Child custody arrangements should not feel like a hostage negotiation.
The terrorist demands that I take the hostage this weekend, because he needs to let off some steam, "I need a break" says he. In return, he wants to cut into my week and spend time with our daughter on Monday and Tuesday. This doesn't work for me.
Hostage Negotiation Session 1: Texting
Baby's Daddy (BD) "I know im watching zoe this week, but can you take her on friday and sat... Would be a big favor... and id take her on the 23rd... cuz her gifts arnt here yet"
Me: "I appreciate you asking in advance. I'm not interested in trading days. I would be happy to pick her up Friday night and then you'll get her back as scheduled on Monday the 29th."
BD: "Can I have her on the 23rd?"
(I labored over my previous text message, I attempted to be as clear and concise as I could be).
Me: "I don't like the back and forth. What a mess. My deal stands, if you want me to take her early then I want to keep her until my scheduled visit is up."
BD: "Why? It'll be one day out of the week... Dont be like that... Ill just drop her off the next day"
Me: "I'm doing you a favor right? Those are my terms, take it or leave it"
... hours later...
BD: "Im not trying to cause problems... I just thought it would be nice for zoe to see both of us close to christmas one last time." (he's moving to Oklahoma in March or so).
Without fail, whenever we attempt to discuss custody arrangements we bickertext, I'll get fed up and stop responding to his texts. I commented to my SO that sooner rather than later I would be getting a message saying Zoe is sick. He has pulled that little stunt at least 6 times in the last year.
Hostage Negotiation Session 2: Attempt to guilt trip
... 3 days later ...
BD: "Zoe is sick :-("
Hostage Negotiation Session 3: Physical Intimidation
Then today at about 4:30 I get a phone call, he's asking if I can pick up Z from daycare, because he's on call and has a VQ study to do (lung ventilation scan, typically looking for a blood clot in the lungs). Now I know I'm going to have to deal with him in person. We meet up at Target, We're waiting for him at the foodcourt. After calling him twice to see where he is, both times he says "I'm here in the front, I'll see you in a second". Twenty minutes later, he appears. With black satin sheets that he'd just purchased. Ewww. Anyway.
I could go into all the lurid details (but really they aren't all that interesting). Just imagine a 6'3" guy in his airforce uniform getting all up in my grill because I won't argue with him. Public place, hello? Zoe watching her parents fight? No thanks. Yelling, causing a scene and me ignoring him. Oh yeah, I feel like I've been magically transported back to junior high. Gah!
Resolution (because I'm a peacemaker, like most women I know): I'll take her Friday and Saturday, he'll drive and pick her up Sunday morning. So yeah. I don't want him coming to my house to pick her up, which is a lot of my reason behind not switching. We do all the drop-off/pick-ups at her daycare, it's much easier this way. Less bloodshed. Hell, my restraining order against him hasn't been expired for that long. Fun times!
End note: I've been meaning to blog a lot more, but whenever I log in I'm drawn into reading everybody's wonderfully funny and interesting posts and two things will happen.
1. I'll have immense writer's block due to self-criticism
2. I'll run out of time and then promise that I'll try again the next day. Rinse, repeat. :)
The Postpartum Day
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