Just called in sick. I’ll get more work done that way. :-) I tossed and turned all night with stomach problems, headache, and (TMI) bowel problems… We had White Castle hamburgers for dinner. I can’t eat those things. Another of DH’s plots to kill me. “I know you’re exhausted, Honey. Go get changed and eat dinner. I bought White Castles!” Of course, I didn’t have to eat them but I was so damn tired I didn’t feel like fixing anything else and they were there. For those who don’t know about White Castles, they’re yummy, itty, bitty burgers that pack a lot of flavor into a small package. People eat them by the sack and then frequently get hit with terrible indigestion and diarrhea. I ate four of them for dinner. Now, I’m paying the price. Pele’s Curse is nothing compared to White Castle’s Revenge. I don’t call in sick very often. I always feel like I have too much to do but, in reality, a lot of what I need to do today can be done from right here on my computer so I decided to call a sub. My students are all working on Power Point presentations for the Showcase of Schools this Saturday and I’m trying to pull the school newsletter together. The only thing that’s going to be a snag is an annual inspection for ROTC by some big-wig Colonel today. I told them I’d bring in some appetizer refreshments. I can have DS go by Kroger and get a shrimp platter or something when he takes the kids to school. Then I can sit here, without interruptions, and get the newsletter done.
I home-schooled my kiddo yesterday and I’m happy to report that she appears perfectly normal. She’s cute, shy, and I didn’t pick up on any obvious problems. I had her complete a 6th grade placement test which included a one page composition of writing with the topic “One of the Best Days of My Life”, a few science questions, some spelling, and quite a few math problems. She did fantastic. She had to do a bit of thinking before she began writing and I was getting a little concerned as she continued to stare blankly at the paper but then she started writing about last Christmas and what fantastic gifts she received and seeing her grandparents, etc. Once she started writing, she completed the task quickly and produced a nice little story. I think everything is going to work out for her. I’ll be working with her through November 4th but I expect she’ll be returning to school at that time.
Now, if there’s anything nastier than the White Castle Curse, it would be the DIL curse. It’s hovering over me again. She had to make arrangements for someone to pick up the kids Monday and then DS received a call from the social worker yesterday morning at 6:30 a.m. blasting him for not being “proactive” in the case. The social worker said he’s not making any effort to arrange visitation with the kids and he needs to go downtown and get the No Contact Order dropped so he and Stacy can work things out about visitation. DS told him he can’t get the order dropped. It was filed against him. He told him DIL has to go downtown and file a motion to have it dismissed. The caseworker knows this. Stacy knows this. They’re the ones who told us. The guy actually argued with him and said, “Have you even tried?” DS told him it would be like someone issuing a warrant for him and then him going downtown and telling the court he wanted the warrant withdrawn. He can’t do it. She has to. The caseworker told him she has to work and DS told him he has to work too and he can’t take a day off after working less than a week to go downtown for a totally futile task. Then the caseworker ordered him to take another drug/alcohol screening yesterday and said he’s going to recommend that he attend alcohol counseling sessions even though their own assessment team decided that he doesn’t need to.
DS said, “Look, I know Stacy has convinced you that I’m an alcoholic wife beater but I’m NOT. I haven’t had anything to drink in more than four months and I’ve passed every one of your tests with flying colors. I know you find it hard to believe but I AM NOT an abusive person. She’s the one who always starts getting physical and then she turns on the tears and tells everyone how abused she is. I admit that I enjoy having a few beers after a hard day at work and I admit that I might even have had a few too many beers on occasion but I am not an alcoholic and I do not become abusive. I just get sleepy and go to bed. Now, I don’t drink at all and I don’t know what else I can do to convince you that I don’t have an alcohol problem. You’ve never talked to any of my friends, family or neighbors and you don’t know anything about me. The only person you’ve talked to is Stacy and it’s in her best interest to make me look as bad as possible. I’m already paying $30.00 per week for “anger management” counseling and $30.00 everytime you order an alcohol screening, and $100.00 a week for child support. I can’t afford any more counseling. I’m already paying $650.00 per month and another $30.00 a week would bring it up to almost $800.00 a month and that’s not even counting my house payment, utilities, gas, or food. I just started back to work last Thursday. What do you want from me? I’ll be more than happy to attend alcohol counseling if the court is willing to pay for it but I CAN’T AFFORD IT.”
The caseworker said, “I want you to become more proactive is getting a stable relationship going between yourself and Stacy. I want your mother to call her and work out a visitation plan that works. I want this case to be finished within three months. I intend to sign off on it in three months and I want it done.”
DS was really upset. He called me yesterday afternoon and told me about it. I understand his frustration. I’m sick of it, too. He got off work at 5:30 yesterday and had to run downtown for a screening and then rush home to shower and change and go to anger management counseling. There was a wreck on the expressway and he sat in traffic forever and didn’t get home until after 10:00. I told him the only thing I can figure is that DIL doesn’t want to have to pay for daycare and she’s screaming bloody murder to the caseworker and he, in turn, is trying to get DS to take up the slack for DIL. It’s infuriating that they’ve given her residential custody and I don’t think she’s handling it very well so now they’re jumping all over him in order to get her off their backs. Or…to make it appear that everything is under control and running smoothly. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what DS is supposed to do. Obviously, the caseworker wants me to call DIL and try to work out some kind of visitation plan but we’ve been trying to do that for three months and she refuses to do anything except consider DH to be her “on call” babysitter. She wants him to pick the kids up from school everyday and keep them until she gets off work and she wants him to take them overnight on Friday and Saturday so she can have the weekend off. I’ve tried and tried to get her to give him overnights during the week which would work out perfectly but she refuses. Now he can’t pick them up and watch them after school and he works Saturdays. What is he supposed to do? I KNOW that if I call her, she’s going to want me or DH to pick up the kids after school and watch them until DS gets off work and home at 5:30 and then she’ll pick them up at 6:00 and I am NOT going to be her unpaid babysitter. I don’t even think DS has time to get over here before 6:00 since we live so far away from him. I’m going to call the caseworker today and ask him what the Hell he wants us to do. Of course she’s having trouble handling things on her own. We tried to tell everyone that she couldn’t handle it but no one would listen. So how in the Hell is it supposed to be our problem? Damn, damn, double damn!
This whole thing is such a nightmare. From the very beginning, everything that seemed logical has gone out the window. Stacy has never taken care of her kids. It’s always been DS and yet, they gave her primary custody. She’s horribly controlling and vindictive and yet, they say we need to work with her to come up with a visitation plan. And now, when she’s really struggling and they should be thinking that they may have made a mistake, they call and raise Hell with DS because things are not going well. Everytime we think that they may finally see the light, it becomes our fault. I honestly don’t know what to do. How is she so different from every other single mother who has custody of their kids? Having custody means you have to work out daycare and you have to give up partying on the weekends. It means your current boyfriend might be getting tired of taking care of you and your kids and you might have to step up to the plate and take care of them yourself. It means you might have to look at what’s best for your kids and stop thinking of yourself all the time and expecting everyone to take care of you and bend over backwards to see that you can function.
Okay…I’m ranting. Enough…I talked to DS and he suggests that I attempt to work out visitation where he can have the kids from Saturday evening through Monday morning and he’ll drop them off at school Monday morning before he goes to work. He said he’ll also take them from 6:00 to 8:00 one or two evenings a week even though he knows that’s going to mean he just has time to help them get their homework done and feed them dinner. There really isn’t any other way to do it.
11:00 a.m. update - DS called. Said he called his attorney and asked for a copy of the court ruling (again) and the attorney (if you want to call him that) said they have a new court clerk and he “just hasn’t been getting paperwork in a timely manner” so he still doesn’t have it. He did, however, tell DS that he can’t make a motion to dismiss the Protective Order, DIL has to do it. Said the only possibility would be if the judge had changed it from a “no contact” order to a “no unlawful contact” order but he doesn’t think that’s the case. Said, if it was, the caseworker would know that and no one would have to do anything.
Half an hour after DS talked to his attorney, he got a voice mail message from the caseworker saying he needed him to call. DS is working and was going to wait for his break but another voice mail came in ten minutes after that from the caseworker saying he needed DS to call him immediately to make arrangements to sign some paperwork about “after school daycare”. Of course, DS decides not to call the guy until he’s spoken to his attorney again and ten minutes after that, the guy leaves a third message saying, “I need you to call me immediately so I can get your financial information and make arrangements for you to fill out the paperwork for after school daycare.”
Well, F*ck that Sh*t! DS isn’t calling him until he talks to his attorney (worthless as he is) to find out why in the Hell they need HIS financial information and why they need for HIM to fill out paperwork for Stacy to get child care. Sounds to me like they expect him to pay for it. We’re not calling anybody till we have a chance to talk to worthless attorney.