2005-03-14 - 9:23 a.m.
I talked with Katerina and her father as well as Soren this morning.
Soren seems to be excited to have gotten letters about the little girls here. He loves and misses his sisters. He however seems to be glad to have the time with his Daddy. He was excited they went to The Buffalo Zoo yesterday and watched Star Wars on Sat.
These are all good things for him.
Katerina is thriving at the School she is at. She however isn't really practicing violin much. She isn't yet playing with the school Orchestra as she isn't good enough yet by the teacher's assessment. (See what happens when one doesn't practice)
I've been reading FAMILY FIRST by Dr.Phil and ironically she is the kind of kid who THRIVES with the authoritarian parent that Westley is! It's so ironic to me that he is just what Dr. Phil Recommends for her personality. p>
Katerina however also is the type of person who being passive herself (just like her Dad!) is not a good fit with the NATURAL parenting style of her Daddy. HE is ALSO passive and According to Dr. Phil that match of styles end up "Sitting watching the drapes together."
To her Father's credit though, he has been making great effort to GET THINGS FOLLOWED UP ON when I express interest in something for the kids! I am pleased that after the inital frustration and disappointment of him being unwilling to consider City Honors for Katerina, that he acknowledged it was because that was where HE first became a pot user. I then understood his issues with that. (Of course projecting one's own fears and assuming that your child is just like you isn't always good- but since Katerina IS a little like him I could see his fear. She however has had VERY different parenting to date than HE so I don't think she'd be as overwealmed by the "stress" as he saw the City Honors program!)
My fear is however that he is following up and doing well with some things FOR THE CUSTODY CASE and that should he win custody and then NOT be under scrutiny of the law guardian that his burst of motivation will end.
Katerina also told me some weeks back that the PSAT book I ordered and sent arrived and was brand new. She was thrilled and impressed (Although honestly seemed less impressed when I told her I got it for only $3.00 on Half.com! She was touched thinking I spent alot on it-- I was excited by the bargain! So much for materialism not really mattering... oh well....)
I also told her that getting 9 of 30 for a test designed for kids in the 9th grade is pretty impressive for a sixth grader!
So I explained not to stress and just do her best as she has no idea how the other kids will do and its all looked at in comparison to the whole pool of applicants. I explained the bell curve and she got it. So she seemed motivated to work on the problems in the book, reading the correct answers and trying to see what she can learn between now and the test. (THat was a few weeks back when I talked to her about it.)
There is also a battery of other tests of IQ and math ability- so who knows- she might get in! She might not as its designed for the top 1% of students and while I know she has always been at the top of her class we don't know if she'll be that gifted in math.
Katerina however is really excited at the possibility, and I am so thrilled that her Dad also seems to be. (Well- he doesn't seem EXCITED, but said "Since you wanted me to do this I am taking her for the testing.")
That's good enough for me.
That being true- I don't care what his motive is. If she really gets into the program it would alone be enough of a reason, along with him actually demonstrating support and encouragement of what SHE wants, that I would think that maybe being there with her Dad WOULD have some benefits for her! (As long as he REALLY IS CLEAN and is REALLY going to continue to be there for her.)
I guess I also see that even from afar I can continue to parent and nag in the good way as needed. Although its not what is most optimal, I feel like I can still be somewhat effective!
Although I think she STILL hasn't gotten those thank you cards in the mail! (Nor has he facilitated that!) I literally COACHED her through finally writing them one night on the phone:
"Ok- Did you write those thank you notes yet?"
"before we talk go find the addresses and your stationary and sit down to write those thank you notes. I'll talk to Soren naw until your done and then I'll talk to you."
So I talked to Soren and only intermittently to her (as she had gone to get a glass of orange juice, then somthing else... so I re-directed her back on task a few times)
She did however tell me over the next few conversations that she finished the notes and they are addressed on her Daddy's desk. I asked if she needs stamps and she said no. I think I should mail her some this week anyway!
Last week the parenting project was encouraging her to ask GRANDMOM to take her to the POST office on the way to her Dad's to see if there are packages for her! A few arrived- like books from Amazon a friend sent her. But there are a few OTHER packages sent via the US POST office that were never picked up by her Father! I hope they are still at the actual post office.
Also, gifts sent via UPS were never picked up by her DAD either and they were returned. My parents send stuff, as did the Philadelphia grandparents (HEr Dad's Father and his wife)
So I instructed Katerina to find her ID of the Library card (I got her one YEARS AGO and she still has it in a purse at Grandmom's for the Buffalo Public Library). I told her the three packages missing were addressed TO HER and might be sitting at the post office. I said ASK GRANDMOM to bring you in- and with Gramdmom and her ID maybe she can pick them up. She takes the bus to grandmom's after school every day.
So I'll continue to coach her to get help in getting to the post office.
My mom sent her a handmade doll (that was my mother's) that Katerina carried around with her when she went on Vacation to FL to my parent's last summer. Mom is heartbroken that she hasn't received it.
Her father asked all packages to be sent to his mother's from now on.
I have a problem with that. Yes it might be silly and stubborn- but damn it, if he wants to be a parent he should be able to get mail and receive packages for his kids. How hard can it be to responsibly call or fill out those post office cards? How hard can it be to answer the door?
I don't really feel like sending packages to grandmom's. I'll just hand deliver everything from now on and I told my friends and family to mail stuff TO ME and from now on I'll bring it when I travel! (Like their VA Aunt and Uncle's gifts that they got!)
I also told my family "FEEL FREE to mail anything to Grandmom and call there if you want! You can have whatever relationship with her you choose to. I for one REFUSE "
That's that! As far as I am concerned this whole custody case is HERS and she had it in cue for years.
Interestingly, the mom actually STARTED a SUZUKI program right at Lincoln Elementary THIS YEAR! Isn't that something.
She undoubtedly must have been impressed by what she saw that do for Katerina. (I used to send her with her violin there as she was welcome to go over there after school but still had to practice daily so I let her practice there and they loved listening!) I remember the mom saying in second grade that she never met a child with as good of a self esteem and as much pride and confidence as Katerina.
Katerina is in touch with her best friend still, so I think they get a sense of what her family life in the tiny apartment must be like in comparison to here. I also think that when the custody case came forth they HAD to then have a clue that maybe everything they heard from GRANDMOM wasn't necessarily true... and they must see they were being used! I however am not going to even venture into a conversation with them about these matters. What's done is done- and I think people eventually realize when they've been had!
Interestingly, Daniel's best friend is also playing the violin in the new suzuki program! I think its really incredible to see how the two of my kids have positively influenced their peers to want to be like them!
Soren's friend's mom was so thrilled to tell me all about the new program!Funny..... And Soren isn't playing an instrument now (although the social worker during the custody case told me his Dad claims he is... whatever...he is really a master of lies. Playing an instrument for a 1/2 hour the one day its discovered in a closet where its sat for years doesn't constitute STUDY of the instrument!)
Last of my fears to list for today regarding the older kids:
I FEAR about substance abuse and worry that the really nice 1729 Stradiurius (YES THAT's how the German's spelled it wrong!) that Katerina has to play will disappear some day....
I worry about the report that Dad went throgh clothes of Katerina and Soren to "take to good will"
Did he need a tax write off? LACK of space for them? Or did he SELL Them as an addict would do? or is he just an idiot considering the one pair of Cords that no longer fit KAterina don't fit as she now has hips suddenly and they were a boy's cut- and **newsflash** Even too big they'd be MUCH better on Soren than the TOO SMALL floods I noted him wearing when I picked him up last! (I had no time to make a scene and get him to change.. NOTE MADE TO SELF to actually BRING nice clothes WITH ME next time I pick them up so I can take them to CHANGE to my standard of NON EMBARASSING ATTIRE.... YES THE CONTOLLING PARENT!! I WON"T LET KIDS PICK CLOTHES THAT DON"T FIT
ALSO IF he is so selfish and an idiot to get rid of them-- would he even KNOW The value of some of the higher end clothing that he wouldn't have ever been able to afford to buy?
Hmmm.... I just HOPE that there were no O'Lily items that got sent to GOOD WILL... I mean.... we do have other girls. Katerina's Step FATHER DID take her shopping and splurged on her a few times.
Its horrible to have to be in the situation where I am literally AFRAID to send some of those expensive - supposed to be special clothes to Katerina for fear her DAD will encourage her to get rid of them.
That's just sad and not fair to her.
Fortunately most of those were really outgrown by her and here in the bins for the other girls to grow into anyway... but still, if there are any O'Lily things still in her wardrobe that got "sent to Good Will" by her Dad it would make me VERY SUSPICIOUS.
And I really worry about that violin which I WORKED for in order to be able to afford to buy with help of Westely who agreed to re-furbish it. I make very little money myself at this point!
It makes me worry all the more when Katerina is NOT practicing as that would make it easier for it to just disappear without it being noticed right away.
OH well-- now those fears are vented I am going to get some productive things done today then take the girls for a drive WEST to see the mountains as the girls look out at the Blue Ridge Mountains and constantly ask to go there! They want to walk on them! They won't quite understand that we are in them when we get there. I envision now them saying "Where are they?"
But we'll venture out for a hike later on.
And I have a few clothing items I sold! Ironically the one I thought would never sell did- and the lovely Larua Ashley dress I wasn't sure I should list did not sell! I'm happy to save it for one of the girls and may just now wear it for EAster myself.
Looking for what sources of income I can come up with so I can pay my attorney.
People really should think of what good it does kids before they start custody battles!
I think of it this way: ITS WORTH Every penny I send to an attorney to have their DAD involved in their lives! Some things can't be bought- like love of a parent, but then some things CAN BE FACILITATED by having money... like a custody battle... which indirectly is a GREAT MOTIVATOR for their formerly non involved parent to not only ATTEMPT to PARENT for the first time in years, but gives him incentive to DO SOME THING RIGHT! (LIKE THEY WERE BROUGHT TO THE OPEN HOUSE AT THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL HE IS CONSIDERING FOR SOREN! YAH! AND THE KIDS WERE BROUGHT TO MASS ON ASH WED... and WILL ON EASTER... I guess raising ASHES AND PALMS CATHOLICS and having their DAD in their lives is still better than raising devote CAtholics who REALLY practice the faith but NOT HAVING Their DAD involved? RIGHT? I hope.....)
Regarding the CAtholic School- GRANDMOM is apparently encouraging it for Soren too... SEE although she is evil in wishing to be their mother, she is still good hearted in some ways as she has always hoped to support what is good for them! (AND I realize those words apply to her: "God forgive them they know not what they do...") I do think that once this custody case is resolved that if the court is so dumn to grant custody to the kids father that his mother would almost immediately resume being the one caring for them over 90% of the time. Now their Dad is more involved than ever before! It also occurred to me that if I should lose custody that it seems THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP in the process I see unfolding is that my EX would then be slammed with ANOTHER custody battle! I would bet that GRANDMOM would petition for the kids over him! It wouldn't necessarilly happen right away-- but if he is the so called custodial parent I think that inevitable!
She doesn't MEAN to be truly manipulative and a bitch (As an old bitty burst out calling her here in VA when I told her of the kids being in a custody case but REALLY GRANDMOM being the one wanting them there! THAT WAS SO FUNNY.... OLD PEOPLE GET TO A POINT OF NOT CARING WHAT PEOPLE THING AND THEY ARE BLUNT! IT was at Thanksgiving at our friends and neighbor's house) And I hadn't even said a bad word about GRANDMOM! THe old bitty continued "THERE IS ONLY ONE WORD FOR ANY GRANDMOTHER THAT WOULD TRY TO TAKE CHILDREN AWAY FROM THEIR MOTHER! SHE"S A BITCH!"
The old lady by the way was a retired CHEMIST who became quite wealthy YEARS AGO creating her own line of purfumes! She had a now deceased husband who was a Georgetown University Philosophy professor and she was a blast! WE had such fun meeting her! I wished KAterina could have met her.
OK- kids have been playing all morning and now the house is a wreck of toys.... Off to clean up the mess surrounding us all , then lunch and errands and off to the Blue Ridge to explore.