Monday, August 31, 2009
We walked on eggshells for quite some time and of course documented every single bruise, scratch, or bug bite Kiddo got. He would come to our house with dark circles under his sunken eyes, covered with hundreds of bug bites, bruises all over his legs, trunk, arms, and face, and he wouldn't have bathed since the last time we saw him. The kid would stink so badly that as soon as he came near us our noses would crinkle up. I remember many occasions where he'd have that funk about him and he'd go straight into the bathtub before he could do anything else. What kind of shitforbrains egg donor doesn't bathe their kid for a WEEK? He'd have cradle cap at THREE YEARS OLD from not bathing. It was just disgusting. His fingernails and toenails would be out of control long, and his hair would be in his eyes...and not in the cute, stylish way.
We once got a letter from her brother who just finished law school saying that we were to NOT cut his hair because The Beast was primary custodial parent and she was to have the say over who cut his hair. We were SO PISSED about that. THEN CUT HIS F****** hair so he can see and not look like a homeless kid!
She doesn't send clothes to our house for him to wear so I go out and purchase clothes for him to wear while at our house on the weekends, then I wash the clothes she sends him in for him to wear back. The reason I don't send him back in ours is because I'll never see them again. I finally made her bring an outfit to leave at our house so he wouldn't go back to school on Wednesday morning in what he wore on Tuesday.
Fast forward a couple of years and she had met some guy on the internet and has begun dating him. She got married after knowing the guy 3 months. His name is Idiot. This guy is so full of shit that I can't begin to tell you how ridiculous he is. You automatically feel dumber after listening to him for 5 minutes.
So, she got married and told us after the fact like we did. We were shocked, because there was never a mention of this guy and she only called to tell Husby because Kiddo's hair was buzzed. BUZZED. This, after a hateful letter from her shitforbrains brother tells us we cannot cut his hair. The haircut he got from us was short, but still over an inch long. The one from her is BUZZED. Husby said he could tell she didn't want to tell him, but knew he'd be shocked. Husby just said, "Okay." Hung up the phone and THEN he let loose.
While they were married, Idiot decided that he was Mr. Dad and Husby called The Beast and informed her that Idiot was NOT Kiddo's father and under NO uncertain terms should Kiddo be calling him "Daddy." Husby was PISSED and rightfully so. I had never asked Kiddo to call me "mommy" and he always calls me by my first name. Beast admitted it wasn't right and would fix it. Damn straight she will.
I met Idiot one day to drop off Kiddo to him and Idiot was being a complete shithead to Kiddo. Griping at him for doing kid things: touching anything he walks past, skipping, etc. I bit my tongue but was not happy. You don't come into a kid's life and start being shitty and barking orders. So I decided my new angle of attack: befriend the Idiot. Get info from him and use it against them later when the time was right.
Idiots are AWESOME for dispensing info they shouldn't. :)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
While he was in daycare (I guess this is technically before he was in pre-k, so I'm out of order again. Go figure.) he was in a class where the teachers seemed to change every week. He was 2 or so years old and one day I went to pick him up (after we were married, she HAD to add me as a person to pick him up) and the teacher said, "He bit everyone in the class today. And both teachers." So I got onto him. I patted him on his butt OVER his diaper. I did not HIT him, and I did not hurt him. (Did you know step-parents are not allowed to spank? Just a sidenote.) I did not yell, nor did I yank him around. I patted him on the butt ONCE, gently, and said, "We do not bite. " Looking back, I should've done nothing. But hindsight is 20/20. Anyway, as I was walking out the door, I noticed one of the teachers yanking a little girl by the arm and spanking her HARD. The kid was kicking and screaming. I said something to the assistant director at the front desk as I was leaving and she went in the room.
We got home and I let Kiddo play in the backyard and run around with our Siberian Husky. They loved to play together and they had a good time. Kiddo got knocked over once and hit a landscaping trailer as he landed on his bottom. Not a big deal. He cried, I picked him up and he had a small scrape but nothing major. Didn't think much about it and the next morning, we are getting into the car to go to daycare and kiddo says "owie" and points at his back. There is a slight discoloration and the scrapes are there. I looked at it and it honestly looked harmless. Mistake number two.
We get to daycare and I point out the slight bruising and scrapes to the teacher, who calls in the director. They gasp and wonder what happened. I said, "Well, he fell down, but it didn't seem that bad at the time. I didn't check him before he left here yesterday but his fall really wasn't that bad." I left and had a bad feeling. I get to work and a few minutes later, the daycare director calls to tell me that she called DHS (Dept of Human Services) because while she didn't think I was abusive, she was required to report bruises. And one of the teachers told her I had "beat him" when I found out he had bitten all the kids. WHAT?!?!
While any normal parents would just think it was ridiculous and not worry about it, I worried because I know how The Beast operates and this will be blow up in my face.
DHS calls and talks to me on the phone. I told them everything and invited them to come to our house anytime, unannounced, to do whatever they felt necessary to investigate because I had nothing to hide. They never called my husband. I was upset, but Husby said, "The Beast will do something. We just have to wait and see." He was upset and worried too but knew I'd never hurt Kiddo. She shows up at our house with Evil Witch and takes Kiddo from our house that evening. Husby argues with her and says, "You know I would NEVER hurt him!" She said,"No, but Constance would!" He argued with her and just let her take him. What could he do?
A month goes by and we get him on our two weekends and our day of the week. We even get him on Labor Day which was our holiday that year. Not a word is said. All seems well. Then one day I wasn't feeling really well so I slept in and was going into work a little late. A sherriff's deputy knocks on my door. I answer and he is there to serve Husby with a RESTRAINING ORDER. It took that bitch a MONTH to decide to do this. I call our lawyer's office to find out what it is because I have no idea. The secretary is beyond rude, but basically tells me its a restraining order and to NOT contact The Beast, as it will violate the order. We are told not to go near the daycare, Beast's home, or contact her or Kiddo in any form until the court date.
We get in to see our lawyer and she looks at the date of the DHS call and the date of the restraining order and tells us how ridiculous it is and that the judge will dismiss it. We want to call DHS to see how their "investigation" has turned out and our lawyer says to not do that, because that's what guilty people do. WHAT? We are accused and we want to know what's going on. She says no. LawyerLady is supposed to be the best and she's a good friend of Husby's family, so we listen to her. Plus, she isn't charging us much and we can pay her out in payments.
So, 30 LONG days go by until our court date. We have not seen Kiddo this entire time. Our hearts hurt. I am so upset and worried and anxious. I start losing weight, I can't sleep... I honestly thought that Husby was going to blame me and leave me. I forget what he said, but it made me think I needed to leave. He asked me where I was going and I told him I was leaving. He told me to stay, that he needed me to help him fight. So we hugged and cried together and that created one hell of a bond between us that day. We pledged to fight her and that good people have to win at some point.
We get to court and our lawyer thinks this will be dismissed and we'll be out of there in a few minutes. We get sworn in as a room (there were lots of people there for different cases), and then when its our turn, Husby and Beast sit at the table with their lawyers. My FIL and I are sitting in the audience. I am asked to leave because I am a "witness." Next thing I know, I am sitting outside the room with EvilWitch. She's talking to the woman next to her and I just try to busy myself with reading things on the bulletin board in the hallway. I get called in and am asked to sit in the witness seat. The Beast's lawyer gets up and throws photos at me and yells, "Don't you think this looks like abuse? Like a handprint across his forehead and all those bruises on his back?" He shows me photos taken from an emergency room and the bruises are BAD. Like, all over his back. And he has what the lawyer says is a "handprint" on the side of his face. Kiddo looked NOTHING like that when we took him to daycare that morning. I am so mad, but I keep a calm face and said, "I don't know what child abuse looks like, but he didn't get that from our house." But I'm reeling from the images. I keep wondering how he could've gotten those bruises from our house. It just doesn't add up. My lawyer asked me a few things and that was about it. I am asked to wait outside again and I don't know what goes on. I'm on the phone with my mom, crying and mad. They all come out of the courtroom and The Beast's lawyer is talking to my FIL and Husby. He reaches out to shake my FIL's hand. My FIL just stands there and looks at his hand for what seemed like an eternity. It was VERY.AWKWARD. I had no idea what just happened and now my very southern, friendly FIL is just staring down this lawyer's hand. Everyone just stands there in shock. He finally reluctantly shakes his hand and The Beast and her posse leaves.
Husby fills me in after our lawyer, Husby, and FIL are all done talking. Turns out: Husby got REAMED from the judge for not calling DHS to find out the status, The Beast's lawyer found a social worker to testify that it looked like classic child abuse to her, and the judge had to call The Beast's lawyer off of Husby while questioning him. He was screaming and yelling and up in Husby's face. The judge said he wanted a supervised reunion between Kiddo and Husby at the DHS office with a DHS officer present. Then if that went well, we would resume normal visitation with Kiddo with SUPERVISION. The Beast agreed to let my FIL be the supervisor of our supervised visitation.
So basically, we were considered guilty.
Friday, August 7, 2009
The next morning we packed up and left, as we weren't willing to stay an entire weekend with an iffy water situation. We just went to a hotel and went shopping in the area. It was a nice, low-key honeymoon. We were official and no longer had to "hide." I know that people who read this will think I'm the evil "other woman" who stole someone's boyfriend, but it wasn't like that at all.
My family was thrilled. I guess I left out the part where my dad was not happy about me dating someone with a kid and who lived with his ex-girlfriend. But Husby lived up to all promises of moving out, getting his own place, etc. Husby took my dad to lunch to ask permission to marry me (before we got engaged, of course) and my dad was teary-eyed and said he couldn't think of a more honorable man to marry his daughter. As they got to know each other, they realized they had a LOT in common. :)
So... I'm a bad storyteller, I know. I jump around and babble and skip over this and that, etc. Sorry. That's how my mind works too. :)
The first weekend we were to get kiddo -- I need to come up with a nickname for him -- Husby decided to tell The Beast (aka BabyMama) he was married. We met at a department store but I stayed in another area so she wouldn't see me. Husby said that The Beast and Evil Witch (Baby Mama's mother) were sitting in The Beast's car and Husby held up his newly married ring fingered hand and said, "Just thought I'd let you know I got married." Jaws hit the floor. Silence. Husby savors this, but shows no emotion. Beast says, "To Constance*?" She's obviously thinking WOW. He married the next girl he dated after me?? He says, "Yes. We've been together over a year." Technically, a year and 9 months but he didn't want to go into too much detail with her. They didn't have much, if anything, to say. Husby said the look on their faces was priceless.
Kiddo has never known life without me. We have always made sure he calls me Constance* and not "mommy" because he has a mother. I never spoke to The Beast and she could only hate me from afar. :) I have loved Kiddo like he was my own child and took him to the doctor when he was sick, bought him clothes and toys, set my alarm to get up in the middle of the night to check his temp when he had fever, got up with him when he cried, and played with him every moment he was at our apartment. He loved me and I loved him. But I always knew I was never his mother. When out in public, people thought we were mommy and son. I'd correct people when they'd call me his "mommy" because I didn't want to confuse Kiddo and I didn't want someone to know who Kiddo was and report back to The Beast that I was trying to make people think I was his mother.
When I married Husby, I was getting an awesome package deal: Husby and Kiddo. Dealing with The Beast would be part of it, I knew, but she truly lives up to her name, even to this day.
I'll tell a quick story to explain what I mean.
She decided to enroll Kiddo in a rundown daycare. We had no say over this. And she decided that I was not allowed to pick Kiddo up from daycare on our days with him (Tuesday and every other weekend). Why? Because she said so. Okay, fine. Husby had to drive to meet me at daycare, sign Kiddo out, and put him in my car. Husby was going to school at night to work on his degree and I was to take care of Kiddo for the first hour or so until Husby got home from class. One day we got kiddo and he was COVERED in bug bites. Covered to the point that daycare even said something to us. Husby said, "He's been at his mother's house. I will try to clear up what I can, but I'll talk to her about it." This was on a Tuesday. I remember this because that Friday, daycare said his legs were swollen and we took him to the doctor. He had accumulated even more bug bites on his little legs and his dirty little kid fingers were scratching them until they bled and were now infected. The doctor couldn't believe what he saw and prescribed antibiotics. Think that would be enough to get The Beast's attention? Ha. No. We went through this TWO.MORE.TIMES. I understand some kids get bites, but he had over 100 bites on him each time. If you take your kid outside during bug season, and your kid tastes good to bugs, PUT BUG REPELLANT ON THEM! Good lord. I even sent a can of it home with him once. Didn't matter. She never used it.
Another time when he was in pre-k at another rundown location, the school nurse sent him home because he (the nurse) thought Kiddo had chicken pox. I called the school nurse and turns out, I knew him! How embarassing! But I told him our situation and he understood. He said he just had to protect all the other kids at the pre-k, so he needed a doctor's note clearing Kiddo to return. Kiddo had been at The Beast's house all weekend and it was our day (Tuesday) so I left work, picked him up, and brought him back to work with me. I worked in a family practice clinic so I had the same doc who saw him before look at Kiddo and got a note saying it was bug bites and not chicken pox.
This was infuriating, so I went to her house and told her that we would like to keep Kiddo with us at our house (we had bought a house by then) for a week to let the bites clear up. We offered to pay to have her house professionally sprayed and she turned us down, saying she'd just bomb her house. (He had mosquito and flea bites everywhere, even in areas that he shouldn't, if you get my meaning.) So the week at our house, his bites heal and he has a great time. He bawled when she picked him up. He wanted to stay. So he was at her house ONE NIGHT and he is covered again. The nurse had called me back to report this to me. I called The Beast and said we'd like to keep him until she gets her flea problem under control. She said, "No. I will keep him. I'd rather him get more bites now and know the problem isn't fixed than let him get all cleared up and go through this again." WHAT.THE.HELL.???????? Seriously?! So I had no other choice but to leave him there crying with her. :( And he did get a LOT more bites.
Next up: Restraining order. Child abuse allegations (against US). Court.
*my real name is not Constance.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Now that BabyDaddy has $6 a month for groceries after paying child support and bills, he can't come visit me. So I will go to him. But I'm in a car accident [not my fault - I was rear ended while at a stop light]**this was a big deal. I was in physical therapy for a few months and had to take incompletes in 2 of my classes because of it** that totals my car and I'm now in a rental. What does he do? He has a spare car that he paid cash for years ago that he just got back from his brother. His brother had borrowed it and now BabyDaddy has offered to teach me how to drive it and told me I can borrow it until I get another one!!! Um, I live 4 hours away!!! Maybe it was the newness of the relationship that made him trust me, I don't know. He taught me how to drive a standard and on a hill, no less, because where I lived is FULL of very steep hills. Not fun for a newbie stick driver.
So now I have a way to come visit. I was going to school full time during the week and working Thurs night, Friday night, and Saturday night from 7pm to 7:30am. So I go into work at 7pm Thursday night and basically work, come home to sleep, eat, shower, and go back to work. This repeats til I get off 7:30am Sunday morning. So I'd get off work Sunday morning and go get my dog and clothes and drive the 3.5 - 4 hours to BabyDaddy's house. I'd stay all week and drive back to work on Thursday evening. It was exhausting, but BabyDaddy and I were very close by now.
We had been dating for several months by now and were each other's best friend. BD didn't have much in terms of baby things because BabyMama took EVERY.SINGLE.THING when BD decided to move out. She took everything and left BD with nothing. Not even a diaper. And then when she brought BabyBoy for a visit, she didn't bring formula, bottles, nothing. So BabyDaddy had to borrow money to get formula, bottles, etc. I was livid. I had very little money, but I went to a resale shop in my town and bought 4 bags full of toys and clothes for BabyBoy. When I showed up that Sunday, BabyDaddy had tears streaming down his cheeks. He said it was like Christmas. He hugged me tighter than usual.
So we went out shopping and I bought diapers, wipes, etc. BabyDaddy's family couldn't stand BabyMama even while they were dating, but they were more than willing to help BabyDaddy out so they got him some diapers, bottles, formula,etc. What's so irritating is that the baby gifts from them, BabyMama took. She finally loaned BabyDaddy a portable crib for BabyBoy to sleep in so he wouldn't have to sleep in the floor. How thoughtful of her.
The next few months were nice that we weren't having to say code words on the phone since she was no longer around. We had a code word for "I love you." BabyDaddy decided on "moogle." I was like, WTF is that? But that's BabyDaddy for you. He is funny like that. [When we got our wedding bands, I had "moogle" inscribed on the inside of it. :) ]
Then BabyMama's asshat father passed away. BM didn't have anyone to talk to, so guess who she came to visit? BABYDADDY!! Yes, she did. Thankfully I wasn't there. But she came over and cried and cried and said she knew he'd understand because BD has lost his mother a few years ago. She commented on how clean and tidy his apt was and couldn't get over how nice it looked. Uh, yeah, because SHE wasn't living there!
She has no idea he and I are dating, so she makes some remarks about how they should try to work it out. BD says he's not interested, so she huffs off. Oh, have I mentioned that a month after he and I started dating (she didn't know this, though), she got him a valentine's gift? Know what it was? A VIBRATOR!! BD was repulsed in more ways than one, but she said, "What? It's a massager!!" She didn't realize she got him a vibrator. And yes, I believe she was that dumb because I know her and she REALLY IS that clueless at times. Ugh.
After 8 months of dating and driving back and forth, BabyDaddy asks me to move in with him. We had discussed it before, but he had wanted to be on his own for a bit. I respected that. I just knew he couldn't afford to do it and I was throwing away money on rent, utilities, etc on a place I didn't occupy much. So we moved in together and at this point, BabyMama still had NO idea. Then an acquaintance of both of theirs came by to see BabyDaddy and I was there. We tried not to be obvious but she figured out we were dating and told BabyMama. Who of course was jealous and angry. We made sure I was never there during BabyBoy exchange. BabyBoy would scream and cry when he had to go back to BabyMama and this broke BD's heart. He'd come home in tears. It just sucked.
Since I had officially moved, I needed to find a job. I was driving back up on the weekends (Thu evening, actually) and working, then crashing at a friend's apt during the day while she was at work, then I'd shower and go to work before she got home. I did this Friday and Saturday, then would drive to my NEW home :) on Sunday mornings when I got off. It was exhausting and I did it for 2 months.
I applied at a temp agency and had my interview on Thursday afternoon before I left for my long drive to work. They called me Friday and left a voicemail on BabyDaddy's machine. They had a position at a hospital where I could start Monday if I wanted. I didn't even have to interview because the manager was so short handed she would just try me out. I drove home Sunday morning, slept a few hours, then stayed up so I could sleep that night. I started the temp job in a clinic at a hospital on Monday and worked all week til Thursday, when I left work a couple of hours early so I could make the drive to my old job. I turned in my 2 week notice and worked like a crazy person until I was done.
I finally had cut my ties from the city 4 hours away and was settled back in my hometown. It was refreshing. I finally had money to pay bills and not be utterly broke all the time. He had money to eat and we actually were able to rent movies, go out to dinner, and DO something other than work. And we got to see each other daily. And since I'm in my hometown, I get to see my family more than once or twice a year. :)
We had been dating 8 months at this point and BabyMama still had no idea until the gossip ran and told her. BabyBoy was now 14 months old and loved me. We played and laughed a lot. It was awesome.
A year after moving in together, we got married. BabyMama still had no idea and we were trying to find the right opportunity to tell her. BabyBoy was a toddler and he was the cutest ring bearer EVER. :)
We had a Hawaiian themed wedding and Hawaiian themed casual clothing was encouraged. :) It was SO laid back and so much fun. I need to find some pics and scan them.
So after our honeymoon we had a week or so before we had to get kiddo again. And this time BabyDaddy (now my Hubby-hoo) was going to tell her. Details next post. :)