So I Visited The Real World For A Few Days  

Fallic40 53M
3214 posts
2/8/2006 7:36 pm
So I Visited The Real World For A Few Days

I have been gone for the better part of five days. I haven’t even had a chance to peruse who has done what to whom in this Utopia we call Blogland. I know, I can hear some of you now “you bastard, you up and left us….we were lost without you,” or that is what I hope you were saying. (That is what I always heard at work when I left for several days.)

So where was I? Well, I got one of those opportunities that is very rarely afforded me to spend several days with just my youngest daughter. Now I love both of my daughters unashamedly, and with no prejudice as to favorites ‒ but time with just one of them is doubly precious as I get to be 100% attentive to just one daughter.

I read about so many hated, despised, loathed (feel free to add any negative adverb of your own into the mix) ex-husbands and dead beat fathers in blogs and I find myself torn between sympathy and scorn in most cases. I feel very strongly on father’s rights and follow events in the UK where there is basically a domestic terrorist group made up of fathers, trying to secure their rights. I can understand their stance: it mirrors my own stance in many ways.

However, my sister has an ex-husband who does not pay child support or spend any time with his son so I can empathise with the reverse situation too.

I have paid my ex-wife child support for 8 years. This is a sum that is about 40% of my take home wages. I see nothing wrong with the amount IF the government would allow me to claim my own children as a tax deduction. They are my daughters ‒ after all.

I get the privilege of seeing my daughters every other weekend as deemed by the state. This is not an acceptable arrangement. Fortunately for me (not so fortunate for my daughters) my ex-wife would prefer them to spend extra time with me as long as she gets her money every month. However, I have to mind my Ps and Qs around my ex as she will cut off visitation at the merest hint of my not doing what she expects. Once a bully, always a bully and now she has something far more painful than a 2 x 4 to swing at my head.

Anyway, I got to bake shells stuffed with spinach, sausage, ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella and topped with a homemade tomato sauce for dinner on Friday night. We cooked a pork loin on Saturday night with mashed potatoes and broccoli.

We went out to pick up some new fishing tackle for the impending salmon run on Saturday which of course mandated a McDonalds run and a follow up Baskin-Robbins run. The same held true when we went and watched her sister play soccer for her women’s team on Sunday morning. (My oldest daughter picked up a suspension for this coming weekend which does not suck ‒ I could use a Sunday with no games)

But the most important event of the weekend was teaching my youngest to play cribbage. By Sunday afternoon, she was kicking my arse every game. She just turns over the right card every time she needs it. Who knows, she might be ready to go to the pub soon and make her daddy a little money.

And so I took her back to her mum’s on Sunday afternoon. She had cleaned out the refrigerator ‒ it was devoid of anything edible (and even a few inedible things were missing ‒ Stilton?). I had done two loads of her laundry as she is smart enough at 12 to know that if she brings it to my house I will do it; whereas she has to do her own laundry at her mum’s house. She got to sleep in until 11am on Sunday (she is growing and she needs her rest). She got to see Notting Hill on Saturday night: big thumbs up from her! We got the tricky issues of area of a circle and area of a sphere completely under control for her math class on Monday. And, finally, we bought some awesome new music: All American Rejects (what I call “pretty teeth” punk rock) for her and Matisyahu (Yiddish reggae ‒ no fuckin’ kidding) for me.

And so we brought the weekend to a close: now everything is empty here as it is technically two more weeks until I get to see my daughters again. This is the way it always is. Food lasts four times as long, pop goes flat before it is gone, a yogurt can sit in the refrigerator and not get eaten, and meals are eaten in front of the TV or at a kitchen counter. That is the flip side of the single dad life. It is compacting two weeks worth of interaction into two days. It sucks.

saddletrampsk 54F

2/8/2006 7:51 pm

I am so fortunate to have my girls 24/7..I can't imagine life without them..they are so lucky to have a dad who not only loves them but takes the time to teach them skills and get to know them..

digdug41 49M

2/8/2006 7:53 pm

hey fallic it may suck but you use the time really well and your daughter will always cherish the time that you spend with her/them thats how a real man does his thing, keep doin it. I only hope to be half the dad you are and I live with mine. cya

roaming the cyber streets of blogland

impish_pixie 54F
6867 posts
2/8/2006 8:44 pm

It does suck. You're a great father and it sucks that some man who sits in a big chair wearing a black robe gets to tell you when you can see your kids. Sad too...sad that you're a father who actually wants to be with his kids and can't - when there are so many out there who can be with their kids and won't.

Missed you very much. Glad you're feeling better and had such a wonderful time with your baby girl.

I make mistakes, I am out of control & at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. ~Marilyn

rm_jayR63 59F
1884 posts
2/8/2006 8:50 pm

I'm happy to see you spend time with your daughters. If more fathers, mine included, were like you the world would be a better place for reasons I won't delve into here.

Because I'm horrified at your diet!!!

Sausage with
Three kinds of cheese

More meat
Mashed potatoes
and for dessert

You liked wearing that heart monitor, didn't you?

Congratulations on that spinach and broccoli though.
Carrots and sweet potatoes are good. And such pretty colors too!
That's all I have for now.
Your Friend,

carebearluv2 42F

2/8/2006 8:52 pm

Fallic, glad to see you back! You were missed my friend but what you were doing was far more important. I am one of those that has a deadbeat for my son's father. No child support and a complete lack of interest. My son who is 10 is coming to terms with it. We talk about any issues he wants to and I leave the rest up to him to sort through.

It's nice to see a Dad that wants to be involved in his child's lives and I just wanted to tell you that I admire you for it. I am a child of divorce and know the rigors. However, your daughters are building lasting memories with you, even if it is every other weekend. I remember all the times with my Dad as if I saw him every day.

rm_titsandtires 51M/41F
3656 posts
2/8/2006 10:15 pm

I remember those week long weekends. Now that my boys are older, the only time they want anything to do with me is if they need their car worked on.


womanoirish 54F

2/9/2006 8:21 am

Isn't it wonderful to spend time with your children?

There are father's rights groups here in U.S., too, and I think they need them.

p.s. Can I come to your house for dinner?!? lol

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/9/2006 10:26 am

trav, I feel for you buddy. I wish that I could tell you that it gets better over time: but, for me, it doesn't. I miss my girls now as much as I did when my wife and I first separated. I suppose if I didn't miss them this much, it wouldn't make me a real father.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/9/2006 10:31 am

tennismaiden, your sons probably struggled in math for the same reason I struggled as a soccer player until I was 16. It's incredibly tough to live up to the old man's name. My dad was a pro soccer player - and everyone expected me to be too.

My daughters fight off the "stigma" of having a mathematician dad all the time. I have to be very careful when teaching since I can often over teach and blow their teacher out of the water. It is also fun, though, to call out a math teacher.

Matisyahu is really something. I have the "Live at Stubb's" cd and it really rocks - kind of a dancehall reggae groove.

_Safira 53F
11260 posts
2/9/2006 5:24 pm

Tennismaiden ~ Tim has been a fan of Matt for well over one year. He's going to freak when I tell him this story!

Fallic ~ I luhrrrve you. Your daughters think the sun, the moon, and the stars revolve around you (as well they should) ... and they know everything you do for them. xoxox (Thanks for amusing me.) *gentle hugs*

This is my blog - Comes With Warning Labels. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

RECOMMENDED READING: A F F ... The Only Site For Me?

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 9:47 am

lips, I cannot understand how anyone could walk away from their children. For me, it was love at first sight - both times.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 9:49 am

saddletramp, one of the most important statements that I can make about my girls is that not only do I love them, but I like them as well. They are not just daughters but friends.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 9:55 am

carebear, are you feeling any better? It really sucks to have a deadbeat husband. My sister has one. To make it worse for her, he cannot make up his mind if he wants to be a true dead beat dad and stay completely out of his son's life or be a real dad: this, to me, would be the worst scenario of all.

I have just sent down money and equipment so my 13 year old nephew can play soccer this spring. He comes to visit every summer so he gets to be around a good role model (myself). My dad lives only 20 or so miles away and has done a fantastic job of filling in as a father for him too.

Best of all, my sister is now with a Marine Corps gunny who dotes on him and has completely rebuilt the boy's self esteem. Everyone is now hoping and praying that nothing happens to the Gunny as he goes back to Iraq for a year.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 9:59 am

digdug, you will do just fine. It's not as hard as it appears at first. For me, the girls got more interesting as they get older and their minds have expanded. Just learn how to lose gracefully at Candyland and Crazy Eights and you have playmates for life.

And as for being a real man, my father taught me that you do not run away from responsibilty and this is a responsibility that is just plain fun.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 10:03 am

tires, my oldest is getting that way also in that her social life at high school has become very important. I just try to remember that this is an important step for her and to not take it personally. She still calls me at least twice a day to tell me what is going on with whom at school. And as my youngest said the other week "Oh well, more for me".

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 10:04 am

katsback, that is why I went fishing for several days this week. No-one has yet pointed out that I have only accounted for 3 of the 5 days I was gone.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 10:08 am

jay, that food is the reason that I have been eating such things as white bean soup, salads, and this weekend, a nice chicken pad thai. It's almost a detox programme that is needed after my daughters go home. They have metabolisms that can process anything. Both of them can eat 5 meals a day, a couple of snacks (usually fruit), drink copious amounts of water, and one is a size 3 and the other is a 5.

Again, I cannot understand how any father can walk away from his children - they are just so much fun.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 10:23 am

imp, one of the best things coming up is that I will have just my oldest daughter next time as the youngest will be at a birthday party and sleepover.

I will end up taking her to a really good restaurant for dinner on Saturday plus we will go and see an indy movie as she really likes to see thought provoking movies.

Sunday is a national holiday as far as she is concerned - it is the Daytona 500 and she is expecting much better from the #8 car this year.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 10:25 am

mzhuny, and that is exactly what I do. They are usually planning our weekends starting about a week in advance.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 10:27 am

divinity, that is a really good attitude to have. And I bet it puts everything on a much more relaxed footing between you children and their father.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 10:29 am

womanoirish, the real problem would seem to be that this is all managed at the state rather than at the federal level so there are 50 sets of rules that are applied. Of course the federal government would not want to even touch this since the management of it would be a nightmare.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 10:35 am

saf, shouldn't every daughter feel that way about their father? Unfortunately, not so many get to feel that way about their fathers as there should be. This, of course, is said in respect for your dealings, and also for many others dealings, with their fathers (and mothers too). Having a good father is one of those things in life that is much more evident if you do not have one, than if you do have one.

One of the interesting side notes on all this is that my ex father-in-law is a fantastic father to his four daughters (albeit a lot more given to spoiling his daughters than I am). While a lot of my dealings with my daughters comes from how my father behaved in raising me, there is also a lot of skill applied from observing my father-in-law.

FeistySyn 52F

2/10/2006 11:03 am

Fallic... now from the flip side of the coin...

I absolutely adore my daughter, she recently turned 8 and is extremely bright, has skipped one grade already, and is very high energy and inquistive about every single thing that comes her way in life... why? where? how? explain it Mommy!!! I want to understand!!!

Even though I adore her so, she can be - and most often is - exhausting. I work hectic days for little appreciation (attorneys suck to work for!) and also deal with a chronic medical condition that I have struggled with for 7 years now (constant pain and exhaustion). My first daughter (who is now grown and married) basically had no father - he paid no support and had no involvement in her life at all - I have been that route as well as single mom for 10+ years.

Most weeks, I find myself looking forward to the "free" weekend (every other week) of sleeping in as late as I want, no planned meals or nagging about being bored, etc. Of course, this lasts maybe the first 24 hours, and by Saturday night, I am missing her terribly.

As much as you miss your girls, having them full time, 24/7, is probably a LOT more work than you realize. Like you said, there is never enough food in the house, there is never enough clean laundry, and trust me, the bathrooms and other rooms of your house get "dirty/messy" seemingly all by themselves ... must be those invisible gremlins messing things up!! You also have much less time on your clock, having to run them to school, daycare, sports, friends, whatever and wherever... your personal "me" time to relax is pretty much shot.

I am not trying to paint a negative picture of being a full time single parent, just wanting you to remember your ex does not have it as easy as you might think... ok? If my ex lived closer (and believe me, I *despise* him), I would share even more time with him now that she is older, since he has a step-daughter near my daughters age to play with there now.

Enjoy every moment you have, children our truly one of life's blessings.

Apparently the depth of depravity here is bottomless... don't you feel right at home?

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 12:34 pm

FeistySyn, I am more than aware of all the issues with being a single parent. I also basically raised my daughters while still married as my wife was either sick or engaged in other activities that engaged her fancy.

I worked graveyard so that I could get home and get my olI dest daughter off to school. I then took care of my youngest daughter and got to sleep while she took her afternoon nap. My wife was not overly concerned with these sort of things at this period of her life. (And actually is not that engaged now - my oldest daughter has done a good deal of the raising of her sister.)

Somehow, the fact that my ex has it easy has been construed and this could be nothing further from the truth. That was a choice she chose to make and she, and her current husband, pay the price for it every day. My point is that many people fail to take note of how many good divorced fathers are out there, and the financial and, more importantly, emotional price they pay.

FeistySyn 52F

2/10/2006 5:06 pm

I am so sorry Fallic, I definitly sparked a nerve here and I feel I may have offended you, and for that I am truly sorry. You are obviously a wonderful father and honestly, I wish my daughter's Dad was as devoted to her as you are to your girls. Again, my apologies if I said the wrong thing and offended you, that was not my intent at all.

Apparently the depth of depravity here is bottomless... don't you feel right at home?

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 7:02 pm

FeistySyn, no need for apologies. Every situation is different and there are a lot of new readers who do not know about my past and the abuse I took at the hands of my wife.

I have the utmost respect for a single mother raising children as they do not get rest, respect from the work place, or support in many cases. My sister is one in this situation and she is one hell of a mother and a father to her son. He rewards her every year with a father's day card as well as a mother's day card.

Fallic40 53M
1858 posts
2/10/2006 7:05 pm

Thanks Shaye. It is unbelievable how fast they grow up. But it also fun to watch too. Of course dating has just begun so that fun may come to a screeching halt in rapid order.

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