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My DS just turned 4 so he will be going to preschool in the fall. Since I am not either one of his parents, I cannot be the one to enroll him or I would have already done so by now. I keep telling my BF to get on it because this isn't something you can dawdle around with, but he seems to not have the motivation to do so, which is frustrating. I know that it would look so good on his part to be the one to start the process of getting Meyson an education, but I'm afraid that he's going to wait too long and then it will be in his ex's hands. I told him that I am willing to fill out all the paperwork that he has and things like that but it will need his signature on things, not mine. I also want to get Meyson to his well check appointment and get him into the dentist for his first appointment (they've never even had him for his first check up yet), but there's a lot that I can't do because I'm not legally his guardian. It's just a really frustrating situation because I want to do so much for Meyson and I'm not able to because of the legallity of it all. Which kind of brings me to a question for the stepmoms....
What would I need to do as far as schooling and doctor's appointments to be able do a little more? It's been awhile, but I know when my cousins were living with my grandma for awhile, my aunt wrote some kind of statement or had something written up giving permission for my grandma to take them/pick them up from school, make doctor's appointments, things like that, so I was wondering what would be the best thing for me to do so I could do more things for Meyson, because I'm with him more. Or do I have to just leave all this up to my boyfriend? I'm still fairly new to this step-parenting so I'm not really sure what my boundaries are as far as him appointments and things so I've just been letting my BF handle it all? This would be fine, but he's dragging his feet about these things....
He can put you on the approved for pickup list at school so that you can pick him up if he gets sick or if you're going to be picking him up every day. As far as the doctor's go, I don't know. I've taken my stepdaughters and stepson to the doctor's several times but they're older-12, 13,17. I don't think they'd give you any trouble EXCEPT when it comes to authorising shots or procedures--bloodwork, dental cleanings, fillings etc. Then i think you would need some sort of authorization. You might call the doctor/dentist andd ask ahead of time just so that you don't have to make a second trip.
Hope that helps!
Unless bio-mom & bio-dad have given you written permission, this is something you need to take a step back & allow THEM to handle. Although I applaud that you are concerned & care, it's something that will ultimately make bio-mom feel as though you are overstepping boundaries by making suggestions. If you've already talked to your DH/SO about these issues, and he's dragging his feet (I'm familiar w/ this when it comes to my DSS, so I know how it feels), but that's the way it is. I am always reminding my DH "DSS needs his Rx, get the Rx from the doc!" and he'll wait, and wait...then it's crunch time & his ex is upset b/c the Rx's haven't been filled. I understand HER position in being frustrated, but it's something she has to deal w/ not you.
As I said, it's great that you care, and a simple reminder is nice, but it can also come across as nagging, even though you mean well. And...if the child can't go to pre-school b/c of his unmotivated ways, then he will learn a valuable lesson for the next time around. I know it's hard to sit back & watch something unfold that could ultimately be avoided, but it's something you're going to have to do UNLESS they (both bio-parents) give you legal rights to the child. Sucks, but it's how things work.
Give yourself a BIG pat on the back for being concerned. Shows good character. Hang in there & hopefully he or she will get on the ball w/ everything.
Well-checks....they are good for 18 mos., and speaking from personal experience, I know that to get a well-check for my DS for school, we're talking a 3-4 mos. waiting list. Not sure what it's like there, but I am guessing it's the same length & difficulty. Heck, if the child can't start school b/c of a well-check, the enrolling the child makes no difference either, both come hand in hand.
If you have filled out the forms for your DH, that is the best that you can do. Although you care for your SS, you have to realize that it's HIS child. My newest mantra for issues about my SO's children is "it's not my problem." That's not that I don't care or want the best for his children (I do!) but rather I can't force him to do anything, and I can't force BM to do anything. I can provide information and that is that. Ultimately, the big parents choices are up to them -- the parents and whether or not I like it, it's really not my place to try to force my will. I may not agree with their parenting choices, or the way they handle custody/visitation but it's not my kid.
I see my role in the children's lives as a caretaker/friend. His kids have two parents (like your SS does) and whether or not they're doing everything they can for the children is really their issue. I just try to provide as much support, love and understanding as I can within my role in their lives, which is confined to very specific things.f
I think it's awesome that you are trying to do the right thing, but it can also be a really stressful position to be in (I know from experience). No matter your reasons for doing it (the best interest of the child) there are two parents here who need to take some responsibility for their own child. I would maybe not push DH so much and let him come to it on his own. Sometimes it takes time for guys to fully understand everything they need to do, you know.
As far as overstepping my boundaries with bio-mom, that's not an issue. She actually assumes that I will watch him so I know that she really doesn't care, as long as she doesn't have to be the one to do it, so I'm not worried about that at all.
I guess my biggest issue is that both of his parents expect me to be there when they need me to watch Meyson, but I don't get any say in things. That's the most frustrating thing for me. They want me to act like his mom when it's convenient for them, but they don't want me to act like his mom when it comes to decisions, so I'm about to tell them both that it's either all or nothing. Either you want me to be that role or you don't. It's really not fair for them to expect me to mother him in some ways, but not completely step back in other ways, IMO. Somebody has to step up and be the adult, right?
I know that I can't do a lot as far as these things, what I ultimately am going for is just being able to do things like be able to take him to appointments and drop off/pick him up from school when he goes with out being hassled about it. Which I think will be fine if I take the previous advice and get on the approved list with the school and what not.
In my area, school districts, the schools DO ask, they ask for your information, contact & photo ID. Because there have been so many issues in schools w/ parents who are feuding, they are CONSTANTLY making sure the ER contacts are up to date & that the appropriate parents are working well to co-parent & make the choices necessary. I'd be FURIOUS if anyone other than me made a medical, educational, religious choice w/ out consulting w/ me first. The whole "don't tell they don't ask" could really get you into hot water. JMHO. That's like lying by omission, and I would NOT advise anyone to do that. Perhaps if bio-mom doesn't have an issue w/ you doing things & your DH doesn't either, you should all sit down (minus the kids) & discuss where your positions are in these areas. What you are expected of one another & if both bio-parents aren't there to do something & you can fill in, are they okay w/ this. If they do agree that you can do things, get it in writing, have it notarized & signed. The schools DO ask for proof of this. I know this from personal BTDT on both my ends. I am both a bio & step-mom. I've seen things unfold in the schools, not pretty.
The one thing I did on my DH's behalf, was go to the schools' web-page & asked to be added to their distribution list for info on his son's school (vacations, events, etc.) he gets the emails & doesn't bother to read but I'll read & say "how is _____ doing on MCAS this week?" b/c it's in the email we share. This way he can be in the know w/ his son & I can help w/ out getting my feet dirty if you KWIM.
At best, you can print out the paperwork, or have it mailed to you & then leave it on the table or in an area that will have DH see it. You could fill out what you know & then leave a stick-on-note about how the form(s) are almost filled out, just need some signatures & a well-check. That would be the most you could legally do. If a school finds out that someone that is not a custodial parent/caregiver does this, and doesn't have legal documents to back that up if they asked for proof, that could backfire in you would be flagged. I had this happen in my own life w/ both my ex & my DH's ex, it's not pretty. I felt like I was doing a helpful thing, it turned out to be something I needed to allow OTHERS who had legal rights to do. Same w/ my ex and my DS' step-mom, she meant well, and it all backfired & created a major mess. Now we all understand what we need to do or how we're suppose to react or not react.
I'm not trying to do anything illegal or dishonest. The only reason I was going to fill out any paperwork is because I'm the one that keeps track of all paperwork. I have a binder will the entire family's birth certificates, social security cards, shot records, etc... His ex gave all this willingly so that she wouldn't have to be the one to handle appointments of any kind. If anyone is dishonest in the situation, it would be her because she admitted to us that she tried to commit welfare fraud by getting food stamps and what not for my stepson. Here, since it is co-parenting, neither party may receive food stamps for him, only a medical card. We have both of our kids on the medical card and that's it because with my BF's multiple layoffs during the year, our income allows us that much. Since he is on our family's case, she was automatically denied because we have already given them copies of the custody agreement and divorce papers. Not trying to play a blame game, but just trying to make the point of who is the dishonest party.
I haven't filled out anything, handled any kind of appointments at this point, all I was wondering is how these things are handled. I'm not trying to make any major changes in his medical, educational or otherwise, all I really want to do is be able to help with transportation to and from things, like school and I was also concerned that if my some chance there were to be a medical emergency while he was in my care, I would be able to take care of him and get him to a doctor, hospital or something along those lines. Even if it's frustrating, I know that I really can't do more than that. I consider Meyson, my kid, just like I do my biological daughter because I've basically raised him since my BF and I got together so that's where the frustrating part really comes in. Even though I think of him as my own, I can't really treat him as such when it comes to certain things.
I don't doubt your intentions & I've seen how the bio-mom's "can" be. I just don't want something to come up in the future that makes it harder for you. KWIM? I too have all the papers, and I keep track of when an Rx is to be filled, all that stuff. But again, it's a fine line. The only reason why I do get involved w/ the medical piece of it is b/c I am on the policy & she is not, forcing me to re-fill the Rx's b/c that's something my DH is suppose to do but has delegated me in doing. I always make sure that I ask DH "so you are giving me permission to do this for _____". That way, if my DSS bio-mom has an issue or is angry, she can take that up w/ my DH & I can say "he gave me permission since I was around & you & him were not".
Just be careful. These can be a difficult situation.
As far as bio-mom having welfare/food-stamp fraud. I wouldn't even go there, that's her issue & something that she would have to answer too. No one knows all the details b/c we're not them. And in certain states, welfare & food stamps only pay for barely putting clothes on a kids back, let alone a place to live etc. Not that it's the right thing to do, but when you have a child, the child cannot go w/ out (food, diapers if it's a baby), you do what you need to do to get what the child has to have. Sometimes if it means stretching the truth to do it, that's something I've heard people do b/c the amount of $/assistance that is given from what I've personally experiences, is a joke and there is no way a mom can support herself, let alone herself "and" a child w/ the money that they get from the state. Either way, let that issue be dealt w/ by her & her case manager. JMHO.
I get what you mean and I do ask my BF before I do anything with my stepson, even the little things. I actually do this with both kids because I think that we have a partnership and even though I'm the primary caregiver, I still value his opinion and I don't want to be the one "running the show". I wouldn't even think about taking care of certain things, if she hadn't given us all the paperwork and basically said "here you take care of it".
My only problem with her getting assistance for him is the fact that we take care of everything for him and he's barely with her so I don't think that she has any reason to get assistance. We even send essentials with him when he needs something, like his allergy medicine. Also, I happen to know both her and her husband's income and it is quite enough to take care of them and their kids. I do agree that if you need something for your kids then by all means do what you have to do to get them what they need, but I don't believe that's her situation. It's not any of my business what she does and I really don't even care if she wants to receive assistance or not, she's the one that admitted about the fraud.
I do have a happy update to the situation so it's getting less frustrating. I ended up having a very long but calm conversation with my BF about how important some of these things are for Meyson and he's really started taking an initiative. I just started a full time job so I haven't been home during the day to do a lot of the scheduling of appointments for either of the kids. He's working midnights so even though he sleeps until around noon when he gets home, he's still the one there during the day (they go to my mom's house while he gets some sleep). So one day during the later part of last week, after I've gotten the kids to bed, I sit down at the computer desk and there are tons of post-its all over the desk from where he has been making all kinds of appointments. He even went to the appropriate office and started the process to get Meyson in preschool. I was so proud of him and I guess some of what I've been saying is actually sinking in.