How do you co-parent with someone who had always had the power to make you feel so little. And somehow still does.
I’ll always be on the receiving end of his condescending competitive nature. I’ll always be concerned of what he says about me behind closed doors.
I care. I work hard at being who I am. I want people to see me, the real me. And I know he will work to tarnish that image to boost his. And I know, I know. I know what I am supposed to do. Not care. It doesn’t matter. But that’s not me. I do care. I don’t know how to not.
We had an incident where our babysitter was concerned that my Ex didn’t send enough diapers on his day. Sounds right. He’s always been stingy. And cheap. So diaper hording seems right to me. She told him that two is not enough. And he needs to send more. When I asked her how the conversation with him went, she said it was not a good one. Apparently he did not agree and he was passive aggressive with her. Yep. That’s my Ex.
I went away with J and my boy this weekend to the Falls. It was a great trip. That’s for another post. But I get back and I drop the boy off and he stayed with my ex for Sunday and Monday night until I got out of work. Monday night I show up to his parents house and out run my boy yelling “Mommy!” and my Ex with his annoying shit eating grin. I know immediately he’s up to something. You don’t have a relationship with someone for 11 years and not know a shit eating grin when you see one. He shows me a photo of the boy sitting on the potty grinning. Now this isn’t the first potty experience with his Dad that he has thrown in my face. But since the last time I found he just isn’t ready. He was getting anxious at the thought of me putting him on the toilet so I backed off. And asked his dad to pay attention to that. (Which I know he didn’t care to listen to) So here I am. AGAIN. He is rushing the potty training. I am not trying to avoid it, I just know that with that comes new things. Like a million stops at the store, accidents, etc. And I want him to be ready. My Ex tells me the little guy has been using the potty the whole time.And he was currently in underpants. No diaper. Cool. I was going to run to the store. But not when he has just underpants on. Now I have to go home. My Ex will always find a way to inconvenience me whether he is trying or not. I go home and leave him with my parents while I get groceries. When I come back and ask him if he has to go potty he cries. So I guess not? I let him play. A few minutes later he comes out of his play room yelling “MOMMY I POOPED” and I’m like “Shit” (No pun intended) But nope. He didn’t poop that is pee going down his leg. Allover the floor. So I strip him down and give him a bath and he was sad he had an accident. I told him not to worry. After his bath I sat him on the potty. Nothing. How could there be anything he peed a freaking river earlier. So I put him to bed in a diaper and he slept happy.
The morning comes and like most weekdays I am racing to get us out the door. I decide to try seeing how he does in underpants at the babysitter. I sit him on the potty and he tried to pee. A little came out and he laughed at it. So I had to get breakfast going and I sit him down with cereal so I can get dressed. While I am upstairs putting my earrings in I hear my my mom yell down to me. Fuck. So I grab a change of clothes and a diaper and run down. There he is. Pee soaked. Pee on the chair, socks, pants, floor and he is upset.
Clearly he is not ready. And immediately I think, well shit. Am I bad mom? My ex was so confident, and told me he had no accidents for him all day. I can hear him in my head, saying I was lazy, or I did XYZ wrong to make him not use the potty. I sent him to the babysitter in a diaper and I tell her what happened. As I do. I say to her that I think he did this potty training boot camp because he’s pissed about the diaper thing. She agreed. She said she was thinking the same thing. And it seems like he set this up with her, as the day after the “Diaper gate” he had said to her that the little guy has been mentioning sitting on the potty. Seems coincidental and sounds like his normal games he plays.
And now I’m in this position where he is making me feel as though I’ve slacked in parenting. And he’s knocking this out of the park. Telling me “He doesn’t have any accidents with me” “Maybe you need to ask him more”. It’s all classic tactics I’m used to. And I don’t call him out. Because there is no point with him. There never was. He still denies cheating on me… despite knowing I saw the messages. I know I have falsely accused him of lying because to me, it’s his baseline. So in this situation I have to try to believe him I guess. Because anymore false accusations just perpetuate the perceived insanity on his side.
I have so many more years of this battle. Co-parenting with a one upper, competitive liar. That still has the power to shrink me down to nothing. He did this before with the toddler bed and ditching the crib. He wanted to be the first, so he did it. No heads up for me. Not consultation on how we should do it. And the effects of that rippled for weeks. I had to scurry to find a bed so that the little guy had consistency, something my ex said he didn’t consider (naturally I was not shocked at all. Since he seems to really only ever consider himself) But I didn’t make a capitol case of it. I’ve always been a really good door mat to be walked all over, and it’s always so easy for anyone on the outside to tell me to not let it happen. But that’s like telling a bird not to fly. It’s what I know. I let it happen because you know what, it’s easier for me. It’s easier to let him trample me than it would be for me to find the courage to stand up for myself and ignite an argument. So … I guess I’ve made my bed and now I lie in it?