Friday, September 29, 2006

Ex-coffee and good mail

I don't know why people do Random Wednesday, its Friday when all my thoughts break down into a random mess. But I'll try to stick to a few select topics today.....

Yesterday, I stopped at Starbuck before work, which I rarely do. Though I love me some Vanilla Latte, someday I want a house. So, it was a rare morning treat. I was even going to get a muffin or danish or something. So, I went inside instead of guessing what looked good from my car. For 6AM, there were a lot of people standing around, all with sort of annoyed-waiting faces on. I left and went through the drive-thru instead. They're always faster there and I needed to get to work. After more than the usual amount of time, I was greeted by the friendly Starbucks voice:

"Welcome to Starbucks. We don't have any brewed coffee today, but I'd be happy to make you one of our other drinks."

Oye. For the love of God! Why must you toy with me this way, Starbucks???

Now listen to me Starbucks, I may have just said "No Thanks" to the voice because I figured the voice was probably having one hell of a morning telling pre-caffeinated gorillas that they couldn't get their triple-caffeinated Starbucks. But to you Starbucks, I must say WHAT. THE. FUCK??? (deep breath) I mean, I understand, weird things happen. Starbucks runs out of coffee at 6 freaking AM! (deep breath) But tell me, Starbucks, why even bother? Just lock the doors and let the voice go home next time, ok? Then I'll move onto Dunkin Donuts a little quicker and at least mildly soothe my inner caffeine gorilla, ok?

Ok, my day didn't start out too great, but THEN, I had another good mail day! Lisa sent me all of this for my blanket and the whoring for yarn contest! Woo-hoo! Thanks Lisa! That is some serious blanket help sitting on that table!

Then, as if that wasn't good enough, I got my first sock yarn from Mama E's sock club. Look how purty:

So my blanket, which looked like this last week:

Now looks like this:

Can you find Chris and Lisa's squares? Yes, today it seems I'm hosting Sesame Street for knitters.


Yuh know how Tink always posts her little Hoop conversations for our delight. I may have to start to post conversations with Little A's dad for your incredulity (is that a word?, who the hell cares, its FRIDAY). He's just really been going above and beyond the realm of stupidity for the last couple of months, and I tell yuh, its wearing me down a wee bit.

These stories may have to come out bit by bit because, honestly, they are so exhausting and convoluted its impossible to express him in one random Friday bit. Though he's always had this "I'm such a tortured soul" self-pitying blanket that he wraps around himself, he's recently wrapped it around his work world as well. He has to work 50 hours a week, just to survive, he tells me. Wow. 50 hours. Whatever. A lot of people work a hell of a lot more than that and considering that he can work nearly 20 of those at home if he wants? Yeah, not so much pity. Suck it up, buddy.

He has Little A for approximately 2 waking hours at night 2 weekdays and Saturday. He also "gets her ready for school" though she tends to get dressed at my house, gets her own breakfast, so really all he has to do with her between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30 is to tell her to brush her teeth and hair. He claims this to be the hardest part of the parenting day. He throws a fit if he ever has to help her with her homework on the two nights she is over at his house.

Though conversations with him have their bizarre "are you kidding me" kind of humor, I'm really starting to worry about Little A. I think his behavior is really starting to make her feel unwanted at his house. He was not very attached to her when we split, but I thought it was really important for her to have a relationship with him, so I basically enforced a relationship. He's had his good times and bad times, but generally I thought it was good for her.

But now, I just don't know. I don't want her to feel unwanted everytime she crosses the threshold of that apartment. But, I still think it may be sort of mistake to cut him off, which I have little doubt that he would resist. I've attempted to talk to him about it a little, but once he's in his self-pity, there's really nothing that will get him out of it. EVERYthing is about his HARD life. Nothing and no one else even enters in, not even some concern for Little A.

I keep thinking when she's older, maybe I'll just move a bit, and he can become every-other weekend dad. But, I don't know. Is there an age that its ok to cut off dad? So far, much like working 9-5 instead of working these crazy 6-2 hours so that I can get her from school everyday, it seems too early, she seems too young.

It's something I think about every single day. Every time she calls me from his house, upset about something that he really needn't be an ass about if he could just grow up and be a parent. What think you, blogosphere? Is it better for kids to have consistent contact with lame-ass dad or better to let him fade out?


Blogger Mindy said...

I would ask Little A how she feels about it. I know with my boys (9 and 4), they do things because they think it is what I want not because they want to, so I always try to talk with them about their feelings towards things.

The other thing is that he may be her father but it doesn't sound like he is being a Dad. I don't think there is ever a reason to subject a kid to someone who doesn't want to spend time with them. If he doesn't really want her there, you can bet she knows.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Isobel said...

Yep, ask her how she feels. Two memories I have from childhood:
Resenting having to go see my dad at a time I wanted to be playing with my friends.
The feeling of rejection when he suggested that my visit one day a week be cut to once every 2 weeks.
It's a really hard one to balance, but looking back I don't see why it had to be so set in stone: Reducing the set times didn't have to mean that I couldn't go see him at other times. Realistically though I don't know how interested he would have been in that.
Families are complicated things - Little A seems listened to and loved by you, and that's what'll make her happy in the long run.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous knitnzu said...

Hey V, took me over a week to realize that I'd put your whoring for yarn page in my favorites and not your blog...I thought maybe you didn't have much to say (hah!).

I did my thesis after I forgot how to knit (needless to say, after nearly 20 years I relearned). So I painted my friend's house (where I was living) instead...sponged here and ragged there, made the clawfoot tub plum, had a ball. And while I painted I rehashed all the crap, the major prof, the absent father, any and all issues were fair game.

You kind of have the opposite thesis problem from mine (which summed in a few words is "baby trees on mosses"). I still get a bit frustrated when I think back of telling major prof that the thing should be couched in some bigger ecological theme, he says no, then 3 years later he tells me, this thesis should be couched in some bigger ecological theme.

Woman's issues...I learned this month two important things, #1 lie, #2 don't tell. Not that I actually learned these things, rather that society demands them. #1 was a job interview (1st in 10 years), one of 2 people interviewed. First question "how would you change how the adminsitrator interacts w/ the board". How the f would I know? And when asked questions that the answer was indeed "no" (I "embellished" w/ "a little"), well, I didn't sell myself enough. Good interview feedback skills from current boss (who was there). She said always say yes, even if it means that you approach a question from the side and ass backwards. She said that she hasn't met a man who doesn't do that (meaning they all do). To me, that'd be not answering a direct question and that sort of thing pisses me off, it feels inside like lying and when somebody answers me that way it feels the same. #2 was around the rabid bat...if your animal is vaccinated, well it is just a huge pain in the ass, so don't tell! But in the end I have to feel ok because my integrity is intact.

The father thing, mom divorced him when I was 2 (I'm 45 now). Knew him occasionally and at spotty times, mostly when mom called him because my younger brother needed him. I don't remember much from the early years, but mom says I'd be physically sick if I knew he was coming, and bro would wait and wait and he'd often not show. What I do remember is being a tall booby 16 year old sitting on my dad's lap and crying that my father wanted to see me, I mean, who was he, he wasn't my father, just some man who started my life, on and on and on. So when I was pregnant (son is now nearly 11), I tried to find him. A Couple years later I discovered he was dead! His widow (wife 5) called to tell. I tell my 14 year old friend who has dad issues that at least she knows who he is. Take the good memories and love him for what you can love him for and chuck the crap, it isn't her crap, it's his. The rejection thing...yeah, sucks. Not sure best advice for A. Be her rock. Reaffirm her pure goodness as a person regardless of how her dad behaves. Gotta run and get the kid!

2:49 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I love the Sesame Street for knitters concept. :)

UGH. I just sent you an email before reading this and after reading it... well, you just should dig around in those archives and you'll find a kindred spirit I suspect...

As a child of divorced parents, whose female parent at the time (I was 15) said "you keep them, I don't want them," it's hard. Because it took me about 28 more years to feel like I could tell that toxic female parent to take a leap - and then only because of joint session with my therapist...

7:33 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Whew, that's a tough one. Only you know how being around him affects Little A. If it gets to the point that you think it's detrimental, I'd definitely cut back on her time with him.
From someone who grew up with a father who made her feel like she was a bother, I can truly say I would have been better off without him. But every situation is different.
Good luck.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

Tough question. I honestly don't know what to say except for good luck.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

It's hard to say what would be right with Little A and her dad. I have heard one particular theory, which I think has a lot of merit, that if the "engaged" parent (in this case, you) continues to serve as a rock throughout all the issues with the other parent, the child can do OK. As Little A gets older, you and she can have some honest talks (without being condemning) about her father and some of his issues or difficulties. I think if it were phrased diplomatically and matter of factly, you could explain some of the behavior she might observe ("Little A, your dad loves you but when he's tired from work he's not very talkative." "He has a hard time expressing himself.") I think too that as she gets even older she will start to really notice things and come to her own conclusions.

Good luck and hugs.

9:24 PM  

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