Poor Flower has had a light cough for the past month or so. No other symptoms. No fever. No headaches. No runny nose. Nothing in her chest. Just a light cough. Sounds like it’s right at the back of her throat.

Two weeks ago, one of the younger, newer girls at the after care mentioned it. “I notice she’s had it a while now. I told her dad I think it’s asthma.”

Ahhhhh. Great. Thank you Florence Nightingale. I’m so glad that your community college degree in medicine is being put to good use.

You have no idea what you just unleashed. 

Last Monday was the first email. It was an exchange day. Kids from mine to his.  I shouldn’t have had an e-mail from him – it’s my day to send the kids and send my own e-mail.  That was my first clue.

“Does Flower still have a light cough?”

That’s it. Nothing about he’s worried about it.  Nothing about other symptoms. Nothing. 

But I knew what it meant. It meant he was preparing his argument to take her to the doctors to start testing for asthma. 


So I called the doctors office. I was right. He’d scheduled an appointment on Friday. Except he’s not allowed to do that unless it’s an emergency or urgent because of our court order. I would allow him to do it if he were competent to.  But he can’t keep his facts straight. He’s never able to tell me what he’s told the doctor – or what they’ve told him. Really. It’s happened that he’s come back from the hospital and was unable to tell me what was wrong or how she was treated. And then there’s Puck’s asthma care.  He still hasn’t had an “asthma education”.  Same circle every time. 

While talking to the doctor, I described her symptoms – and yes, they confirmed a visit is not likely not required. She has a cough and it will most likely resolve in its own time.  The doctor cancelled his appointment. 

I gave this information to the Goblin King on exchange last Friday. 

“Flower’s cough has deepened a bit.  It’s not in her chest, she does not have a fever, runny nose or any other symptoms and it’s not interfering with her sleep.  If it continues to be rough or moves into her chest, I may take her to the doctor next week, but I expect it will resolve itself as per my previous e-mail.  To be clear – a doctor’s visit is not required at this time.

I got this back Monday morning:

“Flower still has a cough. Note if she still has this condition next exchange. I will be taking her too a doctor, with all information. I  suggest you take this seriously!    As under the watchful I of the order. You from what I gather in regards too care of children, are more interested, in a power struggle. This could be in the long term, detrimental too the children’s health. As a good example would be lack of dental care in the past that I had too address. Also the lack of mental health care from a dramatic care crash. This was agreed by both of us at that time by email. Only too find, from your email that you didn’t take this matter seriously for the children’s well being ?   I must note that Puck did sustain a injury as a x ray was taken. Note you being off work for a good junk of the year.  These are just some past concerns that I’ve been working with, in regards too care by you?”

On the dental thing – Puck didn’t go to the dentist for 12 months after the accident. It wasn’t on purpose – I missed it because we moved and didn’t get the notification. Flower still hadn’t been to the dentist for her first visit at that point. But GK didn’t notice either until after I took them both for a check up that revealed (surprise) no cavities or any other issues. I’m so neglectful that at 12 months between visits there was NOTHING WRONG WITH THEIR TEETH.  Phew.  Thank goodness he’s so on the ball. Seriously – someone should call children’s services. 

And yes, after the accident, Puck had x-rays as a precaution because he was complaining about arm pain. The X-rays didn’t find anything. He was never casted. In fact, they never even put him in a sling. Sent him home with some Tylenol and he was fine the next day. The ex is convinced that he broke his arm. I don’t know why. He’s had several doctors and the mediator explain that’s not what happened. I was in the hospital for nine days after the accident.  He had him the whole time.  He knows he wasn’t casted.  He’s even seen the x-rays. He still doesn’t believe it. It appears now he’s under the impression that they take x-rays not to see if there was an injury, but because there already has been one.  Having x-rays in and of itself confirms that he was terribly injured.  Sigh.

As to the “severe” emotional trauma from the accident – truthfully, the only time I ever hear about it now is when the Goblin King brings it up. That’s right – the only person who’s suffering ongoing emotional trauma wasn’t even in the car. I did discuss mental health help for the kids several times in the year following the accident with several of their physicians as well as my own. They all said that the children had adapted well and weren’t showing any signs that the accident had affected them adversely. I even went so far as to have a child and family counsellor evaluate them as we went through our access schedule battle. She didn’t find anything.  Said despite everything (including the stupidness that is our co-parenting relationship), they seemed to be very well adjusted.  He got his own copy of the report. 

All of these things I’m tempted to remind him each and every time he sends a nasty email. But what’s the use?  He doesn’t understand that just because the thoughts are in his head doesn’t make them true. And nothing I or any doctor says is going to make him think otherwise. Ever. 

So now, I’m going to take another deep cleansing breath. And as usual, I’m going to let it go.  Because I’ll never be able to convince him that what he wants to believe just isn’t true.  And I need to accept that.

You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe." Carl Sagan quotes livebysurprise
Image Credit:  (Edited) “Adorable Little Girl Playing Doctor With Stethoscope Out Door” by Jeanne Claire Maarbes / freedigitalphotos.net

Follow Live by Surprise on TwitterGoogle+FacebookPinterest and Bloglovin


  1. Ugh ugh ugh…. UGH. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this type of communication. Keep taking those deep breaths…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *