No…I’m NOT a bad parent.

Alright boys and girls…take a deep breath before reading this one.


Yesterday morning I got brutalized by my VERY soon-to-be-ex-wife on the phone.  Brutalized.

I had Ankle Biter over the weekend. Apparently, after I dropped him off at the babysitter’s yesterday morning he ended up having a sore belly, a sore earache, and was crying.  He was FINE when I dropped him off.  He had been FINE all weekend. When we visited my parents’ house, he played. When we visited my uncle’s house, he played. Other than a slightly sore belly on Saturday afternoon, he was perfectly fine the entire weekend.

The Ex left work early on Monday and she called to tell me that she was taking him to the local clinic to get looked at.  She said that she would call me when she found out something…but she never called.

I emailed her on Tuesday to see how Ankle Biter was doing but didn’t hear anything back. I took that to mean either he was doing fine or he was sick and she was taking care of him. Either way, I figured she’d let me know whenever she was free.

Yesterday morning she called minutes before work to tell me that our son had a severe ear infection that probably started on Friday.  And then she began to “go off” on me in a very harsh way.

It was apparently my fault that I never saw any warning signs of the ear infection (all he had was a runny nose) and she found it hard to believe that he could be as sick as he was on Monday morning without me noticing all weekend.

Then she tore into me because the past three times he has stayed for a weekend with me, he has apparently been sick the following Monday. In all fairness, it’s been this time (ear infection) and the last time (belly aches), after which we both found out that he had a sensitive stomach and we BOTH needed to alter the diet that we were feeding him.

She knows I love him but told me that she was “parenting in spite of me.”

THEN she told me that she wanted to keep Ankle Biter last night…MY night with him…because he’s still sick and that she really didn’t trust me to look after him properly.  She said that I could have him later tonight if I wanted, but I told her that I had already planned on going to Halifax.

That’s when she really lost it.

She went off on me for not using any of my off days to spend the day with Ankle Biter. She has had to use up all of her vacation time for the year and is currently working on unpaid off days whenever he gets sick. To her, it appears as though I’m more interested in my personal life than I am with being with our son.

Oh…and also I’m a bad guy for not calling her before yesterday morning and offering to take the day off since I had pretty much guessed that he was sick.

I mean…she just went off on me.

I didn’t say much back.  I had a brutal night with very little sleep and was extremely cranky, and so with her telling me that she had been up all night looking after a sick little boy I just felt that nothing good could come from an argument over the phone when she was obviously in a distressed state.

I was shaking really bad as I walked in from my car to work.  I felt physically ill.

I just didn’t know what to do and I kinda still don’t.  I wanted to write an email to her but I feel/felt as though I really needed to take some time and evaluate what I wanted to say.

Honestly? I think she’s right to question me using almost every off day to go visit Sunshine. HOWEVER, my vacation days are almost all gone because I, too, used them to be with our son. He was in the hospital for multiple days this summer and I took time off to be with him. I took over a week off to be with him while the babysitter was on vacation. I’ve still got a couple of days vacation left and I haven’t used them for the specific purpose of spending time with Ankle Biter should the occasion arise.

I left early last Friday to look after him when The Ex said that he wasn’t feeling great but she had to go to work. ANY time she’s had to work when he was sick, I’ve been MORE than willing to look after him. I’ve told her that ANY time she needs me to look after him (regardless of reason) to call me and I’d love to spend more time with him (and she’s taken me up on the offer before, too).

She accused me of putting my personal life in front of my son’s life. But that was a HUGE blow below the belt, in my opinion. I see Sunshine four days a month….five or six if I take an off day or stay an extra night. I really don’t think I’m putting my personal life ahead of my son, especially when I’m home alone 50% of the time I’m not with either him or my girlfriend.

Is this what normally happens when I read these multiple blogs from single mothers? Are these types of situations the reality? How often do single mothers misinterpret? Does there have to be two sides to every story?

Goddammit…I’m a good father. I love my son to death. I don’t think I’m blind to what could be bad in terms of his health and I don’t think I’m oblivious or ignorant or causing her to be parenting “in spite” of me.

I dunno…I’m just all messed up right now and I need time to really let this sink in.  I mean, if she had called me on Monday night like she said she would and told me that our son would be staying home on Tuesday and she asked me to look after him, I would have booked a vacation day in a second to spend the day with him while he was sick.  I mean, my offer to take care of him when he’s sick has ALWAYS been on the table and I’ve told her that.

She made me feel as low yesterday morning as I felt when we initially split up…like I’ve got good intentions but I’m just a horrible parent who simply isn’t able to take care of his own son.

I’m feeling a bit better now that I’ve written this all out, but I’m still pissed about this whole thing. I want to write her an email but I’m unsure what to say. I don’t want to come across as defensive but I also don’t want to be a pushover that will be taken advantage of.

Wow…you want honesty in a blog? You’ve got it all right here.

Thoughts? Advice?

CBG Memories: The Cracked Wrist

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve decided that once a week I’ll tell a story from my life that (hopefully) my kids can enjoy some day when they’re older. It could be a funny story, a love story, a coming-of-age story, a morality tale, or even just a bunch of memories about a certain place or person. In the end, they’re just random stories that will ultimately give my kids an idea of who their father was.

*************************************

Growing up as a kid, my family moved around quite a bit. Dad worked at a bank and had worked his way up to being manager. Back in the late 70’s & early 80’s, branch managers moved around often…”graduating” to larger branches.

When my dad left banking as a career, he entered into the restaurant business and moved the family to his home town in the early 80’s.

As you can imagine, it was a bit difficult to keep and maintain friends…especially when I’d only be in a school for two years at a time before having to start over again in another school. I think this is why I’m a bit of an extrovert now…I used my personality to (hopefully) make friends and make kids laugh. Of course, I also got into trouble with teachers a lot, too…but that was to be expected, I think.

This move to my dad’s home town was the final move I had as a kid (of course, I say that but I still ended up going to two different elementary schools while in sixth grade). I began to make friends at the second school and after a couple of weeks was told about a weekly hot-spot for kids.

What was this hot spot? The roller-skating rink.

The Alfran was a building where, every Friday evening, all of the local underage kids would go to hang out and roller-skate to their favourite tunes. I asked my parents to go one night and they agreed. I was hoping to meet up with some of my new friends and forge some stronger bonds (or something like that…I was in sixth grade…what the heck did I know about “bonding relationships”??).

I need to stress that I’d never roller-skated before. Ever.

So my folks dropped me off and I strapped on some roller-skates and tried to find my friends. I don’t remember seeing many people that I recognized, but I remember vividly the songs that were playing as the kids skated round and round in a circle.

And yes…kids who were “dating” even held hands to this song:

At this point the night is a little blurry. All I know is that I was skating by myself and my legs started flying out from under me. Without hesitation, I braced my fall with my left arm. I immediately felt a sharp pain in my wrist and I knew my night was done.

The pain wasn’t overwhelming, but it was enough that I just wanted to go home. I called my mom to come pick me up. I felt bad because I was leaving early but I didn’t see a lot of my new friends so I didn’t mind that much, either.

As soon as I saw my mom enter the building, I broke down in tears. I can’t exactly explain why, but the pain suddenly felt worse and I felt as though everything I had been holding in to make myself look “tough” in front of these other kids just didn’t matter when my mom walked through the door and I could just let it all out.

I don’t know if that feeling has ever gone away.

I didn’t break my wrist…it was only a cracked bone. To this day, it’s the only bone I ever broke. But the bond I made with my mom on that night has never been broken.

Finding Inspiration

One of the things that Jim “Depot Dad” Everson did near the end of his blog time was upload videos to YouTube of him just telling stories from his life. I have thought about a great many things since his untimely passing last week, one of them being how I could honor his memory in a unique way.

I think I’ve found that way.

I’m not yet thinking about uploading videos (although I’m considering some “video diaries” to make for my kids to watch as they get older), but I think I’d like to recount some stories of mine from over the years. In this case, I want to try to put some of my memories into a format that will always be there even after I’ve passed on…so that others may share and some may even remember.

It’s probably one of the things I should be doing more of anyway, but sometimes when you’ve been writing a blog for awhile you tend to develop focus in different directions. I’ve always got a lot of things on my mind so my focus is rarely the same…as you can probably tell if you’re a regular reader.

So I’ve decided that, going forward, once a week I’ll tell a story from my life. It could be a funny story, a love story, a coming-of-age story, a morality tale, or even just a bunch of memories about a certain place or person.

It’s not much, but it will be my way of remembering and honoring Jim…and it’ll be in a way that benefits myself and (hopefully) my kids as they grow into adulthood.

I’d like to have a “title” for the series, though…but I’m not sure what to call it. For example, my first post will be about the only time I’d ever broken a bone in my body. I’d like to have the series to look something like “CBG Memories”, so the first post would be called, “CBG Memories: The Broken Wrist”. Is that too corny? Can you think of anything else? Either way…the series will start tomorrow.

Thanks, Jim. I appreciate the inspiration.

Freshly Pressed

I gotta say…I was more than just a little shocked and pleasantly surprised.

And at last count, I had over 40 comments on the post about Sunshine that was highlighted by WordPress.com.

So I just wanted to say “Thanks!” to WordPress for the spotlight.  Hopefully some of those new readers will come back to read the blog again.

So on that note…have a great weekend, everybody. Hope it’s a good one.



OH…and congratulations on your wedding, Rachel!!  I wish you nothing but love and a happy ever after.

How much time between marriages is appropriate?

I’ve been separated from my wife for over three years now. We officially split up in March 2007. We’re still legally married even though we haven’t lived under the same roof since April 2007.

So what’s the hold-up??

Procrastination, I suppose. She and I get along better now that we’re not together than we ever did as a couple…so divorce has never been high on the agenda. It’s funny, because I’ve discussed this issue before and just never followed-through on it.

Well…no more.

The forms are filled out. All that’s required is a signature, sending it in to be filed by the provincial government, and then filling out the final “that’s that” documentation. I’m hoping to officially be single by November.

Here’s my question, though…is there an appropriate time limit between one’s divorce and one’s next marriage?

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve found “the one” with Sunshine. At 38 years old, I’ve finally found the one who I can call my “soul mate” and who is simply everything I’ve ever wanted in a woman on every single level. Without going into much detail, we’ve discussed the possibilities of marriage and we both know it’s something on the horizon.

Oh…did I forget to mention that she’s legally still married, too? She’s also hoping to be officially divorced before year-end, as well.

For any of you out there who may be in your second marriage (or at least considering it), should there be an appropriate time frame between when one marriage ends and another marriage begins? Does it really depend on the separation? I mean, some people are separated for over a year and end up getting back together…so I guess it also depends on a person’s definition of “separation”.

For me (and for Sunshine), “separation” meant “the end”. My ex and I never had ANY incling to reconcile or get back together and the marriage was over long before we even decided to separate. I guess it all depends on the individual, though.

And no…I’m not proposing to Sunshine as soon as the divorce papers are filed (for those of your curious). But in the interests of being pro-active, I’m just wondering if there is any kind of “buffer time” that I should keep in mind?

Hmmmm…

Sparkle & Sunshine

Y’know…yesterday Sunshine proclaimed that she had lost her sparkle.  She even suggested on Twitter that I took it with me when I came back home on Monday morning.

Well…I’d like to try to give a little bit of her sparkle back.

I turned 38 last week and this past weekend Sunshine went out of her way to give me an amazing birthday weekend.  Her and I both aren’t rolling in money, so she gave me a “coupon book” that she made herself.

Can I be honest?  At 38 years old…I think I actually PREFER these coupon books over actual gifts.

Anyway…I’d like to recap the awesome weekend I had with the love of my life by sharing her coupons with all of you.

Enjoy…

Well of course this is the cover...what else is she gonna say? Happy Easter?
As I previously mentioned, I don't care about somebody using money to BUY me gifts (unless it's my parents...lol). This wasn't even necessary because I'm just happy to be spending the weekend with my girl, y'know?
Oooh....a cliffhanger!
We've seen the sunrise together a couple of times already, and each time it's really been a special moment. This time? Well...we got up early but the weather simply didn't co-operate.
The slightly disappointing sunrise. Without the sun.
Sunshine was slightly disappointed with the lack of sun.
Whatcha gonna do? It's a "cloud rise"!!
Okay...for the record...Sunshine TOTALLY came through on this one. I'm the classic dude...I receive but don't give. I feel as though I'm terrible at it so I don't even try. But I love love love my girl for selflessly giving me a massage. She's simply the best.
This is truly where Sunshine outdid herself. On Friday night she whipped up some seafood fettucine alfredo with shrimp, mussels, and scallop. OMG. On Saturday night she created her pre-cooked-seafood sushi that I love so much. So it's not raw fish I'm eating, but I totally didn't care because she made me salmon, shrimp, and LOBSTER sushi. So much, in fact, that we ended having a second full meal of it on Sunday afternoon for lunch. I'm just so in love with this woman...especially so because no woman other than my mom has EVER cooked for me. I can't tell you how much I appreciate her doing this for me.
Because we were too busy on Saturday to go and because the weather didn't co-operate on Sunday, we didn't get to cash this coupon in. DEFINITELY a rain check, though.
I really was concerned about what movie I wanted to watch, but I knew right away that I wanted to stay in with my gal and cuddle on the couch. Sunshine was adamant that she wanted me to pick a movie that *I* wanted to watch. So I bit the bullet and picked my one of my favorites, Cloverfield. I told her right away to NOT think of this as a monster movie. Instead, she should watch it as a love story that just happens to have a monster as the back drop. She actually didn't hate it, so that was definitely a good thing. And because she didn't complain about watching it once, I fell in love with her just a little bit more.
"Dirty breakfast" is something that Sunshine can describe a lot better than I ever could, but on Sunday morning she made me bacon, scrambled eggs, & an English muffin. Simple...yet awesome.
Yay...another cliffhanger!!
This I didn't need, to be honest. I don't need a "real" birthday present because I truly believe that this coupon book was ALL I'd ever want or need for my birthday. She truly made it a very special weekend and there is NOTHING else required.
And Sunshine...baby...I absolutely ADORE you.


Needless to say…Sunshine sparkles in my eyes.  And hopefully this post of me gushing on and on about how awesome she is puts just a bit of sparkle back into her day.

I love you, baby.