These next few posts will be considered “catch up” posts for all of you (ya know, since yall haven’t heard from us in like 7 months!)
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So the time has come; where Ky has been asking where T.O.P (The Other Person) is.
She’s been role playing more. Before, there was always a mommy and a Gigi (maybe even an Uncle Shaun). But now there’s a mommy, daddy, sister, and brother.
Did I know this was coming? Of course.
Was I prepared for it? Absolutely not!
Who is ever fully prepared for that? I could have been obnoxious and given the “bitter baby mama” answer; cussed his name, but she’s two….oh, and that’s not how I am…*mega sigh* Oh how I wish I could be the bitter baby mama for one day just because being mature all the time is exhausting…
So how do I tell my two year old about her “other person”?
I was as honest as I could be with my almost three year old. I showed her a picture of him. Told her his name. Asked if she remembered him. And she accepted it. She nodded; said she wanted to see him, and that has been the beginning and end of that whole conversation. I’m sure Ky doesn’t understand much, but right now I don’t think she could understand anything else. He’s not apart of her norm. She’s learning so much, processing so much, taking in so much…I don’t know if she would remember him (or this conversation). She just seemed to ask the question, accepted my answer as truth, and went on about her toddler way.
Have A Conversation
The grown up version of me decided the next best thing was to throw a line to T.O.P. Does he want to get more involved? Does he even care to? Still having that open means of communication is important. Not for me, because honestly I’m out of words to say to him. If I could have things my way, I would go through the courts, get what Ky is supposed to be getting, make sure I have sole custody, and have no communication with him. But it’s never about me. I have to be the means of communication – if any – between Ky and him.
And so I reached out, gave him a rundown of what Ky and I discussed, the questions she was asking and asked what he thought. As expected, the conversation went nowhere…or rather it wasn’t clear to me what he wanted to do. And I’m not about to force an answer or a relationship he should want to have with his daughter.
I think the difficult part in all of this is he’s forever going to have the choice of “taking his time” and I will forever be trying to make up for there not being another, consistent person for Ky. It’s frustrating! I want to be very black and white, yes or no, in or out…and he’s always been a grey, a maybe, a mix; needing more time.
Time I have to explain to her.
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So T.O.P has officially moved back to our state because he wanted to be closer to his “fiancee, family, friends, and Ky” (we will DEFINITELY tackle that in another post!). He has been steadily trying to find where he fits in Ky’s normal.
So I thought it would be best to have a meeting to discuss how to be better co-parents (…because I’m obviously on my adulting this year!) and I set out some expectations when it comes to us and with Ky:
Expectations with Ky
- Call/contact at least once/week…build consistency
- Meet/play somewhere aside from home (schedule will be made when T.O.P finds a place; willing to meet halfway)
- Meet appropriate times (before bedtime – 9/930p)
- Overnight stays? Not ready, only in extreme emergencies
- Holidays/Celebrations: Father’s Day, Halloween, Recitals, etc.
Expectations with each other
- Keep conversations about Ky
- No name calling or profanity
- Send monthly calendar of our events/whereabouts
- Work with each other schedules, make accommodations
So far, T.O.P visits/Facetime just about every other week. He has shown up for Halloween, Ky’s Christmas performance, dance class, to hang out with her while I worked, and more. And now all I hear is “my daddy this”, “my daddy that”…
I’m happy for my Ky…
I think I’m more relieved. Relieved of all the negative thoughts I obsessed over about her in school (or even daycare). When kids talk about their families, my fear was that she would be that one kid that casually says “I don’t have a daddy” and other kids wouldn’t care, but teachers would, adults overhearing her would. That stigma of black fathers not being in their child’s lives, the statistics…she would be apart of that.
Yes, I know…why care what other people think? I’ve asked myself this for yeeeeeaaaaarrrrsssss. I mean never saw myself in this situation. Being black, being single, being a mother….all at the same time. Blackness, that’s my life. Singleness I could navigate through. Being a mother, I could have handled with help from a significant other. But all three?! This is territory I’m still trying to figure what it means aside from the stigmas; even while understanding that I’ll probably never get a handle on how to do that.
BUT, I’M DOING IT!
And yall know I obsess over things…so let me just have this! OK?!
Anyway, I like that they are building something. That’s all I ever really want for her. For them.
Ky’s happy = I’m happy.