Oh dear, a very bad evening

Kind folk tell me it will get better. I am sure that over time, it will.

Thanks to my wife leaving and moving out to her own apartment, someone has to get up with the kids in the morning. I thought about it for a while and realized that this means me. Not a big deal you think? Then maybe you are in Europe or Australia or somewhere sensible. In the USA, it is very different. Brigitte has to be outside for the school bus at 6:40am and Charlotte gets picked up at 7:05am. If you get a calculator and do the math, this means I have to get up … very fucking early. And I haven’t even got to the “bad evening” discussion yet. In fact, why am I waffling on about the morning? *sigh*

The segue here is that getting up early means getting to work early and, therefore, in a perfect world, getting home early.

So … getting to the point at last … I was able to come home a little earlier. This turned out to be a Very Good Thing because I was not far from home when my phone rang and Charlotte and my oldest, AmΓ©lie, started a stereophonic argument over the phone about who wasn’t washing (something), who wasn’t letting who out of some room, and so on. I followed for a while until the girls went higher and higher and, eventually, ultrasonic. I still struggle with why my girls don’t realize that my phone doesn’t have a Cone of Silence wrapped around it and if they bicker like that when I’m in the office, people three offices away are going to wonder who’s killing my children.

Arriving at home, I intended to be Solomon, hear the arguments for and against, and make a just and clever ruling that left both of them a little miffed and both of them a little relieved they didn’t get into too much trouble.

Ha. So much for that.

AmΓ©lie had completely lost her temper. Charlotte’s version of what had happened was a little lopsided (surprise!). The problem isn’t new; all kids squabble sometimes. The real problem is that tensions are high because mommy is gone. Instead of simply sorting out the problem themselves or letting a snarky comment slide, battle lines are drawn with little provocation.

Half the evening had raised voices, me included sometimes. And I hate that. I hate it. But there are lines that can’t be crossed without consequence, comments that cannot be easily ignored when I too am not as level-headed as normal. I was very glad when I could put my young ones to bed. It seemed as if nothing would go right tonight.

And then it all changed when they settled down for the night. Instead of Amazon warriors, they became my little girls again.

I love that before-sleep time with them. I hear about the problems they forgot to tell me about. Sometimes the tears flow, but we forge a stronger bond. Even after a difficult evening, they’re still my little buttons. (Except for my oldest, the college student, who is now officially a vampire after sleeping days instead of nights for weeks now.)

About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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11 Responses to Oh dear, a very bad evening

  1. No name says:

    Oh dear, poor you! Kids are hard work, you cannot be expected to do everything by yourself, and get yourself back on your feet at the same time. How are you and your wife planning on sharing the burden? Hope today goes better…

    • Hi E,

      So far, the sharing has worked out like this: I look after the kids, then share my complaints with her.

      In all seriousness, my wife (still not ready for STBX) has enough space in her 1-bedroom apartment to have the younger girls sleep over sometimes. The location is also in the same school district, so the school bus already has a stop at the complex and the kids can go directly to their schools from there. So some of the girls can be there some of the time and that’s fine by me.

  2. Surrey gal says:

    That’s painfully early this school in the US! Why is it so early?
    It looks like your girls will probably fight for a while, until they learn how to deal with their emotions in some other way… so brace yourself and perhaps just ignore it all a little bit? If it’s possible, that is.
    My girls argue non stop. I stopped interfering because it was driving me mad. Now I just ignore. Protects my sanity.

    • mysterycoach says:

      You’re a smart man knowing that they’re doing this because their mom left. It’s not easy to have girls either who are at such high volumes. (right through you SKULL that stuff goes. I have one and one’s good. I think if I had more they’d be tied up some where in the closet, in another house, in another state. πŸ™‚

      I laughed at the part where you were saying the people in your office could hear you from “over there”. LOL πŸ™‚ I know that’s not supposed to be funny? But, I just couldn’t stop from seeing the humor in a bad situation.

      Ya know whut? Now that you’re getting up earlier you could squeeze in your workout ! πŸ™‚ ? LOL … (insert cheezy smile)

      • Over the years, I have generally got used to the noise of kids. Before I had any, I would get annoyed at resaurants or on planes when kids were acting like, well, kids. These days, when parents get embarrassed by their youngster screaming the place down / setting it alight / eating the cutlery, I tell them it’s fine, I’ve been there myself. All these experiences, including this one of coping by myself, change me bit-by-bit, and in a good way.

        I’ll let you enjoy the office humor…but just a little. πŸ™‚ It doesn’t exactly send a ‘look-how-calm-and-managerial-I-am’ message when I am holding a phone away from my ear while teen girls yell at each other. I much prefer this one when it’s *not* me.

        Workout? You already have those pictures on me on your blog — can’t you see I don’t need a workout? πŸ™‚

        • mysterycoach says:

          ROFL You’re funny πŸ™‚ I forgot I posted pics of you last night! I’m sorry. I bet you’d feel better though. Sadly in my blogging frenzy this morning and going to bed late, I didnt myself.

          I know what you mean about in office stuff when it comes to kids. My daughter left school grounds one day while specifically told NOT TO a few years back and I had to go in another office and there I freaked out. Course, I think you probably heard ME the most in that conversation. Yah, I prefer it not be me either … LOL They sure test you, my god, they test.

          The sound for me is, when it’s whining … the high pitched screams and stuff. I mean I know it comes with having children but it’s just painful to hear. I understand it, much like you, my mind however moves to New Zealand when I hear it. LOL πŸ™‚

    • mysterycoach says:

      I’m sorry… YES it will get better… πŸ™‚ Don’t ask me how long though but it will.

    • Re: early school starts. I think the US school system is more geared towards parents. Parents can put their kids on the school bus and go to work. The minimal mid-year time off means a long summer break (10 weeks) and some kids are sent off to 2-week to 6-week camps. (Mine do Band “camp”, but that’s not a sleeping-away arrangement, it’s 5 mornings a week). For me, someone who is ideally up after 7am, or 8am, it’s hurts!!

      Sorry to hear your girls argue. Most of the time, over the years, mine have argued only rarely (lucky me, this seems rare). I have always instilled a “you’re a team” approach to them, but they are all different and sometimes niggle one or the other. By and large, my sweet #2 — Brigitte — doesn’t get involved. By and large, my brilliant but fragile #1 — AmΓ©lie — is always involved. Poor thing, can’t help herself. I do like the “ignore them” idea, but things tend to get broken (including each other) when they get older. Yours are young enough to do less damage…for now πŸ™‚

  3. cateohara says:

    It gets better. It gets easier. Some days, it gets worse though. Actually, “it” doesn’t really get better, at all. “You’ll” get better.

    Being single parent for me has meant listening better, being more willing to let the clothes sit unfolded in the laundry basket, being more flexible, and letting them win a little more often (dinner out on Mondays) and holding my ground a little more (only one sport/activity per season). And having a good working understanding of entropy.

    Rough as it can be not having another adult there to intervene and just do the little things (in my case, the dogs wanting to go out at sunrise), I have found that on the whole, I am happier and the kids are calmer though, without the household tension. Calm amongst the chaos πŸ™‚

    The fact that you still love the pre-bedtime-talk and snuggle though assures me you’re doing a spectacular job of wading through all this,

  4. Grey Goose, Dirty says:

    It will get easier. Or easier to deal with as you age and begin to lose your hearing. πŸ˜‰

    Hopefully today was better!

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