You nag me to go grocery shopping, and make sure I “get food for you too.” You tell me to put the dishes in the washing machine. You ask me to put the clean dishes away more often because you feel like you’re always doing that. You ask me to make sure the garbage is out on trash day, and often check that the recycling made it out too. You argue with me, quite loudly, sometimes in front of the baby and mostly regarding parenting style. You play with the baby but only for about 30 minutes every couple I days. After that you’ve gotten your fix and need to “relax” by watching tv in bed. You’re only home about three nights a week so when the baby prefers you to me, my heart breaks knowing your love is conditional; based on your mood. You give him gifts sometimes, expecting that I will return the favor to you. You ask me to make sure I clean up the mess wemake before making another one but most of the time you grumpily clean up the “mess” we are playing with. I’ve never asked you to pay a single bill, and actually have offered to cover your tail a time or two In the recent past. I’ve supported you emotionally countless times and last time I needed a listening ear you were “too tired”
You are not my husband, not my boyfriend, nor the father of my son. You’re not my mom….you’re my sister. One without children, who is working full time, who doesn’t even pay your own phone bill and yet incapable somehow of living in your own house. Please, tell me sister. What is the difference between our dysfunctional living situation and an absentee, emotionally abusive co-parent? I thought by choosing to move away from him and cross the country I would have moved awayfrom exactly this. Doesn’t he deserve a better childhood than this?
“Have you noticed the fridge is full?”
“Yes….I’m making my lunch…”
“Hey, So the garbage just got picked up.”
“Yeah I heard that too”
“I mean personally, I wouldn’t let my kids do that…”
One year ago today, I was one week away from finding myself at the begining of a VERY long day, and night, and another morning that came to an end with the beginning of my sons life 🙂 Yep, Sterling is almost ONE! He’s growing incredibly fast and his personality is really developing. One of the things he likes to do is pick a word, or sound and repeat it continually for anywhere from ten minutes to a couple hours. His default sound is, interestingly enough, ding-a-ding-ading-a but he says it while sticking his tongue out on every “d,” He also says “mama” very well, and usually its at a ridiculous decibel. his favorite word to scream was actually his first word….”Dada” I wasn’t sure how to process that when it first happened.
After a few days of my son waddling around the house calling everything, including me, “dadadadadada” I decided I could look at it one of two ways. I could be bummed that my sons first word was one he has no understanding of, or I could rejoice that God had answered my prayers. Nearly every day since I learned I would be a mom, I prayed that my child would know God intimately as father. I decided that I would much rather be reminded that God is always with us when ever my boy called out for “dada” rather than being reminded that we’d been let down, hurt and abandoned. It’s turned into a fun thing for Sterling and I. I’ll repeat the sound he fixates on and we take turns, as if having a conversation using only one sound with different inflections. When we’re eating, its always “mmMMMmmm” 🙂
Today we were out playing in the public water fountains. Sterling was having such a blast that before we knew it he was shivering and his playful yelps were shaky from his chattering jaw. I scoped up my boy and wrapped him in a warm towel. To my dismay he screamed louder than typical in protest. His choice of word, “dada” This was the first time I was caught off guard! It felt like everyone was looking at a child screaming out for his dad, while some woman strapped him into a stroller and walked away. Sketchy? I hope not. Just another lesson in parenting: What strangers think only matters if you let it, so don’t let it.