Reason No. 567,982

April 8, 2011

My ex-husband texted me the other day to say that he’s re-thinking the summer, and potentially would like for Lemon and Mouse to visit him, after all.  Initially, he was to be traveling and didn’t think he’d be around.  Sort of.  I mean, the dates haven’t changed or anything since he said it “wouldn’t work,” but now he thinks it will work, I guess.

Except that he had told the girls over Thanksgiving that they would NOT be going to his house this summer, and when I clarified with him in the week after Thanksgiving, he confirmed that fact.  So I’ve been making summer plans for the girls.  Because (a) I work full time, and (b) they get bored if they’re just sitting around the house and their friends are at camps, etc.

The ex wasn’t 100% oblivious to the fact that plans would already be made, but was looking for ways to fit a visit in around the other plans.  Currently, it looks like our only option is to split the girls up.  Lemon initially reacted negatively, “No way!  Then I’ll just be sitting around all day watching television!”  But then the Ex suggested she bring a friend along (rather than suggesting that – considering that he does not teach in the summer – he actually DO things with her …. ????), and she lit up a bit.

Mouse doesn’t seem to be budging.  She will not go.  She will not bring a friend.  She will not travel alone.  She will not travel with ME, because she will not BE THERE alone.  “What, Mouse, will it take, for you to agree to a visit?”  Her answer?  “For Lemon to come with me.”

But the funny part came before all of this.  The funny part was the text conversation.  When he and I first started texting, Lemon wasn’t home yet, so I couldn’t run the potential change by her.  She came home during the boring part of the text exchange, and I told her I was talking to him about the summer.  She said, “ask him if the babies will be there in the summer.”  {Recall he has 2 children with his new wife.  His older new-child is approx 14 months old, and his younger new-child is 6 weeks old}  The answer was no, they will be in another country with their mother.

I responded [after clearing it with Lemon] “Lemon is disappointed that she won’t get to see them.”

His response: “Well, that cannot be helped.  [Older child] and [younger child] will be in [other country] for quite some time.”

I read this out loud to Lemon, as well, and we both made weird faces. What the hell does that mean? “That’s weird,” Lemon said.  “I really don’t even know what to say to this.”  I said.  I wondered if he and his wife are still together.  “What are you going to say?” Lemon asked.  “I don’t know!” I said.  But then he texted again, saving me from the need to respond.

He said:  “In fact [new wife] will leave them both in [other – VERY FAR AWAY – country] for 3 months in the fall so she can come here and finish her degree.”  and “Also, we’re sending [older child] home [to the other country] with [new mother in law] in April, so Mouse & Lemon won’t see him then, either.  But they will see [tiny baby].”

Again, with Lemon and I screwing up our faces in very strange “I do not understand!” configurations. Again, with me not being sure how to respond.  Lemon said, “wait a minute, how old is [younger child]?” I tell her “six weeks old.” “Geez, isn’t this the time where babies bond with their parents?  And these will be in a different country for MONTHS?  Happy bonding!”

I shook my head and said, “I really still don’t know how to respond to this.”

Lemon’s suggestion?

“How about you say ‘I’m so glad we’re divorced.'”

Instead, I responded to his text with “oh.”

Lemon’s comment did kind of catch me off guard.  I was not providing negative commentary, and was only sharing the texts with her because they were neutral, and they are not secrets.  But she saw that he operates within a family very different from how I operate in a family. (i.e., happy to spend months upon months in different countries from his spouse and children …. although, there’s no reason for me to be surprised.  He spent 8 months in London finishing his dissertation when Lemon was 3 and Mouse was 1.5.  She turned 2 while he was across the ocean.)

Maybe it’s good for her to see this.  The fact that he sees so little need to spend quality time with her and Mouse can be seen as “the way he is” rather than a direct rejection of the people they are. Which would be weird, anyway, because they are pretty awesome people, and it would definitely require a fool to reject them.

[And of course, later, when Lemon told Mouse about it, Mouse was only concerned about all the travel the babies are being forced to endure.  You know, because of her travel phobia.]



  1. […] she was unwilling to STAY alone.  To be in the Middle of the Country at all without her sister. Not the first time we’ve heard this from her, and she was no less passionate this time: “If you make me, I will run away.  Right now, I […]

  2. […] I’ve mentioned (ad nauseum?) – I am driving to the middle of the country this coming weekend.  Mouse doesn’t want […]

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