present. Mother's Day? HAHAHA, hit or miss. Some years I'm lucky that the school makes gifts for the kids to give to their parents.

His gift-giving (even from the kids) is not thoughtful gift shopping of the "hey, I bet Carol would like this" type, it's "provide a precise shopping list and I'll buy it, begrudgingly" shopping. Even better if I can click a button and order it myself and have it show up on the doorstep, then plop it on his desk. Then he can tell the kids that he saw the perfect thing for mom without having to trail them through the stores during holiday season.

We do hit all his high days of course, though I think he'd almost rather ignore them too. It's part of teaching the kids to be generous and thoughtful, to my mind. It's stuff and a hassle to his. We try to meet in the middle.

But his style is the way his family was/is. They made a deal to never give each other Christmas presents after the boys got to be about teens. He never does anything for Mother's or Father's Day for his family, no cards, no nuttin'. Not particularly sentimental either, with no family heirlooms or sense of place or belonging. Or big on showing up for offspring special events. Ahhhhh, the stories I could tell over a glass of wine with no DH in sight...

I think that our family was much more the other way, with a big deal and scads of family at every holiday, and everybody celebrates everything and round number birthdays and anniversaries meriting even bigger get-togethers. So it's a bit of a culture clash. Perhaps your expectations and mine are higher than average because our parents were too good at the magic that is every single holiday.

So I just know that a holiday, any holiday is what I make it to be around here in Duckfeet Central. That gives me some freedom, but also a lot of responsibility for holiday memory-making and holiday traditions. And sometimes things don't get done, or I'm frazzled from being all-and-only-Christmas or all-and-only birthday for each duckling.

But that's the way he is. Holidays disrupt the regular rhythm and pattern and routine. That's kind of their point, but it's a hassle from DH's POV. And I've learned after nearly 20 years that I need to manage my expectations for his participation as much as anything.

Fortunately, he has many other redeeming features.

Whoops, didn't mean to hijack your blog with my rant. The holiday thing is just a hot button for me too. And it appears I'm not the only one....

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Sometimes kids are just plain selfish. I think it's okay to let them know they're selfish too.

Hope you enjoyed the vacay.

San Diego Momma said...

I'm glad you have this forum to let it all out. You needed to say it.

You're understandably hurt and I'm really sorry for that!

Kids are tough, and at that age, can be selfish. It will all come back to you in a good way.

And meanwhile, you're doing the right thing and not sinking to his level by allowing the kids to forget.


Manager Mom said...

You are totally entitled to rant!!! That's why the good lord invented blog technology.

Happy belated mother's day. And you're a good person for taking the high road and reminding your kids to be thoughtful to their dad, no matter how much he doesn't deserve it.

Brock said...

Let me share a thought that I came up with a few years back: All Children Are Ingrates.

Children cannot and will not grasp how important they are and have been to their parents; until the day that they have a child of their own and belatedly realize the magnitude of the hopes and dreams that rested on their slender shoulders and the love that filled their growing hearts.

But it's ok - and probably the way it's meant to be. Because maybe it would be too much weight for children to carry - and it will come to them in good time.

And who was the Ingrate I was thinking about when I figured this out? Of course it was me.