This past summer, I emailed X's sister to see if a trip up north could be arranged. The girls hadn't seen X's family in about a year, and I thought it would be fun for them. X talked to me briefly about it, but I'd long learned that he could not be the one in charge of these things. He'd wanted the girls to fly by themselves, and even if they could, there was no way I'd let them. Call me overprotective, but I just don't think they're ready for that yet. Then he wanted to take them on an overnight train ride, something else I just wasn't comfortable allowing. Particularly with X as their traveling companion.
So I waited and heard nothing. X's sister made a comment about talking to X in an email. Finally, we spoke on the phone and I learned that X had told her that he was arranging anything. Which meant, of course, that nothing had been arranged. I had told the girls that we had been talking, but nothing was definite. After learning that X had "taken charge," I told them it wouldn't be happening.
My parents, feeling bad for the girls, invited them to join them for one of their vacations down near San Diego.
A few days later, X's sisters called me. Another family member would by flying up north, and would I allow the girls to fly with him, and then fly up to pick them up. I told them that so long as they were in charge of the trip, it was okay with me.
The girls were thrilled, of course, and to be honest, I was kind of looking forward to a few days off. We'd recently moved, and I wanted some time to be home without the girls.
The girls went up and for the most part, it went fine. I was a little annoyed that the girls spent every night with X (he did nothing to make the trip happen, and yet reaped the benefits), but whatever, right?
What did anger me, however, was when I picked up the girls, they had something from X for me. X had given Sylvia four hundred dollars - in cash - to give to me. Setting aside the wisdom of giving a 10-year-old that kind of money, I was more annoyed because it was a way for X to tell the girls that he did pay what he owed me. Of course, that's the only money I've received from him in a year. It's what he owes me in child support for one month.
Sylvia wanted me to be all happy about it, and of course, it was nice, but after she brought it up the third time, I had to explain that it merely paid for that month. Not all the months past, and not all the months to come. She hasn't mentioned it since.
When Sylvia made the cheerleading squad a few weeks ago, she called X to see if he could help with the cost of the uniform. He hasn't come through with the money and he hasn't called since. Part of me wants to call him and let him know that none of us have been holding our breath, but it's just not worth it.
He did talk to me that last time, oddly enough, to tell me a story of when the girls had been up there. The girls had been calling him "dude" (no, no idea where that came from *cough*). Well, Riley changed it to calling him "dud." When X explained that a dud is when something doesn't work, Riley said, "like you, Daddy." That's my Riley. She calls it like she sees it. The odd part was that he was laughing about it. whatever, dud.