Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Back to Earth With A Bump
It's Sunday afternoon. My hair and clothes are still covered with a fine smattering of sand, courtesy of my lunchtime walk on the beach with Green Eyed Man. There is a smile on my face. I go to pick up the boys from their father's with an unusual spring in my step.
Upon entry into his apartment the typical chaos ensues. Bags are still being jammed full of toys that simply cannot be left behind. Clothes are being wedged into my handbag as an afterthought. There is much phaffing and palava and hyperactivity. Finally, everything that needs to be shunted on a bi-weekly basis between two homes is safely contained within an assortment of bags. Ex and I shuffle behind our exuberant offspring to the lift, laden down with baggage like a couple of prize mules.
There is the usual commotion when we get to the car. Daddy is temporarily forgotten in the fight to the death for who will gain ownership of the car seat behind mummy for our 10 minute journey. The adults might be making every effort to be on their best behaviour but the boys have no such intentions. I try to remain calm and admire ex's restraint in not raising his voice. The last thing he wants is to spoil what has been a really fun weekend with a rant right at the last minute.
Finally, after 10 long minutes of negotiation and arbitration that makes the Middle East crisis seem like a walk in the park, the boys are finally battened down and we are ready to head home. Which is of course the exact moment that each boy demands a series of hugs, kisses, secret handshakes and silly walks to prolong that actual moment of goodbye. I can't imagine that leaving daddy is something that they will ever find easy.
We drive off slowly - the boys windows are down and daddy jogs alongside the car to the end of the road, throwing last minute kisses and generally lampooning about and kicking his heels to a chorus of giggles and much applause. I internally commend us both for dealing with this situation as well as we are able and feel a quiet comfort in how well the boys have adapted as a result.
We turn the corner.
And Captain Underpants begins to cry.
"I already miss my daddy so much. And I've left my special Bakugon and I really wanted to remember to bring it home and now I have forgotten it and I won't see it for days. It's just too hard to remember everything. I don't want to have two houses - I don't. It's just too hard."
My little self-congratulatory balloon instantly deflates. It doesn't really matter how well ex and I are handling this. Captain Underpants is right in his undertones. It is still shit.
He continues to cry. Johnny Drama looks on with a face full of concern.
"We have a new house now mummy. I know you said you and daddy were unhappy in the old house. But we have a new house now mummy. We can all be happy in the new house. Daddy too. That would be a good choice, wouldn't it? Wouldn't it, mama?"
Yes it would my love. Yes it would.
How did this all get so fucked up? And how did I successfully achieve the one thing I promised I would never do...break my boys' hearts.