Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Real lives don't have magical reappearances...

Although I wasn't able to delve into all the logical details of my reasoning, I did manage to put off a request of IFKAMH's last night to put him on speakerphone to talk to the boys. So, I'm really trying to follow that advice I gave myself.

Because it was dinnertime, the finer points of my refusal could not be elaborated upon. I simply said I didn't think it was a good idea and that it was really quite pointless, seeing as they don't know who he is and don't talk back and such.

He's called a couple of times prior to this over the past couple of weeks. Once was in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday. The message he left on my voicemail was that he was just hoping to get in touch with me or the boys. Or the boys. Middle of the afternoon. On a weekday. I have to work + Boys can't come with me to work = Boys are at daycare. I don't know what he thought might be going on that they would be with me at that time or why he would call for any other reason than to speak to them, but I suspect his intentions had nothing to do with them, even though I just don't understand that.

Next time he calls is in the evening, what would be an appropriate time to be able to speak with them since it was after dinnertime but still before bedtime, yet he makes no request to speak with them. I wonder if the sound of NS's voice in the background had any affect on this, although he's talked at the boys with NS there before. He informs me that he is changing jobs. Oh, but not to worry, he will be paying for COBRA to keep the boys insured during the waiting period at the new job (um, he kind of has to do that to comply with our divorce agreement). I ask about the payroll-deduction for child support. He promises me that it will continue. He asks what he can get the boys that they need. I have no answer. I explain they need no clothing (we've recently just added two more sets of drawers to their room to accommodate the abundance of clothes they already have), they just got new shoes (bought by NS one afternoon while he watched them so I could go shoe-shopping;>), definitely no more toys (aren't three laundry baskets, a toy chest, and three lego boxes more than enough?). I don't outright tell him not to get anything, but I fail to be able to tell him anything he can get.

NS doesn't like that IFKAMH sometimes calls for what seems to be no particular reason, especially when it isn't to talk to the boys. Quite frankly, I can't stand this, either. I'd prefer not to chitchat with him since I rarely chitchat with people that haven't hurt me or my children, but I can't simply ignore him because there's always that possibility that there is a reason for the call, such as that last one. I tried to assure him I have already decided that what is best for the boys is for him not to reenter their lives at this point and that I won't be backing down on this.

Then, the call last night. The one where I finally stood my ground and declined to allow him to speak to them. Like I said, I couldn't really have the serious, important conversation with him that this warrants because of the timing of his call, but I will have it if he continues to try.

I am done waivering on this decision and doubting whether or not it is what is best. I know it is best; I know why I know it is best. IFKAMH has been uninvolved in M and J's lives for longer than he was involved. NS has spent nearly as much time with them as IFKAMH did, and honestly, NS's time with them holds greater value because of their age. Babies don't remember people that aren't consistently present; 2 year-olds can. They are now 3, which means that are starting to hold onto real memories. When I was explaining how daddy (NS) was on a boat for work and would be back after about a month, J starting reminiscing about my trip to the hospital 6 months ago and how daddy came with me. I guess it was his way of associating someone being gone for just a little while. They boys know NS to be their daddy because that is the role he actually fills for them. He is their dad. He buys things they need; he helps feed them; he helps take care of them; he helps discipline them; he teaches them to be good men and to respect and take care of their mom; he researches things for their future, like schools in places we might live; he plays with them and jokes with them. I can reassure them that although he is gone right now, he will be back; I couldn't do that for IFKAMH because he never followed through with the promises to see them...I am so glad I decided never to tell them he was coming to see them just because he said he would. At this point, the boys are both too young and too old for IFKAMH to reappear. They are too young to be able to understand that he used to be the dad that lived with us and sometimes helped with their care (I stress sometimes), that he left for reasons that had nothing to do with them, and that he hasn't been around because of his own laziness and stupidity (how exactly could I explain that? Because I don't think I can without sounding judgmental; I think it will eventually have to be explained by IFKAMH himself). They are too old to not be confused by the whole situation. What gives me concrete belief that his continued uninvolvement in their lives is what is best? The fact that his actions do not match his words. He often calls without requesting to speak with them, and his calls are still irregular at that, once a week for the past three weeks with only one request to speak with them, last night, but before was once a month, maybe. He has been saying for over a year that he wants to see them. He had consecutive days off with his job, meaning he could have flown to see them. Considering he had been at that job for over a year and that it was a major corporation, I'd also safely guess that he had vacation time allotted to him, which means he could even have driven here to see them if the expense of a plane ticket was just too much for him to bear, although I think he still had connections with airline personnel that could have gotten him dirt cheap standby tickets. And yet, he has not managed to see the boys in 22 months. Exactly 22 months today, as a matter of fact. I see no justifiable excuse for this. I truly believe he is still motivated solely by his own selfishness. I have previously explained to him in short details as to why I feel he should bow out of their lives until they are of an age when they can choose to allow him to be in them, but he acts as if he has never heard this before. It seems to me as though he simply doesn't want to be the guy that walked out on his children and didn't stay involved; what he fails to realize is that he already is, and he's been replaced by a better model.

9 comments:

fringes said...

Wow. I don't know what to say. NS is perfect for you and the boys. I have things to say about the other one, but that would just make me mad re-hashing my own baby daddy madness. You and the boys are very fortunate to have NS, and he is fortunate to have the three of you.

Stop making me cry when I stop by your blog, okay? Thanks.

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

I'll try to stop with the tear-jerkers. You couldn't have cried about the pantyhose and sexy white boys, though;>

fringes said...

No...I laughed at that one.

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

Good, because although I wanted to cry in frustration over those pantyhose and their deterring from the sexiness of my outfit, it should only have been funny to everyone else;>

Jonathan said...

Excellent post. It brings to mind some of the hurdles we are no doubt going to have to jump when we finally adopt - about changing the goalposts for the kids - making ourselves into the people they think of as their parents...

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

jonathan - I have no doubts you and Wendy will do an excellent job of becoming parents for your adopted child. I've been thinking lately about how hard adopting a child can be when you aren't adopting an infant.

Eunice said...

Woo, I think you did the right thing. IKFMAH has not shown the stability to the boys to have earned the right to be a part of their lives. You can't let him back in until you know that he won't leave again -- it's the best for the boys, and that's what matters.

I am so happy that you found such a wonderful man in NS and that he has taken his role as their father more seriously than the man that shares their DNA.

Heather said...

I had an absentee father who recently reappeared in my life. It's a strange thing. I'm not sure how to feel -- except that I don't feel like he's my dad. My step-dad is the guy who will one day walk me down the aisle, because he's the one that earned it.

So. I hear ya. And I agree.

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

eunice - Thanks for the support. Hopefully Alissa's dad won't make these same mistakes and find it too late by the time he realizes what he's missing out on. I think he's getting there. I wish you the best in making that situation work.

heather - Thank you for offering that perspective. He actually told me to tonight that it would be so easy to explain his role by telling them that NS isn't their "real" dad. I don't think he really grasps how incorrect that statement is.