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When First Grade Sucks…

I got Michael’s report card for his second quarter last night. While on paper there is improvement; behaviorally, however, things are just the same. It sounds simply, really: He is have major trouble focusing. Michael is regularly sent home with class work he should have finished that day (we chose this instead of missing out on every. Single. Recess). I also just learned he is now being given the bare minimum of class work and he is STILL not getting it done. His teacher has given him his own desk by himself in the front row of class. She has given him headphones to help cut out background noise. She has even given him a chair that leans a little so he can rock and be a bit more comfortable so he can (hopefully) focus.

In my non-professional opinion, his teacher has gone above and beyond my expectation. It is clear that at this point she is at a loss.

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Hope Through Fear

My personal Facebook account has been glittered with the frustrations of co-parenting. I typically try to refrain from these types of venting posts.  Usually they just end up in silly arguments between people who’s only connection is this virtual friendship.  But I made a few exceptions this time around. Plus, I tried really, really hard not to be offensive.

For a look at what has been going on between us and them, read my Letter to the Others.

Mr. Sexy is a problem solver and came home Thursday with fabulous idea.  If everyone could agree, we all would get what we want. It would be a ‘glass is half-full’ type of scenario. To some, Mr. Sexy’s idea would seem crazy. But what I saw was the burning desire to put Michael’s well-being ahead of our own even when it might feel costly.

Mr. Sexy proposed that we offer The Others the entire two-week Winter Break with Michael while we take the previous two weeks. The previous two weeks include Michael’s performance with our church.  The performance The Others were refusing to take Michael to.

My  first thought was: Yes!  That works! 

But giving up Christmas and the immediate days surrounding Christmas?  And giving up New Year’s Eve with Michael? 

To all the above, it was a non-issue.

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A Letter to the Others

The following letter will not reach it’s recipients unless they happen upon this blog and this blog post.  If that were to happen, that would be an okay thing.  If not, well, it’s how I’m processing my frustration and if that’s the only purpose here then that’s just fine with me.

Dear Other Parents,

I’m sorry if I have offended you.  Offense is not my intention. While I’m not exactly sure how I have been so incredibly offensive, I would like to ask for your forgiveness anyways. Know that as I am being humbled in these moments with these words, it is a struggle to do so.

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"Co"-Parenting

It’s messy.  It’s not edited.  It’s raw. But it’s honest.

The non communication between Michael’s parents and Mr. Sexy and I drives me up the wall.  I’m sure it would most people.  From what I hear, co-parenting is never easy.  I get that.  Except for one thing.  Co-parenting has the term, “co,” in it.  As in together.  Working as team.  Talking to each other.  Discussing issues at home or at school.

There is no “co” in our co-parenting system.  At least that’s how it feels most of the time.  For instance:

Two days ago was the cookie dough pick up day.  I was really proud of Michael for partcipating in the fundraiser this year and he had goals of how much he wanted to sell in order to receive prizes.  I picked up his two boxes and headed home proudly.  Soon after I got a call from his dad.  Apparantley we picked up his cookie dough as well.  I was confused because I didn’t see any names from that set of parents on the order form.

Upon opening the box I found an order form – however it wasn’t one I had seen.  It from Michael’s dad’s family and friends.  I realized I picked up their cookie dough instead of ours.

Frustrating.

Because Michael had two order forms, there was no accumulation of prizes.  He missed out.  Michael missed out on something good because his dad wasn’t able to share information with me.

I’m still upset about it.  I feel like Michael was wronged.  I feel like he was let down. I feel like letting go of the “co” in parenting as Michael’s other parents seem to do so often.

But I won’t.  I’m better than that.  Mr. Sexy is better than that.

Today, I’m still fighting for the “co” in parenting.

Thanks for reading my unedited, unashamed 5 minutes of writing on the word: Still
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Co-Parenting: How is it "supposed" to work?

Michael just got picked up to go to his dad’s house after two weeks here at home.  As I soaked in the tub earlier this morning I spent some time reflecting on how different the house was about to be.  There will be less screaming from Denai because Michael won’t be constantly pushing his boundaries with her.  There will be less emotional melt downs over the word, “no.”  The stairs will be free from the sleeping bags because Michael likes to ride down the stairs.

In one word: quiet

And then I wonder what it’s like at his other house.

I never have a good answer.

Why?  Because his other parents seem to try their hardest not to talk us – much less sit anywhere near us during a t-ball game.  Yup.  They always sat the farthest away from the field and would only approach Michael if Mr. Sexy and I weren’t immediately around.  In order for Michael to say hi during his games he had to run to where they were slowly putting their chairs in the bags – waiting for him.

I have one word for them:  Losers

I know it’s unkind to name call.  I know that they are good people and love Michael.  However their avoidance of Mr. Sexy and I does not go unnoticed.

Is this normal?

I have been trying really hard to figure out how to communicate and co-parent with Michael’s other parents.  Is this just not a reality I should expect or even hope for?  Are there any sets of parents who are able to co-parent and do it well?  

All I’m really looking for is open communication and a surface friendship.

Nothing deep.  I would like to sit next to them at a sporting event and watch our girls play together.  We adults don’t even have to talk.  But Michael would see his 4 parents getting along.

I would like to have dinner or even go out for just appetizers every few months just to keep communication lines open.

For me, to keep good will towards another whom I struggle to get along with, I need to see that person, talk to that person and smile with that person.  This can’t be done through texting.  Plus, Mr. Sexy and I always find stuff to talk about relating to Michael.  So conversation with all 4 parents shouldn’t be boring.

I would like Michael’s parents to ask me about his week.

 They don’t, however.  This tells me that 1) they don’t care or 2) they don’t see his time here as real.

 I also would like an answer when I ask about his week at their house, too.  But every time I hear the same line: “He was good, had a great time, no issues.”  But I want to know who he played with.  Did he practice riding his bike.  Does he have a new favorite whatever.  What kind of fights did he get into ( I say what kind because he always gets into fights.  Even though his other parents tell me “he was good.”).

  Basically, I want to know what his life is like.  Because I care.  And his other life that he lives at his dad’s house is real. 

 Plus, I think it’s strange and unnatural to not see or talk to my child for a week or longer and not have any idea what went on.

Today I asked Michael’s dad about getting together for dinner some time in the next few weeks.  I wasn’t surprised by his non-committal answer but it left me incredibly frustrated anyways.

“We have so much going on, I don’t see how we can do it any time soon.  Maybe in a few months.”  He asked if there was anything specific and we could just talk about it then.  And while there isn’t anything specific, I do have a few questions but they are for BOTH his parents.

I even asked him point blank if he thought getting together at all, ever, would be a good idea for our co-parenting relationship.  His answer was the same: “We are too busy right now.”  And that’s all I got.  I even said, “If you don’t want to get together ever for any reason then just tell me so I can figure out a different way to cope with this co-parenting relationship.”  Same response: too busy right now.

Again: Loser.  No back bone.  Zero ability to talk honestly.

I am thinking that I may have to accept where we are all at now and then…. give up?  Ummmm I don’t give up people!  So do I keep asking about getting together? (He even told me he doesn’t think they have time to get together at the park.  Does his other kid not play outside with other kids?!?!?!)

What does co-parenting look like?  Are my expectations too high (a common theme for me actually)

Y is for Yelling and Screaming: My Journey Through Parenthood

Y is for Yelling and screaming.

“about” 18 months old?
Who really remembers these things? 

I remember the first huge, earthquake of a tantrum Michael threw at the grocery store.  Safeway, to be exact.  He was about 18 months old (but as I think about it a LOT of things happened when he was “about” 18 months old).

Thankfully, I had done my research and I was prepared.  Instead of standing around, red-faced and trying to talk sense into the senseless, I picked him and ran out as fast as I could.  And yup, some minimum wage clerk had to put away my full basket of groceries.

I’m not sure where exactly I learned to do this.  I read that I needed to take him out of the situation to show him who was in control.  Weird thing was that it worked.  Over time the tantrums lessened and I was able to console him right then and there.  No running out for this mom!  It was an amazing feeling.  As soon as his head threw back my “mommy tone” came out and he shaped right up.

As he got older, years older, he realized he could still throw himself on the floor even when I was using my “mommy tone.”  That wasn’t fun.  Thankfully Mr. Sexy had put a ring on my finger and has played a major role in Michael’s life.

It just so happens that a big part of our lives involve yelling and screaming.

Still.

He’s 6.  I hear that for some kids that’s normal and for others it’s not.

Who cares.

All our kids are different from all kinds of different families.  I’m proud of Michael constantly because he has a huge heart that yearns to love people.  He doesn’t always know how to do that, however.  So he resorts to yelling and screaming.

Oh well, perhaps 7 will be different!

A Valentine’s project we did together for school.

What was your worst tantrum experience like? 

This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.

X is for X-Rays: My Journey Through Parenthood

X is for X-rays.

Michael’s first x-rays resulting in a cast was when he was about this old:

He was 18 months or so?  I can’t really remember.  I just remember going on the “big boy” slide was scary and he didn’t like to do it.  Nanna talked him into it one day and somehow, on the way down, his leg got tweaked.  We ended up taking him to the ER where he got his first x-rays.  It was exciting.  Of course I was there with Mr. Sexy.  Michael’s dad was there, too, along with the rest of the family.  Both his parents and a few aunts and uncles.  It was interesting….that’s all I’ll say.

Michael’s fracture was so minimal the doctor wasn’t even sure there was one.  He recommended a cast basically to be on the safe side of things.  
For years Michael remembered Nanna, the slide and the cast.  
Apparently boys will tend to find themselves wearing a cast quite often.  So far, though, Michael has stayed “safe.” 
Do you have any stories about x-rays resulting in a cast?  
This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.