Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where Are My Teen Kids?

As a single parent with half-time custody, I’m supposed to see my kids half of the time. My ex's and my custody schedule works great. The kids are with me Monday and Tuesday nights, with their mom Wednesday and Thursday, and they alternate weekends between mom’s house and dad’s house. I love seeing my kids. Parenting rocks.

So how come this past weekend when they were supposed to be with me, they weren’t with me?

Because they're teens.

To wit: Friday night, my daughter’s friend from Sweden was enjoying her last night visiting the states. My daughter and all her friends were out till the wee hours giving waffle daagen a new name. As for my son? He was at a middle school dance, getting his freak on to Keisha (Tik Tok). With both kids gone, you think I could have persuaded a girlfriend to come over for couch sex or a movie. But, alas, I watched a DVD alone.

Saturday during the day, my son had some lacrosse activities, then hung out skateboarding with friends. My daughter slept in. I mean, she really slept in – till early afternoon. What’s a single dad to do when his kids are sort of around, but not really? I did yard work, pruning, taking down xmas lights. Gotta love quality family time, eh?

But not to worry – I insisted my daughter stay home and eat dinner with us Saturday night. And she gladly agreed, except that right after dinner she was heading off to the movies to see It’s Complicated with a child-of-divorce girlfriend. (They’re both 17, and can get themselves into R-rated movies.) As for my son? I forgot to command him to stay home for dinner, and he had a sleepover with those skateboarding friends.

Sunday is fun day, right? Er… for the kids. My daughter didn’t sleep too late, but once up her friends came by and whisked her off to the mall to shop for Winter Ball dresses. As for my son? He got invited to a Chowder Fest. Forty gallons of homemade clam chowder for forty guests. He ate five bowls, and loved it!

By Sunday night, my kids were exhausted. And here I’d spent the weekend holding down the fort in hopes we’d do something as a family. I'm a firm believer that parents should be present to their kids lives. Of course, that only works if the kids are present, too. Sigh. At least by my being around and giving them a long leash, they got to spend quality time with friends. That's important, too. Cool parent points scored.

The Winter Ball dress? My daughter didn’t find one. And the Chowder Fest? My son got a stomach ache from eating way too much. (Haha.)

As for this hot dad who wondered where his kids went - I had an awesome nap!

Next custody weekend, I won’t be sitting around solo. I’ll simply make plans of my own.

15 comments:

Nicki said...

I just saw my future. It was dark and gloomy. Maybe I should take up napping? Find another hobby? Better yet...make some guy friends for couch time...

T said...

Yeah, I was always gone when I was 16-18 years old. My parents had each other at least. Hmmm... yeah, sounds like the teen years will be interesting.

TentCamper said...

I totally get that!!
I guess my situation is quite different, but I always feel like a total loser when I don't make any plans just so that the family can be together and then all of the kids announce all of their grand weekend plans. Then Mariah and I sit around doing nothing...
As for visitation with my boys...I never even know when they are going to come now...only had them one weekend in Dec. and my ex just informed me that SHE is canceling my visitations. yeah...visiting schedules have been boiling my blood lately.

Brandy said...

That's how it is when the teens get a social life. Even when my teen doesn't have plans he would rather stay at home than go out with us.

Unless it involves a meal and then we can usually drag him out. :)

Not a soccer mom said...

You are living my life... Even with full custody, I rarely see my kids. Teens have jobs, friends, cars of their own.. I too wait around hoping to have some bonding time...
But the one time I make plans of my own is the time they comment 'Gees, you have plans? I was hoping we could do something as a family!' cant win with teens

Danielle said...

I am so glad that we are still at the stage where my daughter can't live without me. Hopefully when she gets to this stage, I will be ready for some alone time!

qandlequeen said...

Look at it this way, they're preparing you for the college years.

LilliGirl said...

I can relate. This where it gets tougher but rest assured their Mom has to deal with their absence too.

Southern Sage said...

LOL great post!

Kat Wilder said...

After following The Kid around for the last year or two, asking him if I can do anything for him, I finally stopped.

He often ditches me on my custody days, as he should. I now know I can make plans — or not — but they're always tentative. I like to let him know that I'm there "just in case."

This is what parenting is all about, when you think of it; preparing them to be free, independent and responsible As much as that's how it should be, I don't think I know any parent who doesn't feel a bit sad even as she's celebrating having "me" time again.

Elizabeth said...

You sound like you are dealing with this change gracefully, David. I don't get the parents who are thrilled when their kids are totally on their own -- I know they still always need us, however.

Joanna Cake said...

Since I separated from my Husband, people often say to me, dont you miss your kids?

Of course I do but, at 18 and 15, they werent in the house that much anyway. And, when they were, they were doing homework or on their computers. I only really saw them when they came down to graze.

Now that I live elsewhere, they make arrangements to come and see me when they want to and I understand if they get a better offer - that's what being the parent of a teen is all about. Being there when they need you and not making a fuss when they're being independent.

I enjoy napping too :)

professional search engine optimization said...

Yeah great post for a moral for big family or a good advise.

Turning Winds Review said...

Teenagers!
I used to be like that too, but I'm not sure If I'd like it when my pre-teens will grow up too soon, preferring the company of friends than their family. But as we have been there before, I'm sure they still need us for something other than "allowances". Lol!
I guess it's best to just be there for them when they need us and still reminding them of their limits even if they are given the freedom to decide on what to do with their future.
I really enjoyed reading your post.

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