It's brought to my attention the need to sharpen things up around here. Now that we are rounding the corner to five months around here, I think it's time to take this to the 'next level', at least in terms of quality....
Don't get me wrong, it's not going to be *any* less real. If I'm pissed and bitter... then so be it. If I'm in a happy, warm and fuzzy place... than that's great, too. I think the *biggest* problem I've had in my life to date is my inability to be any *less* than I am. If I don't like you, you will know it. If I'm sad... you'll know it.
So, that part of The Blog won't change: it can't change, because it's just me.
I can, however, fine-tune the pages and make it pretty and add information. Hopefully people will like that.
Honestly.... today I'm feeling a bit disjointed. I think that no matter what i write today, it's going to be as disjointed as I feel.
Disjointed: another world for real, today.
I read all these books, about *how* to co-parent, how to get along. I do all the things they suggest.
Be sure the cleans are freshly bathed and in clean, nice, matching clothes: because you want the kids to feel 'special'. Often when we dress our best, we *feel* our best and it's an easy way to help the kids feel their best.
Don't get upset about being late/early: visitation is apart of life and life is rarely 'punctual'. If a parent is late, remember that life is still going on around them and being 10 or 15 minutes late isn't as important as both parents having time with the children.
Set them up for success: in our case, this means I send the children with extra clothes, hats and gloves, and often a back pack with lunch, water bottles and snacks. El Capitan doesn't own any of that for them - so expecting him to have it is... silly when I have it.
As much as I can glean, co-parenting is about seeing past the little hurdles and trying to make the bigger ones work. I *feel* like I do that. I meet him to help keep the cost of gas down. I remain totally flexible about his days or times to see the kids. I don't make up reasons or excuses that he can't see them. If they have a birthday party, I tell him - or if they have a school event, I tell him and invite him.
I keep my opinions about their Father to myself.... well, okay - myself and everyone reading this blog, and my friends and my family... lololol. Mind you, my friends and family know *much* more than what goes on The Blog - they have opinions of their own. However, I do feel that I am allowed to have my opinions so long as they do not influence the children or affect them. Which.... my *feelings* might do that from time to time - but my opinions do not.
The Boy is 7 - and smart. He knows when I'm sad - even when I'm faking it and trying to be happy, he knows better. Even still, I try to emphasize healing and moving forward with the idea that things won't always be this way with their Dad.
I *feel* like I'm doing my part..... and I feel like he just... isn't.
I *want* so desperately to start the year fresh and new - and in a happy place.... but the kids are not in a happy place. I want to be writing warm, happy posts from a warm and happy place... but that just isn't the case today.
How can I be happy when I know the kids are wondering.... when The Girl asked me the other day for a "play date with Daddy". What? What the........
When did my children start viewing their time with their Father as a "play date"? What is that going to say about how much respect they have for his opinion or his discipline when he's with them?
And let's face facts: *I* didn't do this. Nope, not at all.
Children are work - they are in *investment* of your time into them and into their lives.... if you don't *make* that investment, they know that. Period. This is One Million Percent on El Capitan.
And it makes me sad...... he doesn't have pictures of them, pictures they've drawn at school.... he doesn't have clothes for them, or toys for them... he has nothing in his home, or in his new life - that represents them. Other than the love in his heart.... and frankly: that's not enough.
It shouldn't be enough for him.... for allll those people who posted nasty comments about our story and said cute things like "He left HER fast ass.... not his kids!"..... hmm..... well, the proof is in the pudding.
I feel like I'm knee-deep in sh*t with a plastic cafeteria spoon to dig our way out.
The thing is, finishing out Day 12 of Complete and Total Radio Silence from El Capitan: the kids are doing better. Their behavior is better, this attitudes are better. They are playing nicer with each other. They are remembering to be kind to each other, and to others. They are constantly goofy - making each other laugh: making me laugh.
They are slowly returning to what was our life prior to Yoga Girl and her vacuous snatch.
In the fist place, I have poured every minute of every day into fine-tuning their behaviors. We have Nice & Naughty jars (that are filled with Hershey Kisses because even when we make a "naughty" choice, we are still loved). They each have a Modification Behavior Chart where we finish each day talking about their behavior that day. Moments or events where they made the wrong choice, and they don't get a "Doing a Super Job" magnet on that square and we talk about how they could have handled that moment better and how they will handle it next time.
Yes....I actually do that with my three year old - and she gets it. It's working, slow but sure, even to the point that now The Girl will say, "no sharing magnet - 'cuz I didn't share the legos with Brother."
However.... I'm also wondering if not seeing their Dad has been "good" for them? Now, I don't meant to say that they shouldn't see him - but..... not being apart of the roller coaster - perhaps *that* has been good for them.
They have - at the moment - gotten used to him not being here. I'm sure that this, in some small part, due to the fact that I don't do that thing where you march around all pissed off saying, "Well, how nice of your Dad not to call on Christmas... guess he's busy .... " blah blah blah. It only came up on the one time during present opening - but did not come up again.
I was honestly expecting it, too. I worried about what would happen if they asked to call him - and would we have yet another repeat of Thanksgiving on our hands? But they never asked, and I learned a valuable lesson on Thanksgiving about not calling for them.
So, the New Year begins.... and I have some closure. I am well and truly over El Capitan in any kind of romantic sense.... I can feel myself returning to the Mom I was prior to all this unraveling so quickly around me. And yet.... I sit and wait for the phone to ring, or my email to ding on my phone. I wait for that proverbial shoe to fall and for us to finally hear from El Capitan..... it surely has to happen at some point. What will he say? What new lies will he tell......?
In his recent absence, more than a few of his friends have stepped up with a few home truths that I did not particularity like to hear... but make sense and having the truth - no matter how painful - is important to me. I don't want to make decisions or form opinions that will ultimately affect my children based on anger or vengeance or assumption: I much prefer and need the truth.
I already know that I'll be to blame.... that's how this works. El Capitan wants to do something - wants to instigate some kind of change - but he won't voice that. He'll simply participate in some kind of behavior (things talked about at length in the book - or just in the appearance of Yoga Girl alone) which he knows will force my hand into taking some kind of action. Then he quickly builds a cross, throw himself up on it for all his friends to see..... and his hands (in his mind) are clean.
While I'm left.. again: knee deep with my cafeteria spoon to dig out the children and I.
I'm not sure what the Chinese Calendar has planned, but as far as I'm concerned, 2013 is obviously going to be the year of the White Plastic Cafeteria Spoon.
Dig on..... man... dig on.