Monday, February 12, 2018

Dad, Nominally

The last time I saw my daughters, at Christmas, I did what I always do, get them into the bathtub or the shower to wash the stink off of them, because they always come to me smelling awful, like a musty old house.  I put my youngest, my seven-year-old, into the bath, and noticed that she had dirt, streaks of black dirt, stuck in the creases of her arm pits.  She hadn't washed under there in what looked like weeks, judging by the dirt buildup.  I scrubbed her, got her clean, and asked about her bathing habits at home.  As I suspected, her mother doesn't check and make sure she gets clean, and so I was witnessing negligence, and I took pictures.  Not that it will do any good.  Their mother, thoroughly negligent, still gets to keep them, because she hasn't yet gone on a meth bender and ended up in jail.  I keep my fingers crossed. 

I tried for months and months to "co-parent" with my babymama, but she would have none of it.  I'd reach out, try to communicate with her, but I'd get nothing back.  Months ago, I was on the phone with my oldest daughter, and I asked her if she'd had a bath for school the next day, and she said no.  And I told her, go take a quick shower and get clean, and then call me back.  She said okay, and we hung up.  Next thing I know my mother calls me and tells me that I'd really upset my babymama by asking my daughter to take a shower.  It was a major blow-up, apparently.  And that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.  I learned, right then and there, that I have no say in the upbringing of my daughters.  None at all.  I can't even tell my daughter to go take a bath.  Somehow, that was controversial.  I have no input in how my daughters are being raised, and if my youngest's dirty stinking arm pits are any indication, they need my input.  They can't seem to get clean in a sea of negligence. 

I have no input, no say, in how my daughters are being raised.  None.  I get them just rarely, when they are out of school, and the few days I have them, I'm not raising them, but entertaining them.  I do have them bathe every day, and I make sure they are clean. 

Such is no uncommon, and I know this.  I wanted to say, to all Dad's out there who aren't raising their children, who have given them up to the incompetent and negligent women, I know how you feel, and it is compounded, I know, by the realization that though everyone tells you it is going to be okay, it is not going to be okay.  Your children are being damaged by your absence, and by the negligence of the woman in their lives.   And your central task is to stop caring what happens to your own children. 

Impossible.  Right.  Completely impossible.  Welcome to living the impossible life.  Welcome to fatherhood post-marriage.  Your children will keep the psychologists in business when they are old enough to experience depression.  And, I'm so sorry.  Nothing you can do.  It is out of your hands.  You are a dad, but only nominally, like me. 

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