So, we get back from the appointment, and I pull in the driveway. One of the cars is there, and the door to the house is wide open. DD runs inside, and then she runs back out to wave to me. I asked her, "Is there somebody home?" (since XWH didn't come out to greet her, which he usually does). She said yes, so I waved and left.
I come back to this email message (note that I was never contacted in any way as to his whereabouts while DD and I were at the appointment or on our way back):
"Was DD's appointment at 2 PM? I didn't know what time she was supposed to get here --we went to pick up SS from camp and went to [the grocery store] --and were gone about 20 minutes. DD was here crying when we got back. I should have asked you what time to expect her. Anyway, in the future, we both need to make sure that someone is home at dropoffs."
"We both need"? Um, okay. I guess that I'm supposed to go into his house and yell, "Is anybody home?" when I drop the kids off now. I guess that I should call him every time I pull in the driveway because I shouldn't expect him to be there when he says he's going to be there. I am livid and so upset that my DD was left like that, frightened and alone. If he had taken the time to:
1. text or call me to say, hey, we're stepping out for a few minutes
2. shut and locked his door so that I knew she was locked out and no one was home or
3. Gee.... friggin' stayed home and made Owife go by herself to run errands... she needs a GD escort!?!?
then this wouldn't have happened.
She's fine and safe, but this is now incident number two where he has made me completely question his ability to parent. The last, you will remember, is when he let DD walk to the bus stop with her brothers, and then the kindly neighbor helped her cross the street to walk home by herself when the boys got on the bus.
I can't believe that I have to parallel parent (because that's what it's becoming now) with this douchebag for the next 13 years. Lord, give me strength!
ETA: If you're reading this for the first time, please note that I wrote this when I was extremely upset. I take full responsibility for my half of this screw-up. However, considering that I am ALWAYS the responsible parent, and he seems to be lacking in common sense more and more these days, I feel that he is also to blame. He was supposed to be there. He left his front door wide open. This has never happened before. It would have taken him 30 seconds to text me. But, again-- I am not blameless in this, so please don't think that's my attitude.
[This message edited by tryingagain74 at 10:45 AM, August 1st (Thursday)]
"We both need"? Um, okay. I guess that I'm supposed to go into his house and yell, "Is anybody home?" when I drop the kids off now.
Gently. When dropping off a 4 year old, you do need to confirm that someone is there. My mother dropped off my kids one day, the kids waved in a similar way, etc., but I was not at home. I arrived two minutes later, thankfully, but she now always makes sure she knows for SURE that I am home.
I get what you're saying-- I accept my fault in this. But, I also accept that he's set a new precedent for me, and it threw me off and angered me. Lesson learned.
ETA: I'm also pissed that we did this to DD, and I'm quite sure that he's already forgotten it while I feel like the world's worst mother.
[This message edited by tryingagain74 at 10:40 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]
Anyway, lesson learned. You now know you're 100% responsible until you've seen otherwise with your own two eyes -- even if someone is "supposed" to be there.
If the door was unlocked at anyone's house I would assume they were home...
I, too, have been caught off guard by nearly ExH, in regard to finances and our child(ren). The changes in him and irresponsibility are difficult to fathom.
It has been very hard for me to realize that I simply cannot trust this man and work very hard to watch our DDs back and my own.
I'm sorry for your frustration and I have it too. I do not part from DD until another person is with her and I physically see them and have gone to great length to make arrangements for whatever the ocassion or visit is for. Nearly ExH does not hesitate to throw me under the bus in any issue, so being on guard at all times and all costs has become of major import...and a big lesson.
The terminology does not sit well with me and feels like "co parenting" is a word that mocks me. He bullies and does not follow rules, rather interprets them and when I try to, he bullies and has his lawyer write memos saying I am not cooperative.
So my one piece of advice would be, hopefully in your and your DD's best interest...to never part ways with her without physically seeing another adult with her, no matter what setting.
Our area has many broken families or broken homes and this is common and makes me very sad for the state of life and these children.
I will share that I have bitterness about "the nuclear family" ideals and am finding such things rare now.
The times, they are'a changin'! -Bob Dylan
I would also have assumed someone was there because of the car in the driveway, the unlocked door and the fact that DD seemed to indicate that someone was there.
I guess now you know he's just not on the ball when it comes to schedules or timing and that you will always have to throw a quick text just to make sure. I do it after all this time. I just want to be sure he's getting them and that he has them. I'm sorry you and DD had to learn this way.
At this point, I would take it as an opportunity to talk to DD about back up plans. Make sure she knows how to use the phone and knows your numbers or knows where to find them. Also, doesn't he live in the marital home? Is there a neighbor that DD knows so she could run over if something like this ever happens again?
Stuff like this is rough because it brings up all the underlying anger. It's like when something in the house breaks and you can't pick it up or fix it alone. It makes me pissed off all over again that I'm alone and have to handle this shit by myself. Meanwhile, that stupid slunt gets to have someone there to pick up the broken stove or fix the fucking toilet.
This incident makes you extra pissed because DD wouldn't have been in this position if he hadn't have been such a selfish prick and instead of paying attention and catering to his own kids he is now out grocery shopping with OW because she's a helpless nit wit who makes him feel like the hero.
I get it.
STBM-- you're absolutely right about phone numbers and the phone. We're going to practice that before school starts so that they can call me if needs be. It's high time I did that anyway. I know that DS #1 knows how to use the phone, but the younger two need to learn, and they all need to memorize both phone numbers. I need to send the numbers with them to keep in their rooms just in case.
I'm now going to spend the day not frightening my children!
I learned this lesson as well (but in reverse). When we first divorced, X took to just dropping off the kids at home without seeing if I was there. I would expect that IF it was dropoff time (ie Sunday at 6:00) but I am talking about DD calling me on Saturday with a "WHERE ARE YOU???" Cause her dad just decided he had something else to do so he would just drop her off any day/any time. No call or nothing.
It was a little life lesson (like yours). We just took it as an opportunity to establish what she should do when that happens, etc.
(Since we can't control what happens with the other parent).
Give yourself a break - I understand how upsetting it is.....but if the door was unlocked and she came back out and said someone was there.....I would of left too.
The question I have is why did your DD lie to you and tell you that someone was home? I would be looking for that answer, it would lead to a discussion on lying and how it hurts the liar. Perfect teaching opportunity.
Gently..... Don't have any expectations of him where your kids are concerned. Take the initiative-next time text him your leaving the doc, will be be home to take DD in 15 minutes? I really would not assume anything with him. From experience, my assumptions got my kids hurt.