I am doing my best to raise polite children. I remember one year at Halloween I was coaching Picasso on what to do and say at the houses when he stopped for candy. I stressed the importance of saying, “Thank you,” and using his manners. I thought we were all set.
When he went up to one of the houses the occupant was apparently offering up something he did not wish to have. I heard, “No, thank you. I don’t like that,” before he turned around and walked back to me.
He was polite about it. I must give him points for that. And assertive. Definitely not afraid to speak up.
Now, maybe a good 10 years later he has received a birthday card and a check from his father. My mom took him to cash it last week and I believe he has spent the majority, if not all, of the money.
I know I write a lot about not propping up the other parent, validating your kid’s feelings about said parent, and not bullshitting them. I try very hard to walk that line between letting him vent and allowing him to have the relationship he wants with his dad.
The other night I texted him his dad’s contact information. I told him he needed to at least acknowledge the fact he had received the card, and thank him for the check.
First he asked why. I told him it was because I was raising him to be a polite young man with impeccable manners and not a flaming asshole.
He flat out refused. He said, and I quote, “I refuse to talk to him.”
At that point I told him I was not arguing about this with him. I told him to send him a thank you and to get on with his night. I told him it wasn’t about his dad. It was about him and showing that he had manners and that I wasn’t dropping the ball in raising him.
That’s probably not the best reason to give, is it?
He compromised. He agreed to tell him he received the card and check, but warned that was as far as he would go.
Later he came out and talked to me. I again told him it wasn’t about his dad; it was about being polite and doing the right thing. I told him his dad had sent him a check and he should thank him for that.
His counterpoint was that if he started acting like a father maybe he would be more willing to thank him. I believe he referred to his dad sending him a card and a check as the bare minimum. Personally, I think sending a card would have been a bare minimum, but I digress.
He followed up his counterpoint with: Yeah, he sent me $100. And how much does he still owe you?
Fair enough, although I do think the two things are separate issues.
The other issue for him is he does not want his dad having his phone number. I guess I could have him write a note.
I’m torn. On one hand I still believe in thanking a person when they’ve given a gift. I really think you should send a hand written note, but if nothing else, send a damn text acknowledging it. On the other hand I think Picasso makes some good points.
His dad has not behaved as a dad. He calls him by his name instead of referring to him as “Dad”. His card and gift were late. He’s failed to even acknowledge his birthday before. Picasso feels as though his dad spent almost a year gas lighting all of us so he could claim PTSD and get out of paying child and spousal support. He doesn’t trust him. He doesn’t believe anything he says.
I don’t remember if I shared this, but shortly before Father’s Day he was out buying a birthday gift for his sister when he happened upon a bunch of Father’s Day shirts. He had my mom take a picture of one that said, “This Is What a Cool Dad Looks Like” and told her he should get that for the mobster. Then a devious thought occurred and instead he said, “No! I should give that to the mobster and take a picture of the two of us together and then send that picture to CF.”
I’m thinking that if he had done that he probably wouldn’t have received a birthday gift. Then this whole, “Should he send a thank you note/text or not?” saga would not exist.
On a lighter note, Picasso didn’t seem to notice his dad got new checks. New checks that make it quite obvious he and the cousin whore are married now. They are cutesy country style checks and read CF & Harley Buttwipe.
Wow- he must feel super special. She hyphenated her name when she married her first husband. I don’t know if she just loves CF so much she only wants the world to acknowledge her married name, or if he threw the same little tantrum he threw when I suggested hyphenating my nam. Hey, Romeo, it’s not going to stop her from fucking other men. It’s what she does.
To my knowledge he still has not told either of the kids he married her so I was a little worried about how Picasso would react upon realizing his dad had gotten married and never bothered to tell him or Rock Star. He’s Father of the Fucking Year material, I tell ya!