Finally getting a chance to sit down in front of my computer after a marathon week or so of doing this Christmas thing on my own. PHEW is all I have to say.
Yes, the kids have a Dad and yes, he seriously does mean well but GAH it's like dealing with another child which makes me so glad every. single. time I deal with him that I made the decision I did.
For starters, he and I had agreed to take the kids to see Santa together. Some things you just can't do twice and this is one of them. I emailed him the date I could go weeks in advance, it was literally the only chance I had. A few days ahead of time, he wrote and said he had made an appointment with his therapist that evening, because he "really needed it" and couldn't do it any other time (evidently he's having a hard time with my boyfriend being back in town). He said he'd try to make it on time. He didn't make it and then got mad at ME for him not being there. I won't even try to explain that one. I also didn't think about it that much as I've come to expect things like that lately from him. Self-centered narcissist, that one.
Then Christmas morning, we had agreed Santa would come to my house. Now keep in mind: I stayed up til 2am the night before, baking cookies for Santa, wrapping gifts, getting Santa gifts from the attic, organizing who got what, finding batteries for each toy, stuffing stockings, cleaning up, preparing for my family to come over the next day. I usually try and have all the toys out of their boxes, assembled and ready to go, but gave up at 2am and decided to sleep instead. I assumed that the other parent would at least help with all the assembly in the morning. (You know what they say about assuming)
He walked in, took my last drink out of my fridge, ate all my food, sat on his ass and watched the kids open gifts, and then said goodbye and left. If you have children, especially if you have multiple children, then try imagining (maybe you don't have to) taking toys for 3 kids out of boxes (why do they use so many of those damn twisty ties!! and tape on TOP of the twisty ties!! WTF!), putting batteries in most of those toys, picking up the boxes and all the tiny ties, picking up the wrapping paper, in the meantime missing out on the best part of Christmas, watching the kids enjoy their gifts. I started out with the mantra "I can do this" but after about an hour literally curled up in a ball on the floor and gave up. Luckily, my mother arrived eventually, swept in and saved the day. Which is one of the major lessons I have learned over this past year: It Is Ok To Need And To Ask For Help!!!
Once she arrived it didn't feel so overwhelming anymore, she let me go take a shower and then I felt a little more ready to face the rest of the day.
The rest of the day. Once the kids opened gifts from my immediate family, they went to their Dad's, and I met my brother and his wife over at my Dad's new hospital. My Dad---just when you think it can't get any worse. That's all I'll say, it's really bad, and it was a tough afternoon. If you can imagine the worst nightmare you've ever had, one that sends chills up your spine everytime you think of it....that's what it's like spending time with my father right now.
And then I had to leave there and try to suck it up and not ruin Mr. Wonderful's Christmas in the process. He is very understanding but it was his first time to be home at Christmas, our first one together...and I didn't want think about my Dad. But of course it takes me a while to get back out of "worst nightmare" mode and back into "me" mode. He managed to help with that though by giving me the most thoughtful Christmas presents I've ever gotten, even a 3 page love letter that I've read a hundred times by now. That was probably my favorite gift of the entire day.
So much I want to write about but I'll stop for now. Hope everyone out there had the happiest of holidays.