Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Divorced Parent Dance

As you all know, life at my house is always noisy and chaotic. But this week I'm blessed with nothing but silence because my wife and kids went to visit the Grandparents. I'm sure I'll miss them by Friday but until then I plan to enjoy the silence. Unfortunately, my blissful silence has been broken by phone calls from the wife complaining about the "Divorced Kid Dance."

You see, Wife and I are part of that generation in which everyone's parents got divorced. These days, all that really means is my kids have 4 Grandparents. Fathers, being the simple folk that they are, are all Grandpa. Grandmothers are far more individualistic and they have different names. There's Mamaw, Nana, Grandma, and 'She's kinda Strange.'

For me, life is easy because my mom, Grandman and Grandpa, live nearby while my Dad, Grandpa and his wife, live in the midwest. The Grandparents on my side don't interact with each at all. I don't have to referee a pack of 50+ year olds who can't seem to get over a divorce that occurred 20 years ago.

For Wife, life isn't so easy. Her Dad, Grandpa and Mamaw, live a grand total of 20 minutes from her Mom, Grandma. That's right, Wife does the divorced kid dance everytime she goes home to visit! She has to make sure everyone gets equal grandchild visitation time. She has to worry that one Grandparent doesn't do all the local cool stuff leaving the other with nothing to do. It's a big mess.

In an effort to mediate, Wife will stay with one parent and do lots of driving to visit the other. This visit she's been staying with her Mother and after 3 days they are at each others throats. Apparently, the fact that Grandma gets to see them every morning and every night isn't quite enough. Finally, I got the call...

As soon as I picked up the phone, Wife started ranting. She built a full head of steam and was complaining and cursing like a sailor when I finally broke into laughter. I know it wasn't the right thing to do but I couldn't help myself. You see, my wife is a happy person. She smiles. She laughs. She tells jokes. She rarely, if ever gets mad. So, when she gets mad she reminds me of the "I Get Mad" goat from Seasame Street. Here's the link to the goat on You Tube in case you haven't seen him. It's isn't that she doesn't have the right to be mad, it's just so out of character that it's humorous.

Finally, I said: I'm sorry, I know you're upset but this is really funny because you never get this upset. But, I shall be quiet now and continue to listen.
Wife: That's great. Now be a good husband, shut up, and listen because I don't have much time before my Mom comes back and I need to vent.

Lee: Alright, alright, I'm listening.
Wife: That's good because it's either you listen or I call my Dad and bitch at him for marrying her in the first place!

I remained quiet and listened intently, but somehow I don't think the trip is going smoothly.

1 comment:

  1. I was always fortunate that my parents didn't drag me into their divorce. They always kept it civil around us. Maybe it helped that I was 15 by the time they split. On the other hand, I missed out on the fun stories like this. 'Course, it wouldn't be so fun if I was living it.