My daughter ended up spending Friday night, after her dance classes, with her dad. I texted her at 6:45 p.m. to see if she needed me to pick her up as she had reported being too ill to go to his place. I knew she was able to be in her dance class when she didn’t respond.
In the meantime, I was invited on a dinner date. I figured that if my daughter managed to participate in her dance classes from 3:30 – 7:45 p.m. that she was going to go to her dad’s place after all. I suspected that it was anxiety about spending the night at her dad’s. If I had picked her up after school she would have sacrificed going to dance just to avoid her dad’s place. When I put the onus back on her to let her dad know she was cancelling because she was sick and when I wasn’t able to pick her up earlier she chose to just go to dance. She could have taken the school bus that goes to our home instead of the dance studio if she was really ill.
So regarding my dinner date, there is always the history with my ex in the back of mind. What if she texted her dad saying she was sick and that I was going to pick her up earlier so she could go home instead? What if she told him she was sick and couldn’t go to his house but still needed a ride home and he told her he wouldn’t drive to the dance studio just to pick her up if she wouldn’t go back to his place? What if he received a better invitation? I wanted to see my friend, as it had been a long time since we spent any time together, so I told him my predicament and that the best I could do was fast food in case I needed to leave quickly.
My daughter texted me at 7:45 p.m. to say that she was going to go with her dad. Her symptoms were much improved because the Bove wasn’t present. She texted that she would rather be home but that it was only one night. Why only one night, I wondered? If her dad was making a change to make his child a priority wouldn’t he want to spend the whole weekend with her? Or did she set up her own plans to avoid that?
Her dad dropped her off at noon the next day back to my place. She revealed that he was on his way up to Parksville (1 1/2 hours away) for a party and was staying at the Beach Club Resort overnight. Of course he was. I knew it was impossible for him to actually manage to spend an entire weekend with his daughter. (I reported he did spend 2 Saturday nights ago with her but forgot he actually dropped her at a birthday party at 4 and didn’t see her again until noon the next day). This was “his” weekend and yet to him that means playing the dad role only if time permits in between what he really wants to do instead.
Our daughter knows that. She has lived this for more than 2 1/2 years now. It will never change. She will never be a priority in his life, ever. If he keeps his next commitment, he will see her again in 4 nights, Thursday, for 2 hours. So over a 96 hour period he will see her for 2 hours max. Then, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he will see her again in 7 days on the next Thursday for dinner, that will be a 168-hour period in which he sees her for 2 hours. The math doesn’t lie. That is a failing percentage. He is failing his daughter. He is failing as a father. Quantity time matters. If he throws the Bove into the equation that subtracts from time with his daughter. The Bove is equivalent to a big zero and my daughter is left with nothing.
He did come back Sunday night and pick up our daughter to take her to his place for dinner. Afterwards, he took her to the beach to see the lunar eclipse. Sadly, for my daughter, the Bove crashed her time with her dad and once again my ex managed to turn time with his daughter into a big negative.