School Has 9/10ths Custody….
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.
Iâ€™m feeling like Iâ€™m always the bad guy. The no-fun person. The all-work-and-no-play mom.
I have two teen daughters and I so rarely see them. I share Â them half-time Â with their Â dad and full-time with school Â and school activities. Â Even Â though Â our Â custody arrangement says Â I get Â the girls Â on Â my Â birthday, Â their school functions have prevented my being with both of them on my birthday for the past 5 years. Next year, their functions will be held locally, so no dinner with them but at least Iâ€™ll see them by midnight.
Tonight was the 2nd of the 3 nights Iâ€™ve had Aislinn this week that Iâ€™ve been driving to pick her up from a school function after 9 PM. Tonight, just as I was careening to the stop light near the pickup point, she called to tell me she was catching a ride home with her dad whom she said had been at the football game. A little late, since Iâ€™d reworked my schedule to pick her up and Iâ€™m cringing at Â the impossibility of finishing a project before itâ€™s due tomorrow morning and that itâ€™s not good for my day job to be unprepared, even Â though Â this week has been in- credibly overloaded. (Iâ€™m taking a break, finally!)
By the time I got back home with Aislinn, it was too lateÂ to Â takeÂ her sister Â to Â get Â gas Â for Â her Â car, Â which Â I needed to do since Shannon hasnâ€™t earned gas money this month and her college botched her meager Â gas stipend and sent it to the Rocky Baptist Christian School for use of a bus she didnâ€™t use.
Shannonâ€™s Â taking Â Latin Â III Â and Â ForensicsÂ Â at Â high school (junior year) and a full load at college, which is free under this Â program. Sheâ€™s so swamped with home- work that she canâ€™t hold down even the most flexible of jobs (working Â for Spilled Candy on her own Â schedule) and canâ€™t find the time to mow the lawn once every two weeks so sheâ€™ll have gas money, let alone pay for her car insurance. Â I Â let Â her socialize Â once Â a Â week, Â particularly since a grief counselor recommended she not become so isolated after her friendâ€™s death. She leaves at Â o-dark-30 tomorrow Â morning Â for Â a Â forensics Â tournament, and Â I wonâ€™t see her again until the end of the weekend. Itâ€™s my weekend with her. Â Weâ€™re both stressed. The next week- end Iâ€™m with her, she has another tournament. Naturally.
Iâ€™ll have Â the weekend Â with Aislinn, at least,Â but Iâ€™ll have to work much of it, including laundry, prep work for the repair Â guys Â next eek, and Â mowing Â the Â lawn Â that Shannon canâ€™t get to. Aislinnâ€™s Â not going to be happy, and I already know it. Her weekends with her Â dad are endless movies, sleepovers, and shopping trips. With me, itâ€™s the only time she has to clean her room, put away her clean Â clothes, Â do more homework,Â Â and Â pick Â up Â her messes around the house.
Her time with me is more about chores than fun, be- cause Â things still have Â to Â be Â done Â around Â the Â house whether sheâ€™s here the rest of the week or not.
She gets a little attitude over doing chores and doesnâ€™t really care if she doesnâ€™t earn an allowance since her dad keeps her funded, so half the time, Iâ€™m riding her to get her work done because Iâ€™m not going to let her off easy so I can be Parent of the Month.
When Â Iâ€™d Â first Â realized Â she Â always Â had Â plenty Â of money I couldnâ€™t account for, it threw me.
One of the guys at work just found out his 15-year-old girl was making extra cash by giving blowjobs to 15- year-old boys.
Sheâ€™s at that age where all adults are stupid and she actually preferred a friendâ€™s birthday party to a family vacation (one to Daytona with me and the other to Canada with her dad), even though I think she ended up enjoying both.
My next weekend with her is during my central Florida tour Â atÂ Â theÂ end of the month, so Iâ€™m looking for- ward Â to Â hauling Â her Â with Â me and Â getting Â some Â long- awaited one-on-one time with her while doing something fun.
Meanwhile, Iâ€™d just love to have a conversation where Iâ€™m Â not Â fussing at Â somebodyÂ Â to Â pick Â up Â their Â dirty clothes, mow the lawn, feed the dog, get their homework finished, and donâ€™t be late for school.
But at least Iâ€™m not fussing at a husband to get off his butt and do something.