Tuesday, March 7, 2006

What Would You Do? (StepChauffeur)

Stealing from Inspired by The Blogfather's, I would like to pose the following "hypothetical" scenario to my thousands hundreds tens of readers:

Your partner's EX Stepchild's Non-Custodial BioParent has been ordered by the courts to attend a 4 week session of parenting classes. This BioParent has refused to schedule their classes for the past 3 months and now as a result has no choice but to take said classes on one of their visitation days. [Your partner has already completed their classes and even taken a few extra.] Your Stepchild also has dance class on this day - a class which said BioParent enrolled them in without your partner's consent but has taken the responsibility of driving your Stepchild to and from for the past 3 years. Now this BioParent will be unable to take your Stepchild to dance for the next 4 weeks and you are asked if you would bring your Stepchild. The class is from 6:30pm-7:30pm and the dance school is a 45 minute drive both ways. You currently have a 3 year old and a 4 month old at home.

What would you do?


Mary P. said...

Clarifying a couple of details.

The bioparent has been driving for the past three years, or your partner has?

How far is dance class from biomom's home?

They want you, the stepmom, to drive, not her dad? Is he unavailable?

Dolfinnlover said...

I also have a few questions, sorry... Does your SD like dance class? If she does are you willing to punish her for her Mother's mistake? Where is dad?

Is there anything for you to do while you are waiting? shopping or errands...?

If I were you your situation, and if SD liked it, I woudl take her. I do understand that a doing that will be a PITA. Can your Dh watch the two kids and maybe you just take her, it may be some quiet time for you... think about in a different light.

Wicked Stepmom said...

BioMom (who is also non-custodial) enrolled Cinderella (without permission) and has been driving her since she started dance class.

The school is the same distance from BioMom's home. Since losing custody, BioMom picks Cinderella up from our home and brings her to dance every week.

My husband is afraid he would not be able to get out of work in time to take Cinderella.

Wicked Stepmom said...

Dolfin: Cinderella does enjoy dance and noone wants her to suffer for her BioMom's mistake. There is nothing I can do while waiting... no extra money for shopping (see Custody Costs REDUX), and the dance school is in a snooty town where everything is way overpriced.

If DH could be home to watch the two younger kids then he could take Cinderella to dance. He doesn't feel he can commit to leaving work early enough to take her or pick her up.

The 6:30-7:30 classtime would not only disrupt dinner but also the 8pm bedtime for the other two.

Therein lies the dilemma.

Lauri said...

Whatever you decide, YOU are not and never will be responsible for picking up the slack for things that Cinderella's parents can not do. No matter how much you love/like her or your husband, the ultimate responsiblity of her care lies with her mother and father.

BM was irresponsible in scheduling her life and now it's conflicting with yours. If you let it happen once, it will happen over and over and over.

(I'm in a mood!)

Dolfinnlover said...

Lauri, is right in a sense, I would explain things to Cinderella and if it is possible for dad to be their on time then why not.... if not tell mom, she is SOL! just let cinderella know what is going on! let us know how it turns out!

:o) said...

You are in a tough spot. It is hard to be the wicked stepmother. I'm in that boat with you.

I'd probably tell Cinderella that you'll try but it most likely won't work for the next few weeks.

Things happen in all sorts of families that make some commitments hard to fulfill.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Try to ignore who signed her up for the class. It's irritating, but irrelevant. It's CINDERELLA'S activity, right? She's used to going? It's good for her and she enjoys it? Reasonable effort should be made to get her there, regardless of parent title. Besides, there's a good chance she'd enjoy sharing it with you.

InterstellarLass said...

I think BioMom deserves a good slap upside the head first of all. I don't think the child should have to miss out on the classes as a result of the BioMom's incompetence. It's not fair to punish her. If your hub would be able to leave work early two of those four days, and then two of the four dinner schedules and bedtime schedules were interrupted, would that be a compromise? I also think BioMom should pay for the gas for these tours.

As for what to do during the class, if observation of the class isn't an option, bring a book, learn to knit, do a crossword puzzle, find a park (if there will be enough light) and play with the younger kids. Even if you can't afford the prices there, go to the mall and walk as exercise! Turn it into a positive experience for everyone all the way around.

Talbotts said...

Hi, I would do it regardless and make the sacrifice, afterall, it is about the innocent child involved. I must admit you have to go back to the commitment you made to your husband. We never expect bio-parents to give up their children or put off their own responsibilites on us etc.. BUT we knew this COULD happen going into the relationship. I am a single stepmom right now. We received my husband's 14 year old daughter and 16 year old son this past January. My husband came home from Iraq for three weeks and now will not be back till the fall. I was disappointed in the bio-mom but embrace the challenge because it is about the children and trust me this stepchild of yours will look back as they mature and appreciate your love, support, caring and kindness. Children don't choose their parents, especially stepchildren. Good luck to you and take the higher road...you will be rewarded!

:o) said...

I don't believe it is all about Cinderella nor should she think life revolves around her. The decision should be.. would taking her be best for the family?