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.