So we went to Germany during the winter holidays, the trip from its start felt like a burden on me and I didn’t want to fight that too. Think positive I said to myself, the kids will have fun, they would see their family, it’s only a couple of weeks and it would be a good time for them and their father to connect with each other on a deeper level.
Unfortunately, thinking positive didn’t not help make it survive the storm. It was hectic from the start, we reached their extremely tired, the kids barely slept three hours on the plane, where he thought they were spoilt being all slow and all. By the time we reached Frankfurt it was 8am he was a thunder blizzard of anger, but I kept my calm and the girls too for the most part. They were just cranky, why could he not get that? We had to take a train from the airport in Frankfurt to Stuttgart and then fortunately his brother met us at the train station to drive the kids home, while we took a taxi. We were all beat.
We were staying at his brother’s old place while he stayed at his fiancé’s. It was a cute tiny one bedroom apartment in the city, where the girls and I slept in the bedroom, them on the bed and I slept on a cozy mattress on the floor next to them and he took the living room. The only drawback was that it was freezing cold, because of some heating issues, but at least we were in the city and not stranded in the suburb like last time.
The second day we arrived was our anniversary, 12 years of marriage, nope not even a happy anniversary, not that I had any expectations. It was a Sunday so everything was closed; we took a train to spend the day with his Family at his uncle’s place, just like the day before. The girls haven’t been sleeping well and barely eating and started to act out, which i think made him very uncomfortable. He obviously wanted them on their tip-top behavior to show off how much of a great father he is, little did anyone know that he had close to nothing to do with their lives. Whenever anyone asked any questions about them, he gave some random generic answers that had little to nothing to do with them. However, it was a day like any other day, except for the heartburn I felt making it another year with him…
A few days later was his birthday, during which he literally wanted to do nothing at home, but slouch around, so that’s what we did. However being all snug up in the tiny place was in no way comfortable for any of us. Later that night he decided to go for a late dinner with his cousins while I babysat, which felt like a break for me somehow.
Two days after was his brother’s wedding, I woke the kids early, fed them and washed them and got them ready pretty early, so that there wouldn’t be even have an excuse to have something to fight about. All this while he was still asleep. We were all pretty tired from the late night before; we were having dinner with his cousins and no matter how much the girls or I told him that it was waaaay passed their bed time and that they were tired and wanted to sleep… he didn’t care, to an extent that by 11pm they both fell asleep on the chairs they were sitting on. Anyhow, I also got ready myself and we waited for him. It was a small ceremony at a small courthouse followed by dinner at a restaurant about 2 km away. He decided that because his cousin didn’t have a ride as well, that we would walk there. By the time we got there, the kids were freezing cold, crying from exhaustion, hungry as hell and cranky. He disappeared for a walk the minute we got there and even after he came back, not any help with the kids. Every now and then he’d play with them a little, which was really nice, but again another late night for the kids.
Anyways, the days after were all much the same, waking up to his anger and scolding to the kids, about how noisy and unorganized and messy and slow they are, making them feel like it’s their fault he’s that angry, as if he was dealing with grown-ass teenagers that are sloppy and careless.
Me doing all the work with barely any help except that he did the laundry, which was nice of him. But doing it all, and tiptoeing around him, plus dealing with really heavy family stuff back home on the phone, left me stressed out beyond my capabilities, my tolerance ran out a lot and seriously poor kids. I would get some help from his cousins when they were around, but strangely enough not even their grandmother who barely sees them year round was that much of a help.
I tried my best not to interfere much with how he talks to them, left them to experience him the way he is, although it sometimes ends up to them hiding from him or the 4 year old bursting out in tears of fear, but when I do jump in in their defense, he’d turn to me with a lecture of how bad of a mother I am. Ironically a few hours later he calms down and is playful and fun with them… I think that played with their emotions and left them in incomprehension of how and what to say and do around him. My daughter whispered in my ear once as we were trying to catch up with him in the street Why is daddy so rough?… a strange choice of words for a 6 year old, I thought, but I told her I don’t know, because I really didn’t and I was too tired to even make something up.
I would always calm myself by the mantra of; this is our the last trip as a family.
The days, generally, had their downs and lower downs… between me taking the kids for walks away from him, taking them on day trips, as he claimed he had loads of work to do, thus most of the time on his phone, meeting up with his family and his anger issues when we were around him. Sometimes I’d find myself going to places without any prior notice or preparation like, for example, going for a forest walk, when I thought we were going to dinner, because he failed to communicate change of plans, but why would he?!
Fortunately, on his up times he does play with the girls and joke around and say nice things to them, gets them gifts; so they do have their nice moments together and it’s not all dark, but definitely unpredictable…
Nevertheless there are some horrendous and gruesome highlights to the trip that need their own special posts… therefor, to be continued…