Last night The Ex called MonoBoy to ask him to stay at his house tonight to “babysit” his stepbrothers (two boys – a high school freshman and a 7th grader). He and his wife are going to the Rodeo in the Big City and need someone to watch her kids because they will get home late (*cough* *drunk* *cough*).
But hold up just a minute.
Let’s rewind a few years to the beginning of this relationship when my kids were both in middle school (one in 7th grade and one in 8th grade). Because The Ex was in the phase of his relationship where he tries to prove that he is an awesome dad, he insisted on having his scheduled time, despite pleas from MonoBoy to stay home because of his mono. The had just moved into a two-story house in a new neighborhood. His furniture consisted of lawn chairs and blow-up mattresses. (Why furnish something that you will be evicted from before the six-month mark?) The house was nice, but didn’t yet hold the comforts of home.
One night during visitation, the happy new couple decided to attend a local fundraising event. An annual event that we used to attend during our marriage. An event that served free alcohol and often resulted in me being drug to a variety of bars after the event ended. Fun for him, not so much for me.
Around 10:00pm, the boys called me from the front lawn, refusing to go back into the house. Their walkie-talkies had picked up interference, and in their minds, it was straight out of a horror movie. I went to the house, walked up the stairs, retrieved the walkie-talkies and turned them off. I looked in the closets to assure them that no one was hiding and waiting to get them.
It wasn’t enough. They begged to come home. I contacted my attorney, but he said that unless they were in immediate danger, I could not remove them from the home without risk of contempt charges. I encouraged them to call their father to ask him to come home. I asked them to let me call him, but they refused because they didn’t want him to know that they called me. He would be furious.
So I settled with parking my car one street over and letting them call me whenever they were scared. Which was about every five minutes. Finally, a little after 1:00am, I decided that enough was enough, and I was going to take my chances with the police and contempt charges, and bring my children home to get some sleep. As I pulled around the corner, the happy, tipsy couple was arriving at the house. Without a care in the world, since they apparently thought it was appropriate to leave my boys alone in an unfamiliar setting while they drank the night away “for charity.”
What’s changed now? It was okay to leave kids unsupervised and scared then, but not okay now? I guess they learned their lesson? At the expense of my children? Heaven forbid that HER children suffer in the safety of their own home that they are familiar and comfortable in! And did anyone ask my opinion about leaving my teenager in charge of other kids over night? I mean, he’s been in trouble for breaking the rules how many times over the past two months? But, hey, let’s put him in charge of a kid that’s just a year younger and goes to the same high school.
Of course, part of me wonders if this is just another excuse to get MonoBoy to spend the night at his house. MonoBoy did tell LoverBoy that dear-old-dad said that he could come too, if he wanted. That’s so sweet and personal it gave me chills. I was just so surprised when he passed on the “offer.” Besides it being an afterthought, tonight he will be in the starting lineup of his Varsity soccer game. His first official Varsity start. Guess Daddy-o won’t see it.
And neither will his brother, since he will be babysitting.