Disclaimer: Although I try to not bitch about my ex-husband here – in case my children ever read the blog – I am straying from that rule for this one post. Because I am just.that.pissed.off. and the Postman’s ears are beginning to bleed from all the bitching I’ve done. And while my new BFF, the Whirlpool Duet, will take the blood out of the clothes it won’t do anything for the blood that’s pooling on the floor.
My kids are with their dad this weekend. Due to baseball, we rearranged visitation and they hadn’t seen him in a couple of weeks. Which means the Diva hadn’t spent any time with him (and his wife – referred to from here on in as the Nurse) since her declaration of vegetarianism. The Postman warned me – oh yes he did! He said “What do you want to bet her dad wants no part of this vegetarian stuff?”. “Oh, no”, I replied. “His sister is a vegetarian. It’s no big deal. He’ll be fine with it.”
I am so damn naive at times. The Postman was SO right.
The Diva called me just a couple of hours after we dropped them off last night. Nearly in tears.
Her: “Guess what, Mumma? Guess what I had to eat for dinner?”
Her: “Fish. Daddy and the Nurse said I had to eat meat to get protein. They said I wouldn’t get enough protein if I don’t eat it.”
(In my head: “WTF???”)
So we had a talk about how she didn’t eat all that much meat to begin with so it’s not like she was getting an abundant amount of protein from that anyway – and that she was probably getting MORE protein now because she actually eats the soy products I prepare for her. She was so upset that she had eaten the fish. I asked her if she felt bad that she ate it and she said yes. I tried to make her feel better by telling her it was no big deal, that she could figure this out over time. The thing is, she will do ANYTHING to make her father happy. Truly. She will sacrifice every ounce of herself for him. So if he says he wants her to eat meat, she will eat it even if she doesn’t want to. Then she’ll call me and cry over it.
I am far more liberal than my ex-husband and that is a big issue between us. I also believe that he purposely chooses the opposite opinion from mine every single time we need to agree on something…but that’s a whole other issue that I can’t even begin to go into here. So while I think our daughter is asserting her independence, and making what could be a lifelong decision about her food choices; he thinks she is still a child who needs to be told what to eat.
I know what some of you are probably thinking: talk to him about it. I would love to be able to. I really would. Unfortunately, he is just not open to that. I have tried – believe me, I have tried. The last time was late last spring. The kids spend a good part of the summer with him and there were some things I wanted to talk about before the summer began. I spent hours, literally, on an e-mail. I worded and re-worded it dozens of times so as not to offend. The reply I got was “I will need time to respond to this, I don’t want to be hasty in my response”. And I never heard anything again. He thinks if he ignores me, he can continue to do what he wants.
So, what do I do about this? I told the Postman what I WANT to do is fill a cooler with soy burgers and soy dogs, and all the soy/veggie products I know she likes and hand it to him when I drop them off next time. It’s not rocket science – when he throws their beef burgers on the grill, throw on a veggie burger for her. When they have baked chicken, cook one of her veggie bundles in the oven at the same time. It takes so little effort and it shows her that we will support her decisions. Maybe this won’t stick – maybe she will decide she loves double cheeseburgers too much to give in to her belief of ethical treatment of animals. Only time will tell. But for something so important to her right now, would it kill him to be a little more supportive and a little less controlling?
For the record, I stocked up on soy at the grocery store today.