sixes and sevens

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Parenting with Terrance is like parenting with Idi Amin. His decisions are final, and not predicated on any logical rationale.

Today, Emily came home with news of plans for a movie afternoon on Saturday with her friends.

"Oh, Ok", I said in the car. "I don't think we have any plans for Saturday."

She discussed it some more over lunch at our favourite deli. Of course she was also rattling off the social complexities and dramas of the 32 member 7th and 8th grade classes at her school.

Today I am worn out, tired and achy. I can barely keep up with the circulation of my own blood, let alone manage names and who likes who and who likes who but doesn't want him to know scenarios. Once we finish lunch ( and start scouting snow boots for her and drive out to pick up the Hay for the rabbits because we live the glamorous life Sheila E. only dreamed about) we made our way home.

I could hear Emily burst forth with her plans, projecting them at my co-parent like a teen Gatling gun.

"DAWN!", he bellows.


"We need to talk about this Dawn!", he glares.  "Yes, I know we do...", I concur.

He hustles me into the bedroom.

"what is all of this? Did you tell her she could go? You need to discuss these things with me first."

I turn and look at him.

"I did not say Yes. What I said was that I didn't think we had anything planned for Saturday, which is not a Yes."

"well SHE said you said Yes!"

"Terrance, I didn't say Yes. Perhaps she understood my answer to mean Yes, but it wasn't a Yes. It was merely a statement of fact."

He stews next to me.

"well, I need to know how each child is getting to and from the Mall, because I am not comfortable with them taking the bus."

I lift my eyes up and look at him again.

"You Do understand that these children don't belong to YOU, right? As in you are not responsible for them. That they have parents who get to say if they take the bus, and if their parents are fine with it then you have no right to say it isn't."

He actively glowers at me: "Well! If I don't like the way they are getting to and from the mall, then Emily can't go. I can't be responsible for something happening to those kids if they are on the bus."

"You aren't responsible Terrance. That's the point. They have PARENTS who get to decide that - and those parents aren't YOU"

"Dawn! Are you saying that if something happened to one of those girls on the bus on the way home that you wouldn't feel responsible! That's the problem with the world, right there - No one feels responsible for anything."

"Terrance, that is ridiculous. Of course I wouldn't feel responsible. Why is it your job to check the travel arrangements of every child against your personal internal check list to see if they meet your approval over and above whatever their parents want and are all right with having them do? That is insanity. You bitch and moan that our kid isn't independent enough with friends she goes out with and now you are making it impossible for her to do Anything because of your anal retentive need to control every facet of every kid's travel?  Are you planning to call every parent and request their agenda? Do they get this heart-warming lecture too?

And did you really just say that Emily will have to be excluded  from an outing if YOU aren't comfortable with the parenting decisions regarding bus travel made by other people, because that is really shitty."

We both simmer. At an impasse.

I put my earphones back in, and turn away.  I believe he may sit a moment and call me names like irresponsible and uncaring, but I can't hear him.

I drift away to Patty Griffin in my ears.

"As I row row, row, going so slow, slow, slow, just down below me, is the old sea. Nobody knows, knows, knows, so many things, things so, so out of range, sometimes so strange, sometimes so sweet, sometimes so lonely. The further I go, more letters from home never arrive. And I'm alone, all of the way,all of the way, Alone and Alive."

7 Baleful Regards:

A* said...

Sometimes I think that those parenting issues are why I've chosen to not have children. I think I'd be the severe one and my husband more laid back.

I truth, babies make me smile, but puppies and kittens make my heart melt.

Mitzi Green said...

I may be The Other Dawn married to The White Terrance.

Dawn said...

Oh Mitzi. My sympathies.

Lisa said...

He does realize that the other girls will still go to the movie even if Emily doesn't? And they will still take the bus to get there?

Dawn said...

Lisa - I am not sure he cared. In his mind, he wouldn't be "responsible" - which is insanity.

jwg said...

But did he finally relent and let her go? And what are you going to do if this keeps happening as she gets older? Is he planning on vetting the plans for her honeymoon?

Dawn said...

jwg - He did relent, but she didn't end up going. The other girls wanted to see Paranormal activity - which Emily does Not find interesting at all.

But Yes, I fully anticipate him continuing to do this as she gets older. Whether or not we are living together is a different story, so I may not be privvy to his tantrums.

And Yes, I fully expect him to pull this on her honeymoon. I feel phantom future pity for the person to fall romantically in love with my daughter. Her father is a real fucking treat to deal with at times.

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