You Don’t Need Glasses to See My Problem

Last week, I found out that Puck had misplaced his glasses.  They’d been missing for about two weeks.  

I like to think that a normal co-parenting relationship where both parents have a interest in the kids would have gone like this:

  1. Child loses his glasses. 
  2. Child comes home and tells the parent who has custody immediately that his glasses have been misplaced. 
  3. Custodial parent tells non-custodial parent. They come up with a game plan. 
  4. Parents confer with the teacher, perform a search of homes and relevant areas of school. 
  5. If glasses are not found as a result of number 4 (and it’s more likely they would be as the time between the loss and the search is limited) – the primary caregiver replaces the glasses and provides the receipt to the other parent – who immediately pays his half. 

This is how it went in my case:

  1. Puck loses his glasses. 
  2. Puck informs the teacher a couple of days later. The teacher helps Puck search and informs his dad a couple of days after that on pick-up. Dad asks her to keep looking and searches his own trunk (but not his home) and Puck’s locker. 
  3. Two weeks pass. During two weeks, when asked by mom why he hasn’t brought home glasses to be cleaned, Puck lies and says he forgot them. 
  4. Teacher notices Puck still has no glasses and asks him why (as I have informed her that they are essential). Puck advises teacher that he hasn’t got a new pair. Teacher surmises that Mom has not been told and sends home a note summarizing the search so far. 
  5. Mom loses her plot.  Mom sends email to the Goblin King asking for information.  Response from Goblin King disclaims all liability.  Suggests the glasses were lost at mom’s home.  He won’t pay for new glasses.
  6. Puck is unable to recount circumstances under which glasses were lost (as it’s been two weeks and he can’t remember). 
  7. Mom sends spare pair of glasses to school. 
  8. Mom sends Puck back in to recheck all the spots he’s already checked and suggests new spots (the library, the resource room, the gym and the after care). 
  9. After two days, Mom finally talks to teacher (it took two days for her to return my call). Reinforces again that Puck needs glasses to read. Asks teacher to recheck some areas. Mom reinforces (again) communication issues with Goblin King and need for more communication from teacher on essential items.

Of course, the Goblin King has disclaimed all liability.  He says they were either lost at the school or my house.  He says he didn’t tell me because the teacher said she was going to tell me.  It’s not his fault that didn’t happen.  He’s also suggested to Puck that it’s not his fault either.  Someone probably stole them.  I guess there’s a black market for stolen prescription glasses somewhere (insert facepalm here).

I finally got him to agree to pay for half the glasses – but he’s suggested I need to arrange for him to be able to pay for his half directly with the vendor for the replacement pair.  

Real quotes from his emails:

“I did discuss this with the teacher last week. She stated to me that you would be notified.”

“I suggest you keep up with currant (sic) affairs, as this is the reason, I did notice a problem, in regards too Puck not having eye wear?  Why didn’t you?”

Why didn’t I notice?  Really??  That’s all I have to do?  Notice and passively expect that it will be resolved?  Ohhhh…right.  That’s what happens when he does it.  He notices and someone else takes care of it.  Of course.  No wonder he thinks that’s the way it goes.

I’m just so tired of this. I can’t understand why we can’t work together. I can’t understand why he doesn’t think it’s important for our learning disabled son to have his glasses to help him read.  

I don’t understand why he can’t take any responsibility for anything and it’s always someone else’s fault.

But he can. And he does. And he will. Every single time.  And I have to accept that there’s nothing I can do about him.

At the same time – I can’t just stop trying.  I need to use this as a learning moment – both for myself – and for my son.  I’m not giving up.  I’m switching tactics.

I acknowledge that there is no use in trying to teach the Goblin King what a normal co-parenting relationship should look like (as he clearly has no idea).  Clearly he thinks that any problems with the children are magically resolved without any intervention on his part.

Instead, I’ve reinforced with Puck that he needs to be more responsible with his things. That it would be easier to find his glasses if I know as soon as they’re lost. That I’m much less likely to lose my plot if he is honest and forthcoming. 

And that’s the best I can do.

Thomas Edison Quote "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."
Image Credit: (Edited) jannoon028 / freedigitalphotos.net

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