I was talking with a friend this morning about her kids my kids and summer plans, she was telling me that her ex is being (as expected) a real butt head about summer plans. He is unwilling to negotiate his 30 days and everything else is hers. She wants to send her two oldest to sleep away camp (no small undertaking) and is footing the entire bill not asking for a dime from him and yet he refuses (mumbling something incoherently about its not good enough, or the color of the bathrooms is inappropriate). He then proceeds to inform her today that “oh and by the way I will be out of the country this summer anywhere from three to seven weeks, so you will have all the kids all the time (and no I will not contribute to the child care expenses that should be mine during my 30 day possession you figure it out. And another reason why he will not negotiate on the sleep away camp is because she is asking him to forfeit (for the good of the children, she has absolutely no gain in this) one of his weekends of possession.
Does the guy love his kids, yes (in his own perverse way).
My situation is similar and different, I had to call my ex and ask what were his summer plans for possession of the kids, as I was trying to coordinate summer camps too. My ex responds “wifeypoo’s patents are not taking us anywhere till the week after Christmas (I know its not my year to have the kids for Christmas, but I was going to call and ask you if I could take them skiing), so I do not have any plans, if you want to keep them and just put them in camp that is alright with me.” My thought is “oh thanks, so now not only will you not pay your 50% of medical expenses, but now you are snaking on you period of possession because wifeypoo’s parents are not taking you anywhere? So what I now get to pay for both kids sleep away camp, and the following two months of day camp too? You are too kind… And I am supposed to be agreeable for you to take my kids skiing (outside of you allotted period of possession) for a week?
Gee maybe I could take my kids on a vacation if you would pay your 50% of the medical expenses like you are supposed to, but then you know I cannot afford to sue you after the shenanigans you pulled last year trying to sue me for custody. You see my ex tried to sue me for custody one year ago, my son and I hit a rough patch my son went to his father angry at me and said (and I quote) “Daddy, I want to live with you, Mommie makes me mad”. He was 10 years old at the time (the son not the father), so my ex said “ok you can live with me”, and when I would not sign over anything for him to “take” the kids he sued me. The outcome of that waste of time money and resource was he pays more child support, and visitation is followed to the letter of the law (the divorce decree). No more accommodations, nothing. For the first two years after the divorce he only saw the kids for birthdays, and Christmas, Daddy was too busy living his own life to be bothered. Then he got married and typical, suddenly wants father of the year award. Here we are again, they are supposed to go to their fathers for 30 days during the summer, and he is unwilling to bear any financial burden to provide adequately for his children. No problem taking credit and glory for a paid vacation on someone else’s dime.
Am I angry about this you bet, I bust my hump day in and day at working spending every penny I make on my children, rarely ever spending anything on myself. To ensure they have a few extras, and have their needs met, more than just full bellies, and an electronic babysitter (AKA E’s, television, video games, etc). My son specifically does not function without structure (one of the joys of ADD and ODD), he has to have something to do, my daughter organically benefits from his need of structure. When they are with me they do not generally have time to get bored and into trouble. I try to put them in day camps, plan activities, anything but let them sit at home watching tv, or playing Wii, getting bored. What are you doing? I know taking credit where it is not due.
So I ask what is the best resolution? Do I enforce the 30 summer possession? If I do my kids will pay a price, do I let him take them skiing after Christmas? I dunno… humpf
Life is good, kids in bed dreaming about unicorns and laffy taffey trees, feathers tucked in, furbies ready for me to go to bed, oh yes and full bellies…