It Hurts To Hear

My son actually told me on the phone last night that he didn’t want to come to my house for supper. Crazy, right?  Talk about a slap to the face.

Here’s the story…

The Ex called me and told me that my son had something to tell me.  I asked him if he wanted to come over tonight and he said “yes”, so we’ll see what happens. The Ex got on the phone and explained that she didn’t want to tell me because she didn’t want it to come from her and have me take it the wrong way.  She also said that he’s been out of sorts the past few weeks…tired/cranky when she picks him up, he’s getting into trouble with the babysitter, and throwing the occasional temper tantrum with her.

He doesn’t do that when he’s with me.  I’m just assuming it’s because I’ve got a different parenting style: not better, just different.  The Ex isn’t sure what, exactly, is going on with him but wanted to stress that she didn’t think it had anything to do with me.  He had a similar night last week where she had to buy him a toy at a discount store to get him to want to come with me.  On the way to my house, he fell asleep and got a 10-minute power snooze.  Upon waking up, he was the normal excited 4-year-old son that I love so much.  It was like he wanted to be with me all along.

So I didn’t take it personally that he didn’t initially want to be with me.  I didn’t take it personally last night, either.  We’re not sure what’s going on but he’s either not getting enough sleep at night or is at a point where we need to think about giving him another nap during the day…even if it’s for 30 minutes or so.

Still…at the end of the day I hurt at hearing my son say those words to me. I’m pretty sure ANY parent would hate to hear those words, especially if that parent wasn’t the one with full custody. I know he loves me (he even said that to me on the phone) so it’s not like I’m questioning that.

I guess it goes back to me feeling like I’m a bad parent even though I’m being told it has nothing to do with me.  I dunno…I know I shouldn’t feel this way but I just can’t help it.

It hurts to hear.


9 thoughts on “It Hurts To Hear

  1. It’s possible that his 4 year old molars are coming in and he’s teething. Or just testing his will. It’ll pass, I’m sure. Hang in there. Sorry that you hurt. That does definitely put a lump in your throat. 😦

  2. Hey there,
    I just wanted to say that my step kids are with us 7 days and with their mother 7 days. For those whole 7 days, the two youngest ask EVERY day when they can go to Mom’s house. Day 1, Day 2, etc. It was really making Mr feel like a heel, like he wasn’t wanted. Turns out, when we asked the older one, they do the same to their mom about when do I go to Pa’s house.

    it sounds like he is growing, my kids always get tired, cranky, and out of sorts. They are fussy, whiney, and then they say their shoes don’t fit. pay extra attention to his food (make sure it is nutritious) and make sure he goes to bed earlier. Then go shopping!!! heh.

    My tip: Have a calendar (this would be at your exes house) with the days coloured in that AB comes to your house. Then, he knows what to expect when. At the end of every day cross of the day that just ended and he will be able to see that the green coloured day is coming up, and I am ready. Bribery isn’t good, coming to your house is just part of the routine…and kids thrive on routine!

    Don’t worry about this, your son loves you!!

    1. Thanks so much for the calendar idea! I mentioned it to The Ex and she liked the idea. She said it was a good tool for his counting and understanding time so she was going to start marking off days beginning tonight.

      Hope it works. Thanks again for the idea!

  3. Oh boy–I’ve heard my son say that about going to his dad’s house and I’ve heard him say it about my house too. It always seems to hit on some sore spot for me. It has gotten better as he’s gotten older, and the calendar idea mentioned above is a good one. We both (his dad and I) try to keep him on the same weekly schedule and will tell him in the morning who is picking him up that day. Letting Ankle Biter decide if he’s going seems like a sticky area…I would say stick to the schedule if possible and just keep it consistent.

    And let yourself off the hook–this too shall pass.

  4. I’ve experienced this with my kids, it really hurts but if you view it from their perspective, ideas can emerge. Not knowing you except through your blog, my guess is the house move is contributing a tiny bit; he is in a different house when he visits which is disturbing to a kid. I approached this issue by changing from structured visits to everyday engagements, with help from the ex regarding scheduling, see if you can deliver/pickup to/from daycare every other day, sign up for evening sports in the summer, music/skating lessons in the winter, activities where you can be part of his life (be a coach!). These will blend into dinners and sleepovers as less of a disruption to his “routine”. It is tough being on the short-end with your kids, stay focused on the long term and good luck.

  5. Aww…that is sad. I agree with those above that said maybe he’s testing his limits or just being moody….doesn’t make it feel any less ouch, though.

  6. T, Allison, Batticus, jobo — I really appreciate the comments. The hope is that this is just a phase and I’m going to work with the Ex to try to do whatever we can do to help him (and us) through this.

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