A Most Excellent Day

Have you ever had a really hard, horrible, miserable time in your life & then, one day you were paid back for it in spades?
Well I got my payback today, I haven’t made any secret of the fact that when my ex left in 2000 we had a very bad time, the kids & I survived on help from my Grandmother, mother & Other family members, I got a job paying $5.40 an hour at first & then, when it became apparent that a) he wasn’t coming back & b) that he wasn’t going to be any more dependable about child support than he was when he lived with the kids. I got a better job & then the job I have now.
I’ve written about how I’ve struggled, scrimped & saved & how even now, when we’re out of the hell hole, run down, ancient trailer & into a house of our own with no landlord & a reasonable mortgage there’s never enough money, we’re right at the end of the financial line every single week & though we do have some things, like a computer, satellite TV (free because I work for the provider) & a newish car (which is necessary in light of my 55+ mile round trip to work daily & my company’s very strict attendance policy) There’s always stuff we need, we heat with kerosene, the house is not all it could be & my dryer doesn’t get hot at all right now.
I’ve mentioned that the ex has not been very steady about paying child support, it’s never been something I could rely on,  I’ve treated it more as an occasional extra bonus than a reliable help & he’s been known to make some really unpleasant comments when I’ve complained over the lack of money or our troubles, what ever they were at the time.

Well I have to say that he’s beginning to redeem himself. I wrote earlier this month about the stairs, or lack thereof in our house & how I had hoped to replace the drop down attic stairs with real stairs & that the ex had offered to help by building them, then my tax refund was much smaller than anticipated & so the plan was on hold. However, the ex then said he’d cover the expense because the steps we had looked so bad to him & I could pay him back when I received the back child support that the state will remove from his tax refund.

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So this was the weekend, as I said last night they came by to visit around 8pm & didn’t leave for over 3 hours, not a bad visit, the ex’s girlfriend’s daughter who is 10 stayed overnight as she & miss 11 have hit it off. They also asked if I’d mind keeping the GF’s dog because he’s nervous & they weren’t at all sure how my Mother in law would take to a dog in her house along with the ex’s 3 year old. I was just glad not to have to keep the 3 y/o!

The ex changed his mind about the stairs again, the most recent plan was to get a newer, stronger set of fold up stairs to install but somewhere between our conversation Wednesday & last night he’d decided to build after all. I had said I was cool with a solid, modified, very sturdy & thick ladder & that’s pretty much what he built.

The girls were up ridiculously early considering what time they went to bed & we made pancakes for breakfast as I said I would, we waited until about 1030 for the ex & the GF but when they weren’t appearing we ate without them & about 10 minutes after we sat down the showed up. After brunch or what ever you want to call it the ex got down to it, he ripped the old stairs out & started building the new ones, I puttered around, keeping an eye on the 3 year old, playing traffic cop for 8, 11 & our guest 10, plus the dog, who is very skittish & won’t go in the kitchen or dining room because the GF’s ex taught the dog very sternly not to enter those rooms when anyone’s eating & now he won’t go into any linoleum-ed area.

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The GF hadn’t slept well the night before & had apparently gotten up too early & fell asleep on the couch, I ran around hanging laundry on the line (it was a beautiful day) looking for a clip to use to tie the dog outside, though he doesn’t like it outside for long & especially didn’t like it when the kids weren’t right there with him. The kids were very happy about the warm sunny day & played on the fallen tree that they consider a jungle gym of sorts & ran around in general.

18, the GF & I all took a ride into town to run a few errands around 4 & when we came back the ex had finished the stairs! They look so nice, a little raw still, I’ll have to get some stain for them I think, but they’re very sturdy & I got to go upstairs in my own house for the first time since about 3 weeks after we moved into the house (May 2005) I got to visit with 18 in her room & look askance at 11’s room, which was cleaner yesterday than it was today- 2 girls messing around off & on all day is not conducive to a clean room.

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The last time the ex was here I mentioned that the ceiling fan in the dining room didn’t work any longer, the light works but the fan doesn’t. I asked if he’d consider moving the ceiling fan from Mr 8’s room to the dining room & vice versa, because 8 doesn’t use the fan & the fan being in the dining room is important to the distribution of the heat from the kerosene heater in the room, throughout the house.

When they arrived today they told me they’d purchased a new ceiling fan instead!  So when the ex was finished with the stairs he put up the ceiling fan. We can not get over how much warmer the whole house is with that fan running! It squeaks a little but otherwise it is amazing.

We had a big beef roast for dinner & the whole gang ate well (except 18 who decided she didn’t want beef) & we all sat around talking & visiting for quite awhile this evening. They went back to the MIL’s & I still have the 10 year old & the dog! They’ll be back in the morning for them & to get a spare bed that we have which the ex wants to use for his 3 year old when he’s at their house.

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I am really thrilled by all he did & how easy it has been to get along with him, the GF seems to have a lot to do with it, though he (& She) says it’s more the lack of his soon to be second ex wife’s influence, I don’t know one way or the other but it’s been a fairly pleasant time & though I can feel this is something of a set up in one way (he’s asked that the weekend after next I bring the kids down on Friday & he’ll bring them back on Sunday) I am happy that things are smoothing out & that he’s been so helpful with the stairs & the fan etc. I’m glad to see the child support (paid last month for the first time in nearly a year) it makes it easier when the kids need shoes or jeans etc. However I’m not sure I’m ready for them to stay with him in another state like that.

I guess on this issue, I’m going to have to contact legal aid on Monday & discuss it with them. This is the sort of thing I can’t & won’t mess around with.

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3 thoughts on “A Most Excellent Day

  1. Hi Becky! You are an awesome, strong Mom who sounds like she has let go of bitterness, rolled up her shirt sleeves and made the best of the situation. Good for you!

    I admire the fact that you’ve been blogging on 365. I did the month of blogs and whew! I was tired!

    Right now, I’m venting my frustrations with the child support system which is so lame, inept and downright unbelievable. I’ve created a blog call needchildsupport.blogspot.com

    I’m hoping some day soon to report some success!

    Keep blogging!

    Susan

  2. Don’t they take your support directly from his paychecks. I deal with a lot of HR issues, so I’ve seen it for people in WV and PA.

    Of course for real deadbeat dads, that keeps them from getting a legitimate paying job…..which makes me want to smack those guys with a big stick.

  3. They do take the child support from his paychecks now that he’s in the military again, however, he was out from November ’06 to August ’07 & was either working under the table or not working at all during that time.
    He’s behind by over $2000, & It looks like I’ll see it after he files his taxes (which he says he’s doing this week)
    The real problem is he’s messed his back up & may be getting back out of the military due to that on a medical discharge quite soon, I’m supposed to trust that he’ll be reliable, get a job & get child support taken out right away, but given his track record I’m not holding my breath.

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