One night I was having dinner…well okay, one night I was on a DATE. There I said it. So, while I was on this date, I checked my email. (I know, bad move , checking my email on a date) well I saw a message from my dearly beloved ex and present co-parent with regards to our 7-year-old’s show-and-tell which was due the next day.
Within the email, my co-parent lambasted me about the inadequacy of our first graders show and tell presentation and that he would either be having her redo her show and tell, (at 10pm in the evening o the day before her presenation) or I should have myself at the school bright and early the next morning to provide her with a new show and tell for the day. This all happened because I asked my beloved co-parent to print out a few items for her poster board for show and tell since his visitation is right in the middle of the week. I figured why rush to get her to do her homework before she goes there. I figured, let daddy help! He’s daddy!
So after I just about turned beet red and after mentioning this ridiculous email to my date (I know, I know, but we are NOT here for dating tips, we are here for parenting tips so keep focused and any of my dating advice friends, well you can email me on the flip side about my faux pas), my date said, “Well, it’s your fault”.
Stop the presses. My neck was about to roll, my fingers were about to snap and my steak knife was about to be aimed at his head. My fault? How was this lunacy my fault, I didn’t do anything! After a few minutes of evil looks, I calmed down and by grace of The Force, something clicked and I realized, HE WAS RIGHT. IT WAS MY FAULT.
The conversation my date and I had next were about facts and people. If you know for a fact that someone is difficult, if you know for a fact that your co-parent is difficult, you leave no room for error, EVER. When it comes to your child, you have to always cover your kids ass, always, because they can’t always protect themselves or navigate through a difficult parent. This is not to say that you meddle, interfere or undercut your co-parent, this is to say that for as much as you can, without interfering, make sure your kid has what they need wherever they are.
My co-parent is difficult with a side order of slightly insane and a big heap of malicious, he always has been. But knowing this I still made the mistake of leaving her homework incomplete thinking that I could rely on Dr. UnreliablyDifficult, MD. It was as if I was setting myself up to be angry and aggravated. And while I do leave room for him to do his dad thing so that I am not overreaching, on this occasion, I still left the kid hanging. Lesson learned and it never happened again.
So, after a coolly crafted email and a phone call with my daughter (yes still on the date here), the crisis was averted. The show and tell stayed as is and I never again left her homework or assignments for her to do at daddy’s house. And I had a second, third and several other dates with the dude by the way.
So mom’s, don’t set yourself up for disappointment or frustration. Cover your kids a$$!