The summer visitation schedule is well on its way in our blended family.

When Hun and I first received custody of his kids 5 years ago, we attempted to do everything we could to make the adjustment as smooth and stress-free on the kids as best we could.  That first summer, we did not receive the same consideration in return.  I understand why Jetsam was bitter with how everything turned out – I cried for her in the courtroom when the judge announced she was transferring custody.  I cried as a mother for her.  I cried for the fact that the situation forced us to take that step, putting her in that position.  And unbeknownst to me at the time, I cried for what my life was about to become.

When Jetsam delivered them to our house (her request, we offered to pick them up and anything they wanted to bring with them – she refused), she delivered them with exactly 3 pairs of cloths – all of which were 3 sizes too small – no extra socks, no extra underwear, no sleepwear, only 3 pairs of cloths and the items they were wearing.  The set they were each wearing was barely presentable.  When I asked why they brought those cloths with them, the kids’ responses were, “Our Mom says you wanted custody of us, you’ll have to buy us what we need.”  Never mind the fact that we always bought them multiple outfits before school started every summer, at Christmas, and again at school spring break for them to have at her house.  We expected this move from her – we just weren’t expecting it the very first day.

Then, as the summer wore on and school was getting closer and closer, Hun finally asked Jetsam if she planned on having them for an extended period of time.  She agreed, wanting her full two weeks that was in the temporary custody orders and named the weeks.  Without realizing it until it was too late, we discovered these two weeks were directly preceding the start of school.

D’OH!!

Did we ever pay for that mistake!

Attempting to pick the kids up the Sunday before the first day of school revealed that Jetsam moved while the kids were with her.  There went all of the “stability” the judge insisted on right out the window.  Of course, Jetsam had to tell the kids the judge’s orders – stable home for one year, stable job for one year, get rid of loser, alcoholic, pot-smoking, abusive boyfriend and custody might be turned back over.  At this point, she had lost custody of her kids only 2 and a half months before and had already broken 2 of the 3 orders (to her credit, she did dump the boyfriend – finally).  These kids are smart – they knew their mom wasn’t doing what she was supposed to for them to move back in with her.

So….who got to deal with the fallout of Jetsam’s ineptitude?

Yep – Hun and I – and the school (every week we were getting calls about issues they were having).  We never let that first summer happen again.  Instead, Jetsam came up with bigger and better ways to disappoint her kids.

Like when she moved 5 states away.  She was gone for Christmas and promised them a fun-filled summer vacation – with our help to make sure they actually GOT there.  We planned for weeks with the kids on how we were going to drive there, what they were going to do with their mom and how they were going to get back home.  It was monumental the logistics Hun and I were planning to accommodate work, our budget and the kids expectations.  All of those plans of ours went right out the window.  Those plans and promises fell through when Jetsam decided a month before summer vacation began to move back (which was both a blessing for the kids and a curse for us).

Now we’re at the summer of 2012.  The kids have been at her house for the last week.  It was planned for them to come back for a couple of days to our house for appointments and a family pool party.  They are supposed to go back to their mom’s house on Saturday after the pool party for the 4th of July holiday and through the following weekend.

I’ve been planning this particular week on the sly for the last 5 months – July 8th is my birthday.  Jeff Dunham is having a (semi) local performance on July 6th and I had tickets bought since the day I knew about it back in February.  My birthday present to myself…oh…and Hun gets to come too (maybe – that’s another post for another day).  The kids knew nothing of our plans to skip town for the night.

Here comes that super-human telepathy power of Jetsam’s again.  When picking up the kids last night, she informs Hun that it probably won’t be a good idea for the kids to come back on Saturday because she has no food (again) and no money (again) and she’s looking for a new job (again) and a new home (again) and it will be better if they just stay with us.

ARGH!

THIS COULDN’T HAVE WAITED JUST ONE MORE WEEK?!?

Now I have Rowdy coming to me, asking if he can spend his allowance on food for Jetsam’s house so they can spend the week with their mom.  Questions like that show how sweet of a person Rowdy really is (even when he is frustrating me beyond belief).  On the other hand, how can Hun or I with a clear conscience, allow our children to take over responsibility for their own mother?

It’s a tough position to be in – both for the kids and us.

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