Friday, September 11, 2009

How To Handle a Tool

No, this is NOT a home improvement note.

Well OK, in a way it is.

The Tool came to pick up Wy for the weekend this morning. Wy slept in, so when Tool got here, Wy was still in his PJ's eating breakfast. I invited him in to sit down, and offered him coffee, which he refused as always, and he stood in the doorway, not looking me in the eye, again as always.

Wy finished his breakfast, and I sent him upstairs to get dressed and told his father " Sit down, We need to have a talk".

I started off by telling him, I know he loves Wy, and that he wants what's best for him, and that I want the same thing too. Then I let him have it - not yelling, not crazed psycho, very calmly and clearly.

I told him that since Tim and I split up, I've seen a change in his attitude towards me, and I don't like it. Told him he's become condescending and rude, and I'm not tolerating it from him. I said that over the last 7 years I've done 90% of the parenting work, and the reason Wyatt functions at the level he does is because of the work I do with him on a daily basis.

His response was "Well I'm his parent too, and I work with him too". I said "What's his Case Managers name? Who was his best friend at camp? How much did camp cost? What's his swimming teachers name? What were his scores on his end of grade testing? What was his IQ score on his last developmental evaluation? When was his last Doctors appointment? What's his favorite TV show? What's the name of the head of Exceptional Chidrens Programs for the school district?"

He couldn't answer any of these questions. So, he got very defensive and started sputtering.

I told him "You made the choice to walk out when Wyatt was 2. You chose not to attend any of his evaluations, or have any kind of active role in his education until he was 6. You chose not to start learning anything about autism until he was 6, and what you have "learned" is all anecdotal and experimental, and has no basis in science, and no credible research to back it up. I've not only spent the last 7 years researching and applying proven therapies, I've also given 2 lectures to the regular teaching staff at Wyatts school on understanding autism, and how to deal with social and behavioral issues with autistic children in a regular classroom setting."

Apparently he wasn't aware of that.

I also told him that we have a valid custody agreement, with a reasonable visitation schedule, one that I have been more than willing to be flexible with, but there was no way that Wyatt was going to shuttle between his apartment and mine every other week, that it was too much transition and too much inconsistency for him.

He said "Agreements can change Peg". I said "How, with you and your imaginary lawyer that you've been threatening me with for the past year? Because I have a REAL lawyer, so if you and the firm of Tinkerbell, Dumbledore and Frodo would like to face off with a former DA who specializes in family court law, you're more than welcome to do so."

Then he got contrite, saying he only wants what's best for Wyatt, and he's worried that my school schedule is going to impact Wyatt. I told him I've spent the last 6 years arranging my schedule around Wyatts, and that I've managed to meet Wyatts needs, work a part time job and maintain a 3.8 GPA, and that if he's so concerned that Wyatt isn't getting enough attention he should make more of an effort to spend time with him. Told him that he's known for almost 7 years that if he wants to come pick Wyatt up for a few hours, take him to the park or the pool all he has to do is call me, but in the past 7 years he's NEVER done that, so his argument that he's concerned about Wy not getting attention doesn't hold water.

By this point Wy was dressed, so I ended the conversation by telling the Tool that if he has concerns about Wyatt, he is to address them to me in a respectful, polite manner, and we will sit down together and discuss them, but I will NOT tolerate any more snide remarks or condescending attitude from him.

He had no response to that, and tried to hustle Wy out the door, and I stopped him and said "I don't let you leave without having Wy give you a hug and kiss, I expect that you show me the same courtesy, especially in my own home."

Then I kissed my boy, and watched his father walk down the driveway with him, looking thoroughly defeated.

What a LOVELY way to start the day!

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