Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Update the First - A Little Boy's Appetite

Well, this is the first of several updates. Today I took a vacation day so that there would be no chance of anything happening at work after the court date today. The court date will be another update, so stay tuned.

My son and I had a great time on Saturday. The STBX had to wake him up when I got there, so he was a little cranky. It was actually really funny. He had a scowl that would strike fear into most parents, but I managed to survive. We went for lunch and he was scowling the entire time. I'd play with him and he'd smile and laugh, but somehow manage to scowl at the same time. He barely ate three bites of his lunch and wanted to get down. Once he was down he got mad and stomped his foot and wanted to get back up. There was a woman and her (I'm assuming) boyfriend at the next table who were smiling at him and laughing because of the whole smile/scowl thing.

Eventually he got into a better mood and we started having real fun. As a result of the real fun I now have a couple of injuries to my face. He was playing and showing off his cars (to women, of course) and got so excited that he accidentally whacked me just under my left eye with one. It only bled a little, but the women acted as though I'd been shot. I think one of them was surprised (and impressed) that I wasn't angry or upset with him. He's only two, and it's not like he was doing it on purpose, so there was no reason, but I didn't let that stop them from babying me for a minute. They told me that it should be ok, and then got back to the business of telling me how cute my son was.

On the way home I was going to stop and get some dinner with him, but he fell asleep. So I parked for a little while and let him sleep and then headed to drop him off. He woke up when we got there, so the timing was great.

After I left I went to have a slice of pizza, and I left my cell phone in the car while I ate. When I came out I found two messages - one of which will be the subject of another post. The other was from the STBX, politely asking me what he had eaten for lunch. Since the first call was a family emergency type call I decided that I would deal with that first then call her and let her know what he ate. As I was on the phone with one of my brothers she called again and left another message. When I got off with my brother I called and listened to her next message. She was angry and upset saying that she needed to know exactly what, how much etc and when he had lunch. She made it clear that she felt I was ignoring her and that it was very important that she hear from me. This surprised me because her first call was just a polite request and didn't seem to have any urgency.

I called her and she immediately complained that she had had to call me "a thousand times" before I called her back. I kind of shot back that she'd only called twice and the first one didn't seem all that urgent. She told me that it was very important that she talk to me and that she didn't understand why I was ignoring her phone calls. I told her that I was not ignoring her phone calls, that she has no idea what I might be doing when she calls.

I took control of the conversation, not wanting to continue an argument about tone and phone etiquette and asked her what was so important about what our son had had for lunch. She said that the daycare had told her that our son had not been eating much for the last few days and that she should call the pediatrician on Monday. I told her that he had only eaten about three bites of some pizza and not much more and she triumphantly told me "See! I needed to know!". I replied that if it was so important that I call her back immediately that she needed to state that when she left a message. That was pretty much the end of the conversation, but some of it upset me. This was another example of me finding out of some problem with our son's health after the fact. I decided to write her about it - here is a portion of the email I wrote to her:

Yesterday when I picked up our son the only thing you told me was that he had just woken up. I took him to lunch and he ate very little, but he was still tired and a little cranky so I did not think much of it. I was going to stop and get dinner on the way home but he fell asleep. When I dropped him off you made no mention of anything and did not ask me what he had to eat.

When you called and left a message you only said that you needed to know what he had to eat for lunch, specifically what and how much. You made no mention of anything further.

You left a second message in which you sounded very upset saying that you “had to know” and I needed to call you.

When I called and asked you why you needed to know so badly you said that his daycare had told you that he had not been eating well for a couple of days and that you should make a doctors appointment. You said that you were keeping track of what he ate and how much because you were (and I’m unclear on exactly what you said here) either had a doctors appointment on Monday or were going to contact the doctor about it on Monday. When I told you that he had only had about 3 bites of pizza for lunch you exclaimed “See! I needed to know!”

I am a little upset by this. If the daycare told you on Friday that he had not eaten well for a couple of days, that means that it was at least Thursday and Friday, possibly longer. The daycare told you that you should contact his pediatrician and you obviously felt that way also if you were keeping track of what he was eating and how much and either had an appointment for Monday or were going to call Monday. Prior to calling me to ask what he had to eat for lunch you made no effort whatsoever to let me know there was a possible problem. You did not call me about it, email me about it or even mention it to me when I picked him up. I would think that at the very least you would tell me about it when I picked him up because it is our normal routine to go have lunch immediately after I pick him up.

In the future I expect to be fully informed of any concerns regarding his health as they come up, not after the fact. I find it completely unacceptable that you waited at least three days to inform me of this, and even then I had to specifically ask you about it. In the past you sent me an email telling me that after several of my visits with him he had small patches of hives on his legs. This was the first I had heard of him having hives on several occasions. Due to his allergy to peanuts I consider this to be extremely important information to get in a timely manner.

Please let me know on Monday what the doctor had to say about his not eating.

My personal opinion is that she really didn't think of this as a serious issue, but just wanted something to complain about, but I really do want to hear of things as they happen.

This is what she sent back to me:

As for his health, I am not worried about his eating habits, the baby sitter is asking me to call and no I don't have an appointment. I have talked with a dozen people who have children and every single one of them said that their kid was the same way. I always attributed it to him teething and his body is changing. It is not that he is not eating anything, he is eating sporatically.
My 1st phone call to you was to get some basic information for myself. I wanted to feed him dinner and was planning on giving him chicken nuggets. If you had given him Chic. nug and he didn't eat them then I didn't want to try it again. Because he was still sleepy and cold I wanted to get in the house and I forgot to ask you what he had. You could have told me what he had just as easily, especially since he only had 3 bites of pizza in a 9 hour period. He eats breakfast between 7:30 and 8:00. As for not mentioning anything else in the 1st call, I figured you would call back and I could explain further.
As for the 2nd call, I was frustrated because you play these games where you don't want to call me. I wanted the information not because it was a 911 emergancy but because we have a child and I needed some communication.
I am not overly worried about him, I know this is common and I'm sure Dr. C will say the same. I plan on asking her for a good chewable vitamin and any tricks of the trade she might have. It was something I was going to talk to you about on Saturday but when you picked him up he was sleepy and crabby and when you dropped him off he was sleepy, crabby and cold. That's why I tried to call you after you left. I am all about communication. I had been giving you notes about what he had eaten the night before and that day and you couldn't be bothered to read them or even ask about the notes, so I stopped writing everything down and you never requested that I keep up the notes. You have never asked me what he had to eat that day, I had always told you on my own in hopes that he might get a balanced diet.

I didn't feel this was all that accurate. Here's my email back (isn't this fun?):

First of all, this is a false statement:

As for the 2nd call, I was frustrated because you play these games where you don't want to call me. I wanted the information not because it was a 911 emergancy but because we have a child and I needed some communication.

I have never played games about wanting to talk to you on the phone. I have always been completely serious about it. You made your bed when you made up all your stories and took extra money. Don’t complain now that I have a hard time trusting you or your motives. I now answer the phone when you call, so don’t complain. The only reason I didn’t answer it when you called the first time is that I was in a pizza place eating when you called and had left my phone in my car. I didn’t call you back immediately because you made no mention of there being any concern whatsoever and I had another message that was much more important than what you made yours out to be. If you want a call back on something soon, be clear and be specific.

I am not overly worried about him, I know this is common and I'm sure Dr. C will say the same. I plan on asking her for a good chewable vitamin and any tricks of the trade she might have. It was something I was going to talk to you about on Saturday but when you picked him up he was sleepy and crabby and when you dropped him off he was sleepy, crabby and cold. That's why I tried to call you after you left. I am all about communication. I had been giving you notes about what he had eaten the night before and that day and you couldn't be bothered to read them or even ask about the notes, so I stopped writing everything down and you never requested that I keep up the notes. You have never asked me what he had to eat that day, I had always told you on my own in hopes that he might get a balanced diet.

Don’t assume that I never read the notes, I read every one and have kept every one. In any case, no matter what you think about it, I expect to hear about things as they are happening, not after the fact. If you want to make claims about being “all about communication”, I would suggest you start telling me things in a more timely manner. I didn’t ask you what he had to eat on Saturday because as far as I knew, there was no reason to. You have a responsibility to let me know even if you are slightly worried about him. If you felt the need to know what he had to eat that day and then make the claim that “See! I needed to know!”, then you should have told me about it when I picked him up.

I didn't receive anything after that - but late last night I hadn't heard anything about the phone call to the pediatrician, so I emailed her and politely asked what the doctor had told her. She emailed me back saying that it was pretty much nothing according to the doctor, which for me is great news.

Ok, that's enough for this part - there's more to update all of you on, but I'm going to break it up into a couple of 44,000 word volumes.