I don’t pretend to understand why they call it the “present.” Today is a gift? If that’s the case, I want to know where I can return it. At least the broken parts.
Since you don’t know my story with the ex yet, this may or may not make sense to you. I’ll give a little back story from a couple weekends past and then fill you in on the rest later. Then we’ll move to this prank gift of today and maybe you can help me understand.
The ex and I have a custody agreement that I was told was arranged differently than the wording in the divorce papers (believe me, this has now been handled with my lawyer and I’m not the happiest of campers). I have full custody, he has visitation rights. Because he works out of state and is gone most of the month, he gets time with our son at reasonable times when his schedule allows. Also, because our son is so young and because of the condition of my ex-in-laws home, (which is where the ex stays when he’s in town.. the place really should be condemned.) and because any time that the ex-in-laws have had the privilege of having my son at any point by themselves, he has not been taken care of (like ex-smother-in-law not letting him sleep and not feeding him the 9 ounces of formula he was supposed to have over the course of 6 hours.. my son has had horrific acid reflux from the time that he was born and if he didn’t eat on time, he screamed for hours because of the pain from the acid.) and even when we are sitting right in front of them (like when ex-daddy-o decided to give my 4 month old son a sip of beer… and the ex laughed… and I went insane… took my kid and left.. after a nice “up yours” and a few other things that are slightly more R rated. Told you I could be a bitch when necessary..) they just don’t care and therefore the ex is not allowed overnight visits. Well.. Here’s the problem.. The ex and I agreed to all these things beforehand. I agreed that I would allow him to see our son any time that he was in town as long as he gave me at least 24 hours advance notice. We agreed that there would be no overnight visits because he doesn’t do well sleeping in a different place. Then we signed the divorce papers. I have bent over backwards. I have gone above and beyond. I’ve allowed him to have our son every day for a week because he was in town that long. I’ve never shown an issue with it. I have issues with the fact that my son comes home and his stomach is torn up. I have issues with the fact that he has come home with fleas crawling through his hair (Now, I have made mention of that one to the ex because I was appalled, disgusted and absolutely livid). I have issues with the fact that my son comes home at night time with dark circles under his eyes from not getting a nap that day. But I’ve kept my cool. I’ve not kept his child from him. I have valid reasons for my son to not stay overnight. He agreed with me on them at one point (hindsight: he probably agreed to appease me with no intention of following through…).
Two Thursdays ago he called (Valentine’s Day, yeah.. how nice to wake up to a call from your ex-husband on V’Day.. That day wasn’t a gift either… Somebody really should get to work on a returns department for this.) to let me know that he was coming in town the next day and wanted to know if he could see our son on Saturday. I, of course, said yes and that he needed to stop asking and just let me know that he was coming and I would tell him around what time our son was waking up now. I told him that I would make sure that he was awake and ready on Saturday morning. Later that afternoon, I reminded him that he owed me half of our son’s medical bills from when he had the flu in January. And also that he owed for half the prescriptions. He proceeded to tell me how unfair it was that he had to carry insurance as well as pay for half of his medical bills. I told him that if he had a problem with it, he signed the same papers I did and he should have done something about it before he put pen to paper. Long story short, he was pissed at me.
Saturday morning, he came and picked our son up at around 11am. He told me then that he would be bringing him back home at about 9pm as he was on schedule to go to bed at about 10pm (I know, late night. What can I say, he comes by it honestly.) and this would give the Fiancee and I enough time to give him a bath and get him settled down for bed. I don’t make the ex bring our son home early. I don’t ask for much. Just that as long as he is not with me, he is to be taken care of to the full extent of the ability of the person who he is with at the time. Said person, according to the law, should ONLY be my ex-husband, the non-custodial parent. Not his parents. Not Joe Blow down the street. Just my ex. Saturday evening at about 5:30, I got a text message from him while I was at a tattoo parlor, waiting to get my wrist tattooed. He asked if our son could stay the night. I said no. He tells me that his lawyer says that our son can stay with him. That it is “his weekend” and that he has him until Sunday at 6pm. That my child HAS to stay with him. Because I was told that I had the ability to tell him no, I jumped to the only thing I could think of which was to call the cops. So I told him that I was going to have to call the cops if that was what it took but that I was getting my son back for the night. After going back and forth with him a few more times, getting my divorce papers out and going over them I noticed that the way that they are written, my hands were legally tied. It was the third weekend of the month and because of state visitation law and the wording of our papers that unless work permitted him from exercising his visitation that he had the ability to keep him from Friday at 5pm (which, btw, he wasn’t even in town then) until Sunday at 6pm and there was not a damn thing I could do about it. I broke down. I have never felt so helpless in my life. I didn’t know where my child was. I didn’t know what he was doing. How he felt. I knew that absolutely no one in his parent’s household (where I’m assuming that he was.. I have no way of knowing) knows a bit of sign language and nobody can communicate with my child. Nobody wherever he was knew anything about his schedules, his routines, the way he likes things, nothing. Nobody knows him. They’re hardly ever around him. They didn’t have a crib, his organic milk and food, his toys, his movies… not a thing. And there was absolutely nothing I could do. I felt as though my child had been kidnapped. I was terrified and a nervous wreck. The ex had been abusive to me while I was pregnant.. there was nothing telling me that he didn’t have the potential to be that way toward my son. I just wanted him home. Finally, on Sunday the ex-smother-in-law came and brought my son back at 5:47pm. No phone call to tell me that that was who was bringing him. No phone call (or text even) telling me that she was on the way. We weren’t even home. We pulled up at 5:47 and she had already gotten my son out of the car, in the cold, without his jacket (that I provided in his backpack) and was getting my carseat out of her car. The Fiancee and I assumed that the ex sent his mommy to deliver the kiddo home to us because he was scared to face me. Good on him. Really. I was livid. I had already decided that there was no way that I would be able to be face to face with him and hold my tongue (or my fists). I didn’t get out of the car. I didn’t speak to her. I didn’t wave. I waited until she got her car out of my driveway and then I pulled in, went inside immediately and checked him over. He had flea bites (I took pictures, no worries) and horribly dark circles under both eyes. The kid was thrilled to be home. An hour or so later, the ex posted a status (good ole facebook.. for once I like you..) from the state where he works. He had left town at 1pm. Now, let’s go back to where I mentioned that his visitation is for him and him alone. It is not to be delegated to anyone. Not a single soul. However, not only was my child left with people that he shouldn’t be alone with, but I was never told anything. This goes against every law pertaining to visitation. Guess who will be going to court soon.
For the next week, I spent time in my lawyer’s office, trying to figure out where to go from here. I never heard a word from the ex. Then here we go again with facebook and all it’s wonders. This past Friday, he posts a status about being back in this state. Apparently, he was in town. Never said a word about wanting to have anything to do with my son. Never tried to call, text… Nothing. Monday, however, back in his work state, he texts and asks how the kiddo is. I never responded. He has my phone number and is more than welcome to call and I can put Monster’s hearing aids in and they can talk. No issues there. He has Tango, I have Tango. He could video call him. But he doesn’t. He won’t. This way he can say that I won’t let him know how his kid is because I won’t respond to him. Except I guess that he’s forgetting the fact that there are many more avenues of communication and if he doesn’t try all, then he hasn’t really tried any.
And here we are today. Wednesday. He sends me a text this afternoon and asks for a picture of the lil monster’s insurance card. Take into consideration that he is on the ex’s insurance and that both the ex’s card and monster’s card look identical. Same numbers. Same everything. I sent the picture anyway. When it took forever to send, he responded with, “I know you’re ignoring me and that’s fine. I just need some numbers off the card for the kid.” After sending that, he asked for a picture of the back. I obliged. I then asked if he was finally attaching a rider to the policy that would cover Monster’s audiological expenses ((which it says in the divorce papers that he must do)) and he never replied. Still. This was hours ago.
Apparently, my gift of today was facing the demons of my past and reliving it all over again. I have hugged my Monster so much today that I think he’s probably sick of me. This all looks like a bunch of rambling.. and it very well may be.. I think more than anything, I just needed to type it all out.. I needed to see it in black and white rather than live it in my head. Mission accomplished. Time to go hug the Monster once again.. Until next time…
–Isabella has spoken…–