This morning I set the alarm a little earlier than usual. I switched on the lamp and it cascaded the room with soft lighting. I turned off the whirring fans. And I gently began to prod the boys out of the sleep. As they stirred, I began humming a little tune and making a little more noise. Eventually waking them enough to flip on the bright overhead light and turn on some tunes. They were awake! It was picture day!
Baths, breakfast, styled hair, freshly brushed teeth, and button-ups and we were ready to go!
I pulled up to their school and had to cover up my audible reaction to unexpectedly seeing their dad (my monster) standing in the doorway of the school. He was dressed in khaki dress pants, a long sleeve plaid button up, and had a school t-shirt pulled over the ensemble. He looked as douchey as ever. As my stomach churned with disgust and my hands began to shake a little, I handed the boys their backpacks and they gave me the usual peck on the cheek and I called after them as I always do, “Be brave. Be strong. Be kind!” And I sped off somewhat outraged.
For all the years we were married, my monster never was interested even remotely in anything related to the kids and their schooling. He expected me to drop them off and pick them up. I handled school lunches and treat days. I attended the extra practices, meetings, and conferences throughout the year. I assisted with all the homework. If I asked him to help with any of this, he was always “too busy”. But with every other slap in the face he has thrown my way, this is yet another one. Volunteering for the incentive for kids to have positive male influences in their lives, he is now part of the “Muscle” team at the the boys school. This means he picks one day a week to stand at the door and high five and greet every child as they walk through the door that day. And which day does he always choose? One in which he knows I’ll be dropping them off. Insert a giant eye roll here.
I let myself stew about this on my short drive to work and then let it go. Not another thought given. The work day flew by. A million decisions made. Many steps walked. Phone calls and emails and paperwork. And before I knew it, I was pulling up to the school to pick my boys up and see how their day went.
I couldn’t stop my jaw from dropping when they stepped out the door into the sunlight in completely different shirts then we had picked out that morning. I couldn’t stop it from slamming back shut and my teeth grinding. What in the actual hell?
They climbed into the car.
“Hey guys! How was your day?’
The usual “good” comes back at me. And I couldn’t help but ask…
“What’s up with your shirts?”
And the response I expected but still couldn’t believe… “Dad made us”.
I immediately changed the subject and we talked about their day and how it went but inside I was fuming. Disgusted. Angry that this man still felt the need to control so much. That he felt so much need to be in charge that he changed them from one set of cute button ups to another. Appalled at the stupidity of it. I had a lot of emotions but then I settled on one word to sum it all up.
That man is petty AF. Controlling to the point of insane pettiness.
Well, I can be petty too.
I pulled the shirts I had put the boys in that morning. The shirts they had helped me pick out. I walked into their room and said, “Hey guys, change back into these for me please”. And when their dad picks them up for his night today, they are gonna walk out to his car in the shirts he’d refused to let them wear.
Sassy? Uh, hell yeah.