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We decided that since we still need BM to switch weeks with us in March, we would do something nice for her, to stay on her good side. Things have been relatively drama free for about 2 weeks now, and it's been nice.
Last Saturday, at O's soccer game, we told her Eric was going out of town Monday. We told her to not feel obligated, but if she wanted to take him after soccer practice Monday, that would be fine. We told her I would pick him up Tuesday around 6pm.
So she takes him, and the next day I text her and tell her I will be there at 6. She says, "I thought Eric was picking him up." I said, "No I am. Does 6 work?" She says "When does Eric get back into town?" I told her he'd be back this morning. (Turns out he won't be back till tonight, but oh well.)
So she asks for 6:30 so he can eat dinner, I say sure. I go there, pick up goes fine. We do a little small talk while he finishes getting ready.
All in all, it went fairly fine. Especially if she agrees to let us have him on an occasional Friday afternoon, (While she is in nursing school until 7pm,) I would not be opposed to doing that again. However.
We are driving home and O says, "This is weird." I ask him what is weird. He says, "Going back and forth between you and my mom so much." I say, "I know dude. Kinda confusing. But since your dad was out of town yesterday, we thought it would be okay if you wanted to spend some time with your mom."
"I never said I wanted to. I wanted to stay home and spend time with you. Nobody ever asked me."
"Oh kiddo I'm sorry. I didn't realize we never asked you. Next time something like this comes up, we'll be sure to get your input before we agree to it, okay?"
"Okay but I'm just gonna say no."
So I quickly change the subject and ask him how school was.
"School was good. I got a green! My mom asked me why I always get greens with you and always get yellows and pinks with her."
"Oh, well we all know you're capable of greens every day right? Just gotta work real hard every week!'
Sometimes I don't know what to say! Pus, we get home, and NONE of his homework is done. I text BM and ask if he did his reading and she says "He may have. Not around me though. He says he did it at school but he may have just been saying that."
And then he asks me to go over his consequences for different colors when he has a not so great day at school. (He usually gets 1 hour a day to play video games.) We do Green= extra 30 min of video games. Yellow=loss of 30 minutes. Pink= loss of video games for the rest of the week. Purple= You dont even want to know.
Then he says, "Well how come my mom gives me TWO hours of screen time a day? And if I get a pink I only lose an hour of it. And if I get a purple, I'll lose an hour and 30 minutes? Can't you guys give me 2 hours a day so if I get a pink I might still have some time left to play video games?
I told him that we feel that at this house, one hour a day is sufficient, and that a pink in unacceptable.
No wonder we have issues with behavior every other week. We're still not being as consistent as we should be.
But other than all that, things have been pretty drama free! We have the wedding in 3 1/2 weeks and we all couldn't be more excited!
Jennifer - Married to DH 3.10.13 - Stepmom to 8yoDSS - TTC Cycle #3
I think O raised a valid point. It's important that his input be taken into consideration. Not in an over the top way to the point where he's running the show because he's still a child but if the every other week thing works maybe it should work even when Eric is out of town. It's a thought.
Glad it went better than expected. O does have a good point. We sometimes forget to ask the kids what they would rather do. This goes for any type of parental situation. Lord knows I've done that with my own kids many times.
As for the house rules, that's something that will almost never be consistent. One parent will always try to one up the other parent. That's just the ugliness of the beast. They key to that is to be sure to stick to your house rules regardless of what the other parent has done or does. Here we have always tried, or at least I have, to treat all kids equally no matter of primary residence. This is something that DSD is having a hard time adjust to still, and it's almost been a year since she's moved in full time. Our house rules are very different from her moms rules and she's just not used to them, plus she doesn't like them cause we're not so lax in our parenting methods. With time O will adjust to the different rules. Hopefully, it just won't become a battle of wills down the road.