Thursday, April 21, 2011

My How They Grow!

So it's Wednesday evening as I write this, 7.20 PM to be precise. Wednesdays, you may be aware, are my regular evening with A and K. Every other Friday night (in theory) they come to me too, the theory being that they stay the night and are with me until Saturday evening. It's a bummer sometimes, this divorce thing isn't easy on any of the parties involved and the time apart from your children can wrench at the heart and tear at a fellow.

And now, as K hits fifteen and A approaches seventeen, the last thing either of them wants to do is spend time with a male parent, a father as they're commonly called.

A couple of years ago I'd collect them from their place every Wednesday at around 3.30 PM. These days it's become a case of "what time will you be at mine?" and they break off activities with their pals to pop round and let me feed them.

K has just left. She texted me earlier to say she'll be here at about 6 PM, but then "had" to go to a friend's house and would make her own way back to her mother's later on. Minutes before she arrived I got another text:

"Dada will you get Chinese food for me as I have to eat quickly and then go?"

I chose not to respond, figuring that way I could actually walk to the Chinese across the road with her, to get a brief snippet of time together. That plan came close to working, though talking to me proved quite hard with the distraction of whatever hum of activity was going on on Facebook at the time.

A quick refuel, involving K stuffing more Chinese food into her mouth than even I thought possible, followed by another check on Facebook, and she was gone. There was a commitment to let me know what's going to happen this Friday and there was a spell in which I gave her £40 for a trip to Alton Towers, an amusement park, that she claims to be doing in the next day or two.

And I sit and wait for the older sister, who promises to arrive about 9PM. She'll want feeding, she'll get on facebook, watch TV and send more texts than I do in about a century. Then I'll drop her home, getting some vague promise that she'll let me know what's happening on Friday.

Sometimes, the life of a divorced Dad does hurt a bit you know.

20 comments:

thekillromeoproject said...

Whoa... This actually made me think about what it's gonna be like with my son in the future...

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

TKRP - I reckon, at this age (their's not mine!) the daughter / father thing is a bit awkward for them, whereas from what I've seen with fathers and sons it's quite different. Hope you're well out there though! x

PseudoRandom said...

I don't suppose letting them know how you feel is an option?

I understand that the rules are different post-divorce, but to my old-fashioned eyes it looks like you're letting them walk over you a bit. You're their father and they need to learn that taking you for granted is not acceptable.

I know that fathers get a bit soft when it comes to their daughters, but I've seen your situation further down the line and it won't fix itself.

Please don't think I'm trying to tell you how to raise your kids - it's just that I hate to see parents being hurt (inadvertently) by their children.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you're being used.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon - used with love perhaps! I reckon it's what most kids do.

aufidius said...

You always have me RD! You don't even have to worry about feeding, let's do the chinese thing and all you have to do is not let me pay!

Cadence said...

A heart to heart won't work RD. Kids tht age and even my age (I am not a kid though!) are averse to the heart to heart emotional stuff.

Use their own strategy, use nonchalance and the "by the way it would be nice to spend some time with u girls" pointed comment thing. Maybe do some stuff they like to do, like shopping or taking them out to some place they'd like to go? It seems that they just feel obligated to pop by and well, tht i guess will hurt.

Good Luck and I hope the blues don't last! :)

G said...

Difficult one to call; whilst you shouldn't disturb their routine behaviour, I think it's fair to expect quality time and more attention given they see you less frequently. Teenagers are notoriously grouchy but you guys need to make the most of the precious time you have before they pack themselves off to university and beyond. The girls are mature enough to appreciate your desire for conversation and bonding - why not spell this out to them?

David Blacker said...

Not too sure you're right about the father/son business. I'm beginning to see the signs of teenhood and my one's only 8. I agree with Cadence. Treat 'em like you would any other chick. If chasing won't make them respond, let them chase you for a bit.

Marc said...

planning activities for the nights you have them might be one way to get them to be there and spend some quality time with you. Also choose an activity which interrupts the facebook and texting routine. Kids need to appreciate that sitting with company while on their mobile texting and facebooking is just plain inconsiderate to the the other people they are with. I see it so often in social settings these days...the parents have taken the kids out for dinner only to have them glued to their ipad/iphone.

Anonymous said...

This Wednesday/Friday was that your decision because it fits in with you. Perhaps you're not playing a big enough role in their lives. That may be why they 'pop' round.I don't know how long you've been divorced but it doesn't seem as if you see them a great deal. Has it always been like that?

Magerata said...

Man, Dads, Moms they will never learn. I go home every Friday to show my love to Mom, and get my laundry done and eat a proper meal :). Some weekends I play golf with Dad, 'cos I don't have a membership and too costly to do otherwise. But I get golf and other lessons by him and his buddies for a day. Then again some Dads bring their daughters with them :), giving me a chance to be a teacher. All said and done at the end of the day in simple words, I love them, I meant my parents not the girls, in my own way.I do not know about the divorced bit but I am sure your daughters love you too, in their own way! If you want you can watch this, I am sure it will take some of the pain away!
Music in the forest

Guiding Spirit said...

I haven't seen my dad in 12 years and he didn't make much of an effort to get in touch and see how we were doing. It hurts. Your daughters may not show it much (blame it on teenage years, growing pains etc etc) but they need you in their life. Try and take them out more (away from FB!) - I am sure you share common interests. Good luck!

Lady divine said...

it tends to happen at that age you know... I'm sure you can relate to it too when you think back to your younger days?

Cadence has actually spelt out what I had in mind perfectly. I'm with her. try it out.:)

all the best!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Gosh, thanks for all the comments and advice. I think the best thing I can do is accept that this is what they're like at the moment and avoid the serious stuff!

I'll keep you posted on progress of course x

maya❤ said...

they call you 'dada' ? ...awh...that's the cutest thing ever....! :)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Maya - No they dont, K does it sometimes, but in a kind of fun way to sound affectionate!

maya❤ said...

and it most certainly is....so very adorable.

ps: i always address my parents as mama & dada,... in typical lankan fashion.

Scrumps said...

I can't begin to imagine what it must feel like but it upsets me to hear of situations like this. Sure I'm older (and maybe a teeny bit wiser) but I remember being their age and I remember making time for my parents. Even now I do it. Maybe you could try the nonchalant approach or just telling them how you feel. I know my comment gives no advice and is pretty much pointless so apologies!

Gypsy said...

If it helps, kids learn to appreciate their parents much, much more, later on. At least that's been my personal experience. In the mean time - hugs. Just.