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Ok, maybe I won’t ever “get it”. I just don’t get how a certain someone could consider it any kind of evil-doing on my part to send his daughter to stay the weekend with him. I just don’t get how I end up in the bitch category for that. Particularly when we have no power and he does.

Yes, I have been known to whine and moan about what a high maintenance kid she is (hence her nickname ‘Prima Donna Daughter’). I have fantasized, on occasion, about the freedom I would now be enjoying if Second Son were my youngest. I lose my patience with her, I thoroughly enjoy the time she spends at school or the overnights with a friend or her dad, and I love that her bedtime is so many hours before mine. I admit all that, and more.

But you just TRY and take her from me. I dare you.

But I’m the bad guy now. I’m the one who says, “No.” I’m the one who enforces the rules and takes the heat for doing so. I’m the one who makes her come inside when the street lights come on, do her homework, eat her vegetables and clean her room. She’s 8 and I know it’s going to get much worse before it gets better. I’m the custodial parent. I’m the one she can depend on…who will always be there for her.

He had promised her she could spend the night this past Friday night, way before the ice storm hit. He had even agreed she could stay longer than just the up-to-now normal one night if we still didn’t have power by the weekend. So, when he called Friday evening and asked to talk to her, I should have known something was up.

I gave her the phone. She listened, started crying silently, and in a small, wobbly voice said, “But Daddy, I promise we can go to bed as soon as I get there.” Then more listening. She hung up and burst out crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “He said he’s still not home from work and when he does get home he’ll be too tired for me to come over tonight. He said I have to wait until tomorrow.”

I told her to go in the other room with my sister and I went outside and called the sniveling weasel back. He answered and I said, “What in the hell does you being tired have to do with the fact that your daughter has no power, no heat and is freezing her ass off? You are a PARENT, you freak, and being tired is part of the deal. You really need to get over yourself.”

“I’m not going to argue with you about this,” he says.

“No, that’s right, you’re not. Because you can just tell her no, hang up and go get in your nice, warm, comfy bed while she has to sleep fully dressed, in her coat, under three blankets on a recliner in a room that is 42 degrees. You get Daddy of the Year for this, asshole.” I hung up.

A few minutes later, he called back, “I’ll call you when I get home.”

“Much better answer,” I said and hung up.

For all my fantasizing about not being on the parenting front-line by myself, there is NO WAY I would ever NOT have my children living with me, MUCH LESS turn one of them away like that if they didn’t, for some out-of-this-world reason, live with me.

I just don’t get it.

But what I do get, HE’LL NEVER get: the experience and rewards of being a parent. Hence, his nickname: Completely Clueless. He doesn’t hear the clock ticking. He’s not paying attention to the fact that she’s growing up and there won’t always be “next weekend, baby.” He’s all screwed up in the head, and it’s no wonder, considering the dark, smelly place he keeps it.