School Has 9/10ths Custody….
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.
I’m feeling like I’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 them half-time with their dad and full-time with school and school activities. Even though our custody arrangement says I get the girls on my birthday, 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 I’ll see them by midnight.
Tonight was the 2nd of the 3 nights I’ve had Aislinn this week that I’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 I’d reworked my schedule to pick her up and I’m cringing at the impossibility of finishing a project before it’s due tomorrow morning and that it’s not good for my day job to be unprepared, even though this week has been in- credibly overloaded. (I’m taking a break, finally!)
By the time I got back home with Aislinn, it was too late to take her sister to get gas for her car, which I needed to do since Shannon hasn’t earned gas money this month and her college botched her meager gas stipend and sent it to the Rocky Baptist Christian School for use of a bus she didn’t use.
Shannon’s taking Latin III and Forensics at high school (junior year) and a full load at college, which is free under this program. She’s so swamped with home- work that she can’t hold down even the most flexible of jobs (working for Spilled Candy on her own schedule) and can’t find the time to mow the lawn once every two weeks so she’ll have gas money, let alone pay for her car insurance. I let her socialize once a week, particularly since a grief counselor recommended she not become so isolated after her friend’s death. She leaves at o-dark-30 tomorrow morning for a forensics tournament, and I won’t see her again until the end of the weekend. It’s my weekend with her. We’re both stressed. The next week- end I’m with her, she has another tournament. Naturally.
I’ll have the weekend with Aislinn, at least, but I’ll have to work much of it, including laundry, prep work for the repair guys next eek, and mowing the lawn that Shannon can’t get to. Aislinn’s not going to be happy, and I already know it. Her weekends with her dad are endless movies, sleepovers, and shopping trips. With me, it’s the only time she has to clean her room, put away her clean clothes, do more homework, and pick up her messes around the house.
Her time with me is more about chores than fun, be- cause things still have to be done around the house whether she’s here the rest of the week or not.
She gets a little attitude over doing chores and doesn’t really care if she doesn’t earn an allowance since her dad keeps her funded, so half the time, I’m riding her to get her work done because I’m not going to let her off easy so I can be Parent of the Month.
When I’d first realized she always had plenty of money I couldn’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.
She’s at that age where all adults are stupid and she actually preferred a friend’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 at the end of the month, so I’m looking for- ward to hauling her with me and getting some long- awaited one-on-one time with her while doing something fun.
Meanwhile, I’d just love to have a conversation where I’m not fussing at somebody to pick up their dirty clothes, mow the lawn, feed the dog, get their homework finished, and don’t be late for school.
But at least I’m not fussing at a husband to get off his butt and do something.