Death by A Thousand Nibbles

Emails! This is what my life has been like lately. Well, not all of it. But imagine Franny raging and crying and her grade school graduation being missed (hint: not by me or by P. as I was running it) and EMAILS, ENDLESS CHAINS OF EMAILS. At the 11th hour we finally agreed on a summer schedule. SeaFed INSISTS on taking her to and from school for her last two days next week, a 60-mile round trip.

I predict this is just more of fuckery that is to come. What do you do if you have a kid in one place, and her other parent is attempting to scooooch her life 30 miles away suddenly? Again, I’m sure the timing of the child support case being open is purely coincidental in relation to all these emails and the DEMAND LETTER I received last month DEMANDING that we revert back to a schedule we have not followed since 2005. I’m spending a lot of energy trying to keep things stable right now for her.

Since the summer schedule has just locked into place, and I should say it’s two weeks on, two weeks off, like the past few summers (I gave him the last half of each month this year since in mediation in 2007 he complained it was TOTES NO FAIR that I had the end of the month, meaning I sometimes got the massively epic 31st, giving me GASP 16 days with her), I had to ask him to take her to an already-scheduled critical dentist appointment. The dentist is something I do, gladly, because then I know it happens.

Did I ever tell you about the time back in 2005 when we were all uninsured, and he and I were separated, and so I sent him her dental bill and asked him to pay half? Not unreasonable considering that our parenting plan says we are responsible for sharing these costs. I think it was about $150, which I really did not have just laying around at the time. What I got in response to the bill was a check for $12.50, which was his “estimated cost of what half a co-pay might be if we were insured.”

I told his wife this story once when she said I should ask for help with the bills and she just stared at me. I would stare too, I guess. What do you say to that? So there’s a history here, of course.

Hi SeaFed,

Franny has a dental appointment on the 29th at 10:30 at the office in XXX. This appointment is critical because her sealant is cracked on one of her molars and she might have a cavity. If she needs a filling, I give my consent for it to be done. If they ask, you can tell them the insurance information is the same and if they have further billing questions they are welcome to call me.



If you don’t have any objections, I’ll have Dr. XXXX transfer her records to our dentist [in our city] and see if they can schedule the procedure during her time here. Let me know if that’s a problem.

And me again:

Yes, it’s a problem. Dr. XXXX is her dentist. If she has a procedure, I’d like the dentist who has seen her since she was three to take care of her. Thanks for understanding.

This is sort of like an attempt at being gaslighted by a park bench or something. Am I just supposed to sit her and pretend I don’t notice that after 3+ years of me taking care of everything and her living here over 80% of the time that there is suddenly a burning desire to change the schedule and switch her dentist when she has one a couple of miles from my house who she’s been seeing for 7 years? Really, this is the response to “your daughter has a dental appointment”?

I tried to map out this thought process and I still don’t get it. If I was a kid I don’t think I’d want to be taken to a brand new dentist for the first time to possibly get a filling, when I had a dentist I knew.

The latest word is that in the fall when his fourth child arrives, Franny will be sharing a room on her weekends with her two preschooler halfsibs (one of them under two) as the baby will get the other bedroom. Franny has started borrowing her friends’ eye makeup (which means I need to get her her own), and has determined that she wants to start wearing makeup for middle school next year–the kid’s growing up. Good times ahead. At least nowadays the harm can just be measured in months in therapy instead of all the negligence injuries of the old days. In the old days I protected her body, now I am trying to protect her mental state.

P.S. My camera is broken. I am half a diarist without one.