The Ex-Files – The Bath

When my daughter was about 3 and I was pregnant with my son, I was running a Day Care in our home. CP wasn’t working (what else is new, right?) and I was bringing in enough money to keep the family fed and keep the electricity on. I had to put aside money each week to make the rent each month. Things were extremely tight.

While I was wrangling 5-7 kids Monday through Friday, from sometimes 6am to 6pm, CP was off visiting (or shootin’ the shit, as he called it) with his cousins. I was exhausted at the end of the day! He would come home and go to bed, sometimes without dinner, as if he was exhausted. So many nights I wanted to coldcock him upside the head with a frying pan while he slept. But that’s just not who I am. I mean, who the hell would take care of my kids if I went to prison for murder? But I digress…

One Saturday morning, I figured I’d better go get some groceries with the week’s pay because I was going to have one of my Day Care kids on Sunday morning for most of the day. My daughter wanted to stay home and her “Pop” was home so why couldn’t he watch her for an hour or so? He agreed although I’m sure he would rather be doing something else. Before I left, I asked him specifically to please not let SR play in the dirt because she just had a bath the night before. I didn’t think he needed any further explanation and he didn’t ask for one either. I left after telling SR to save the playing in the dirt for another day.

I was gone maybe an hour and a half. About the time I had finished lugging the groceries in, CP and SR came inside from the backyard. She was covered in mud. She had dirt in her hair. She was wearing semi-decent clothes that were now covered in filth. I was pissed off, to say the least.

I asked CP why he let her play in the dirt when I asked him not to. He said, “She wanted to play in the dirt and I didn’t see any harm in it.” And then he added, “I made a decision as her father.” To that I replied, “Well, since YOU are her father and YOU let her play in the dirt when I asked you not to, then YOU can give her a fucking bath!” I also explained the reason for not wanting her in the dirt was because I was exhausted and didn’t want to deal with a bath since it was my only day off that week from Day Care. He acted like I was over-reacting and that a bath wasn’t that big of a deal.

I was busy fixing dinner while he was giving SR a bath. I thought it was going smoothly, but then I heard crying. I heard CP talking sternly and then SR cried more…and then more. I stayed out of it though. I wanted HIM to take care of this. I was sick and tired of always being the one to take care of everything!

Soon SR came out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her and streaks of muddy water running down her face. She had gobs of shampoo still in her hair; it was all sudsy and muddy. I asked CP, “Why didn’t you finish washing her hair?” He angrily said, “I washed it but she wouldn’t let me rinse it so she can just sit in it and suffer.” He walked away. Dumbass, I thought. I took SR back into the bathroom, ran clean bathwater, and started over. Oh, I turned dinner off and decided that CP can just starve. I’ll make SR a sandwich or something after her bath. Screw dinner.

Image by Eduardo Davad from Pixabay

In the tub, SR was crying. I told her, “It’s ok Baby Girl. Momma will get the soap out and get you all cleaned up.” SR kept crying and saying she was sorry. I told her again, “It’s ok, Baby Girl. Pop just doesn’t know how we do it, that’s all.” She was very cooperative when washing and rinsing hair. You just have to use your brain. The way I did it was with a big cup that was always in the tub specifically for that use. I’d tell SR to “look up at the birdie” as if there was a bird up on the ceiling. She’d look up and I’d remind her to keep looking up at that birdie, as I used the cup to pour water over her hair. My hand placed upon her forehead along the hairline helped guide the water back instead of towards her face. Easy peasy. That’s how the momma does it. A washcloth quickly run over her face at the end, finished the process and she was happy as the invisible birdie on the ceiling.

After my son was born and I was still in the hospital recovering from a C-section, I had to depend on CP to take care of SR. I knew that wasn’t going to go over well with SR but I had no choice. Since my C-section was planned, I was able to make sure SR had a bath the night before, and that pajamas and clothes were laid out. I knew she’d want to come see momma and her baby brother. The morning after my surgery, in comes CP with SR and she was a mess. Her hair and teeth hadn’t been brushed. She had pancake syrup on her face. She was in the clothes she had on the day before, which were covered in dirt. That fucker let her play in the dirt again! He didn’t bathe her. He didn’t put pajamas on her! He just stuck her in her clean bed even though she and her clothes were filthy. I couldn’t do anything about it because I was in no shape to do anything major for at least a week. His excuse was that she was too tired for a bath, and fell asleep before he could clean her up and put her pajamas on her. That morning, she wanted to come see momma and the baby. He told her they’d come after breakfast so after breakfast they came! He didn’t even bother to wash breakfast off of her face or change her clothes. I mean, come on!

I never, ever again asked CP to give either of our kids a bath. I never expected him to do anything regarding the care of our children. I saved myself a lot of work just doing things myself. I learned along the way that the old saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself,” is absolute truth.

The Ex-Files – You Can’t Cut Noodles In A Bowl!

It had been an extremely busy day! I was running a Day Care in our home so that I could pay the rent and put food on the table. Since CP wasn’t working I really had no choice. He was too good to go out and find a job, any job, to keep our heads above water. He was resigned to sitting and waiting for his last employer to call him back to work. He had been laid off for months! Landlords want to be paid. Kids need to be fed. What the hell is wrong with this man?

On this particular day, I had 7 kids altogether, two of them were my own. I was taking care of kids ranging from 8 months old to 5 years. I wasn’t just babysitting. I ran my Day Care like a preschool. We had planned activities throughout each day. I didn’t want the kids getting bored and I wanted them to go home having learned something and ready to tell their moms what they did at Debbie’s house that day. I didn’t want them just sitting in front of the tv all day.

The last kid was picked up at 5:00pm and that was my time to prepare dinner for my family. CP came home around 5:30pm and normally I had dinner on the table at just the right time. If he decided to eat, that is. More than half the time he just went to bed. There was never any conversation or interaction between me and CP or he and the kids. His job was finished, so ended his responsibilities for the day.

This day, however, he showered and actually sat down to have dinner with us. It wasn’t anything fancy. Grilled cheese sandwiches and ramen noodles, simple and filling. My daughter was about 5 and my son, 2. They were hungry from playing and socializing all day. I always got my son’s food ready first because he was smaller and just couldn’t wait as long as my daughter. I gave him 1/2 a sandwich and a bowl of ramen that I had let cool and cut into shorter pieces. Those noodles could be quite long and hard for little kids to eat.

My daughter was anxious for her food, but her sandwich was still in the pan. The ramen noodles were done so I scooped her up a helping. I sat it on the table near CP and asked him if he could please cut her noodles for her. His answer was remarkably stupid and I’ll never forget it. He said, “You can’t cut noodles in a bowl!” I asked, “Why the hell not?” He just looked at me and pushed the bowl over to our daughter. I was pissed. I grabbed a fork and a table knife and marched over to the table. I proceeded to cut the noodles as if I were cutting a steak. Then I moved the noodles around and repeated the same thing. I said to CP, “That’s how you cut noodles in a bowl. You’d think I could get just a little help from time to time because as you can smell, I’ve just burned SR’s sandwich.” I gave him the burned sandwich and started a new one for SR.

He ate his burned sandwich and as we’ve established in the last posting of The Ex Files, he was too big of a coward to say or do anything. Oh, except pout. He pouted while he ate and then he went to bed. Goodnight, asshole.

The Ex-Files – Spite

I was 8 months pregnant with my son. I was running a Day Care in our home to make money to keep food on the table and the electricity on. Oh and then there was the rent. We were always behind but I had to do what I could to keep the landlord from evicting us. He was very understanding, more than he should have been.

CP was in one of his ruts where he was laid off from a job and not getting off his ass to find another. He seemed to think the food was going to magically appear and that the electricity fairies were going to keep the power on. He always said something stupid like, “We don’t need electricity.” WHAT?! Seriously, you may be wondering? Yes. I’m serious. What did he think was keeping his damn beer cold and making his coffee every day? What did he think I was going to do with the 7 kids I had in my house every day with no power? That meant no Sesame Street, no cooking meals, no lights, no freezer and refrigerator to keep our food, no cold milk for cereal, no clean clothes, and many other things. I wish I knew what the hell was wrong with him!

So, anyway… I was busy with kids all day long and he was sitting around in my way. I was preparing meals for my Day Care kids, doing laundry, cleaning up messes, and doing activities with the kids. We had outside playtime, preschool activities, and I also had a few learning centers set up. I was busy so when the dryer buzzer went off this particular day, I ran to the dryer, threw the clothes in a basket and took the basket to my bedroom. I was thinking I’d get to it asap and just tossed the basket on my bed. It just happened to be on CP’s side of the bed. Big mistake.

He came home after a few hours of “shootin’ the shit” as he called it, with his cousins. I guess it was around 7:30 pm. He was tired and as per the norm, he went to bed with no dinner. Even though I cooked, from scratch, because anything less than that would have pissed him off. But I digress. He went to bed before 8:00 pm.

He never thought about ME. I still had our daughter to bathe and get to bed, bedtime stories to read, a kitchen to clean up, toys to put away….and my own shower and relaxation – HA. He was in bed because HE was tired, from NOT working, but from visiting with family. By 11:00 pm I was finally finished with MY chores, exhausted and went to bed.

Let’s not forget the very first line of this post. Go back and look. I’ll wait.

I got ready for bed and quietly entered my bedroom. I couldn’t turn on the light because CP was sleeping so when I got to my side of the bed I tripped. What did I trip over? The fucking laundry basket I sat on the bed earlier in the day. I nearly fell on my stomach (all 8 months of my son there) but thankfully I was able to catch my fall on the nightstand with my right arm, spraining my wrist in the process. I was so pissed off when I found out what it was I tripped over, I went to the living room with my pillow and slept on the couch.

In the morning I said angrily to CP, “Thanks for putting the laundry basket on the floor in the dark of the bedroom for me to trip over last night. I almost landed on my belly.” He replied, “Sorry, but you put the laundry basket on my side of the bed so I thought you did it for spite.” So apparently, since he thought I did it out of spite then it was ok for him to almost cause me and our unborn child serious injury??? THAT is spiteful behavior!

I think that’s when I really started to hate him.

The Problem is, women think

This is the fourth installment of a series. If you missed the first three installments, you can find them here: The Break-Up & The Concert, Finding My Own Place, and  Financial Burden.