Activity Pickup/Dropoff question

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Whiteheron

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Activity Pickup/Dropoff question
« on: July 27, 2018, 04:15:21 PM »
I'm fairly certain I know the answer to this, but I need input from anyone who's dealt with this before. I would email my L but, you know, $$$. That and she's on vacation.

I received a text from stbx about camp drop off and pickup. He's not happy I listed a friend as being able to pick up DD. I did this because my friend's daughter was enrolled in the same camp and we were planning to carpool. Made sense since we live in the same neighborhood and our kids were attending the exact same camp. On top of that, the kids are good friends. stbx was scheduled to pick up DD one day, on his scheduled day. I did not end up using my friend for transportation.

His issue? He was listed third on the list, after myself and my friend (the list also happened to be alphabetical, but he appears to have fixated on the fact he was last).

Now he's demanding I do not list anyone other than himself as an alternate pickup. Despite the fact that he either works or travels when I have the kids, and his workplace is 45 minutes away from the camp.

So when we have court in a few weeks, he only wants himself and myself to be listed as able to pickup...even though we will both be in court?!

This is the issue I'm having, and I may be off base, but I don't want to think so: I have majority custody. If I am unable to pickup either of the kids, I should not be expected to rely on my unstable, abusive stbx to help me out. He was never there to help while we were living together, so why would he demand I use him now? I feel like this is yet another form of control - he's continually trying to isolate us and not willing to allow others to help me out. It was like that in our marriage and it seems he wants to continue along that line of thinking. I am now a single mom, I am relying on friends to help out, not stbx. My friends rely on me as well. It's how I believe most people, married or not, operate when there are multiple kids that need to be in multiple locations at the same time.

What are your thoughts? Am I doing what 'normal' single parents do? Am I out of line? Did I screw up?
I must still be fogged - he gets me to question myself so easily!
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: Activity Pickup/Dropoff question
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2018, 06:43:46 PM »
Whiteheron, I'm a little confused.

Has the camp already happened?

If not, is there a set plan in place regarding who will transport ds to where and when?

I have a similar issue with my u/npd exH regarding emergency contacts at ds11's school.

Ds lives with me and all of his schooling happens on his time with me.

U/npd exH and his nwife live an hour's drive away fom the school (and from me). He works here there and everywhere, often away interstate for days/weeks. She works even further away than where they live. I work in different places every day but all within an easy half hour away from the school. I even work at the school 3 mornings each week.

Emergency contacts were 1: me. 2: u/npd exH. 3: local friend who is SAH mother of ds's school friend, lives 15 mins away, 4: ds's Great Uncle who lives less than half an hour away, who ds gets along with really well.

U/npd exH took exception that his nwife wasn't on the list. Said she should be next after him.

So, according to him, if ds became ill at school and u/npd exH and I couldn't be contacted, ds had to wait for a  hour or more for smum to turn up, be driven for an hour to their place then picked up by me and driven another hour back home to my place.

Irrational and not in ds's best interests.

Thankfully, u/npd exH didn't object to having other people as contacts. He just wanted smum's name down as 3rd contact.

The problem was that ds's needs had to be met and u/npd exH had to be kept happy.

So the school came up with a compromise.  There are now two 3rd contacts. Smum and a friend. Both will be contacted if u/npd exH and I cannot be contacted.

 :stars:

So far u/npd seems ok with that.

The bottom line is to try to make a decision that best suits the child's needs.  (To state the obvious). Unfortunately my pds don't always think that way.

You are absolutely right that when it is your DD's time with you, you have the right/responsibility to organise other pople to do pickups if you are unable to. That list of people does not have to include the ex.  That might work in an amicable relationship between exes. My relationship with u/npd exH is anything but amicable.

I would not be a responsible parent if I were to rely on him.  He's often away and reliably unreliable.

AOD

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Penny Lane

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Re: Activity Pickup/Dropoff question
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2018, 07:11:59 PM »
I think it's necessary to have a backup for pick ups and I totally think it's a control thing on your ex's end.

When I first met SO, he didn't have a great backup plan. His family lives far away and can't help out with things like drop offs and pick ups. So he would rely on BM and her family. Maybe his friends helped out occasionally but he didn't have a reliable person he could go to.

But the thing is, any time he needed her to do something for the kids there would be strings attached. She wouldn't answer his question until the last minute and/or she would pull out at the last minute. Or he had to give her money or more time at a different time with the kids. It was always something and it was always stressful.

As I've gotten closer to the kids I've picked up more and more of this stuff. He still does 95% of things. But sometimes I drop the kids off when both kids need to be somewhere different. Stuff like that. It's nothing contrary to the parenting plan - and I do far less for the kids than BM's parents, who provide pretty regular childcare.

BM always acted like she was fine with me - and even asked me to watch the kids a couple times - until she realized this was going on. Basically she had been making him pay one of her bills in exchange for doing something for the kids. SO said "either you need to start paying this bill on your own or I will cancel the thing and Penny will start doing it instead." She lost her damn mind. Like, we had to call the police on her. It was all very ugly.

She never had any problems with me up until that point, so it really seems to me that what she objected to was the loss of her ability to control SO financially, rather than my filling in on something SO couldn't do. But since then her position has been that I'm not "allowed" to do anything for/with the kids - meaning, she's trying to remove SO's main support system. By the way every lawyer SO has talked to says she can't make these demands about his parenting time, and I imagine the same would apply to you.

Don't let it get as far as my SO did! Not only are you allowed to have a backup plan in place, but you SHOULD have a backup plan in place. Sounds like both of your exes are extremely unreliable on this stuff. BM certainly is and now that SO has a backup other than her, his life is a lot less full of stress. (In fact, sometimes he'll still offer to let her do stuff with the kids, like drive one of them to practice while he drives the other to a game. Pretty much every time, once she realizes that he has a backup and she can't jerk him around, she'll say she won't do it.)

Your ex is certainly within his rights (at least, the way our parenting plan is written) to tell the camp that if they can't reach you in an emergency they should call him first. But it's unacceptable to not have any other backup. And it's ridiculous to try to demand that you not carpool with anyone during your parenting time.

As an aside, BM tells the school to call her mom if the kids are sick and they can't reach her. Never mind that SO has the kids half the time and IS THEIR PARENT. BM tries to cut him out of every communication. For the past few years he's tried to add me to the contact list (in case I have to pick them up as an emergency - both parents and the grandma have been unavailable in the past) and every year she goes in and deletes my information from the file. So the kids have sat at school for HOURS either because no one listed could come get them or because they never called SO, just BM and her mom. It's all very frustrating. I know that last part doesn't help you, it's more of a vent.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 07:17:29 PM by Penny Lane »

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Whiteheron

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Re: Activity Pickup/Dropoff question
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2018, 08:45:40 PM »
Yes, the camp has already happened. Last day was today. I received the text while DD was still at camp. There will be one more week of camp at a different location later in August.

It wasn't even the emergency contact list. It was the "allowed to pick up DD" list that the camps ask for. He now wants to "pre-approve" anyone else listed.  :roll: There are no SO's listed (because I don't have/want one) and I only list parents of friends that the kids know and are comfortable with. Parents I know will be around in case I need them to help last minute. In this case, I've known the mom for almost ten years, our DDs went to preschool together. I've done this every year they've been in camp, this is the first time stbx has had to pick up one of the kids from camp.

I would not be a responsible parent if I were to rely on him.  He's often away and reliably unreliable.
AOD
Yes, this! Why does he not want other people listed when he is usually out of town with his gf?? Or he will be in a meeting and not answer his phone?? Reliably unreliable. That sums it up perfectly!

Penny - can't your H call the school office and request your # be on the contact list? How is BM able to go in and delete it?
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

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Penny Lane

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Re: Activity Pickup/Dropoff question
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2018, 09:38:42 PM »
For whatever reason it makes her feel really good to take my name off of stuff. If there's an online profile she'll go in and delete me. She's also crossed my name off paper forms, too. And of course if she fills out info for an activity she won't list me as a person who can pick them up even if there's enough room for both parents, her mom and me. SO still enters my name on forms and sometimes she can't take me off so it stands. When she deletes me we've just decided it's not worth the hassle for him to add me back in just to have her take me out and then they go back and forth. If there's an emergency where I have to pick the kids up from somewhere he'll call them and let them know. Like I said SO does almost all the pickups on his time so it doesn't come up all that often - pretty much only if there's an emergency, like a kid gets sick, when I can leave work immediately and he can't. And like I said I would be the fourth person they call after both parents and a grandparent, so it's pretty rare that it would even be needed.

I guess we need to figure out if SO is going to put his foot down this school year (I mean, we're about to be married, it does seem like the school should at least have emergency contact info for a stepparent who lives with the kids) but there have been so many points of contention lately that neither of us really want to introduce more tension over yet another thing.

I realize my situation is different than yours. I think even healthy parents are bound to feel weird about their ex's new girlfriend (or boyfriend) taking on a quasi-parental role with the kids, even if it's just chauffeuring them around. So I've tried to be respectful of her feelings and not take over stuff that's sort of her domain. We met after the divorce and we took things really slowly with the kids, it was probably a year after I met the kids before I even went to a practice or game, much less did drop offs and pickups without SO. But I think the bottom line is that she's less concerned about that and more concerned about removing SO's support system - I think she would find an objection to anyone who fills in when he's in a bind. In fact a long time ago she sent him an unasked for list of his friends that she approved of watching their kids - it was all people who it would be really inconvenient for them to watch the kids and/or are closer friends to her than to him. He ignored it.

It sounds like your ex is the same, he just doesn't like that you don't have to rely on him. My point was that what you're doing is totally normal and he's being totally unreasonable. Especially since you did this when you two were married! I suppose as a courtesy you could give him a heads up about who might be picking up the kids, but honestly, I'm not sure you even need to do that if it's not required by the parenting plan and you've always done this with this mom. Some kind of concession might keep him from escalating though. I can just see him having his girlfriend or some shady friend who doesn't have kids pick up your daughter from camp and being like "what? I'm doing the same thing you did!" even though that's obviously not the same. That's definitely a move BM would make just to get into a pointless power struggle.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 09:50:42 PM by Penny Lane »