Sunday, December 18, 2005

Contemplating whether to give the Ex a clue

It's been awhile since I posted about my Ex. Things have been going along alright between us lately. I think we've both been extra-nice since the holidays are coming up so soon. But I've just got to get this off my chest here, fellow bloggers.

I dropped Sister off at her dad's house last night for her weekend with him. When we got there, however, his roommate told us that he wasn't there yet, but had called to say that he was on his way. No problem, I thought, happens to all of us. So Sister and I came in to wait in the living room. Not much to do there, though, so she asked if I wanted to go to her room instead. We went back and Sister flicked on the light switch...and I was shocked at the sight of her so-called room.

Her room was filthy--I don't just mean just messy, though it was extremely so--but truly dirty. The bed was unmade with dirty sheets and blankets, and is in fact still one of those tiny toddler beds though Sister is a 7-1/2 year old who stands taller than most of her second grade classmates. What toys were there are still toys she's had since she was a year old, with only a few stuffed animals that are more recent additions. There were 2 adult-sized bikes parked in her room. Her dad's art supplies took up the space on her table. And one of her dad's large, sinister-looking paintings was hung on the wall facing her bed--and by sinister, I mean a demonic face painted entirely in black and yellow glaring out from the canvas.

Sister stood there looking with me, not terribly sure what to do in "her" room. I know she generally doesn't spend the night there with her dad because his parents pick them up when she's with him and they spend their time together out at her grandparents' house. I'm pretty sure that they do this most of the time that they're together, with a very occasional night spent in his house. But even knowing that, I was appalled and saddened that her room had obviously morphed into a space used as part-storage and part-studio. (He does have an actual studio space in the house, by the way--a screened porch enclosed when his parents bought him that house.)

To me, this indicates that he doesn't make the space for her in his life, that he is not thoughtful of her when she's away. I was saddened and pissed and confused all at the same time, imagining how I would have reacted if one of my parents had done that to me, wondering if I should say something to him about it. I don't know if I can without turning it into a big fight. Husband says that it probably doesn't matter so much since her grandma has made a space for her in their house that is presumably clean and welcoming and HER space. He also says that men tend not to think about their homes in the same way that I do, that my Ex is after all a bachelor, not to mention an artist. I guess that's all true, but it still makes me sad to think of Sister not having her own space in her dad's house.

And this does beg the question of why he picks his semi-annual fights with me over how it's not "fair" that she spends more time with me than with him. I don't know what to say to him. That man is a puzzle. In a bad way.


pie maker said...

so he may be a batchelor. so he may also be an artist. but he's also a father!!! just reading about her "room" makes ME pissed and sad. . . sorry you have to deal with all that - thank goodness she has a nice space of her own containing love, security, beauty, warmth, and cookies at YOUR house!
and gin.
oh, but that's for you.

Moonface said...

how absolutely awful. i would have thrown a complete fit if i'd been in your shoes, and not let her spend the night there.

Nancy said...

That's a shame. Is it possible to have your daughter talk to him about it? Maybe hearing her express her feelings about the room might make him "wake up" about it.

Erin said...

Reading about 'her' room makes me absolutely sick. That poor girl.

I would have gone nuts if I had seen it like that. But I can understand you not wanting to cause a fight.

cubmommy said...

That is really sad. I think some men don't think about stuff like that. I never had a spot of my own at my Dad's. I slept on the couch and my sister slept with my step-sister.

theyellowwallpaper said...

Wow...That breaks my heart.

I agree with Nancy's comment. Does it bother your daughter? If so, then perhaps you could encourage her to talk to her Dad. It's so sad that it has to come to this.

Mommygoth said...

When you told me about this last night, I wanted to drive over to where he lives and slap hell out of him. I mean, more than usual. I think you should take a picture of it, and if he asks why, tell him "in case I ever need it in court". Maybe that will provide him with the impetus to clean it up.

Sugarmama said...

Well, I'm at least glad I don't seem to be overrreacting, due to all the responses from y'all out there. I still haven't figured out whether I should say anything to the Ex about it, but I definitely don't feel like it's something I should ask Sister to do. I try not to put her in the middle of communications between her dad and me. She didn't seem upset, but she did seem at a loss when we walked into her room.

Manic Mom said...

Aww, the visual of her room bums me out. How did you react when he got there?

Not sure if you know I usually do a Word Verification game where I make up a sentence with the first letter of the WV. With this one, it is very appropriate, and I don't even really need to create a sentence because when I see the letters: XDBBAD---it immediately comes to mind: Ex-Dad... BBBAD!

RGLHM said...

I am so sorry to hear about her room. Scary is what it is. That's what came into my mind. The dirty sheets is what bothered me.

I do think that what your husband said is right, though it doesn't make your ex's behaviour right.

Wish I could help you think of a good solution but I'm not very good at thing like this. Take care.