It does seem a little petty sometimes doesn''t it, but the manipulation of NRP time just isn''t on. Imagine if the boot were on the other foot and the NRP was trying to manipulate the RP''s time!! Well, there would be WW3!! And Mwahppet, you buying the Justin Beiber tickets I think was the right thing to do. It taught mum a valuable lesson, and that was even trying to bribe the child out of spending time with dad didn''t work! Like you said, she hasn''t done it since and got left with egg on her face, deservedly so.
But, what we must all remember in all of this is that the kids do remember it. Case in point is that now, as most know, my SD lives with us. Since coming to live with us last July, mum has been to see her a total of 7 times, for a total of 22.5 hours. She''s seen her 3 times since Christmas, last time for an hour. At the very beginning my husband made it absolutely crystal clear that he would not be doing any running around, which didn''t go down well as she has to travel by bus. But, like he said to her, he did the bus journey there and back, 4 journeys, every other weekend for nearly 5 years. We also tried to get her to commit to regular contact, offered every other Saturday for her, but contact is never fortnightly, the longest period was 12 weeks, the shortest period was 4 weeks. Anyway, a few weeks ago she''d phoned SD to tell her she would be over the following Saturday. SD told her we had already made plans (we told mum that as her contact was sporadic and non-committal, we would just wait to hear from her but that if we had already made plans she would have to accept it as we couldn''t keep every Saturday free forever in the hope she would make it over) to see some friends from her home town. She went mental at SD, said how dare she put these people above her, her own mother. She told SD she was upset and angry, and very very hurt that she didn''t come first. Have to say I applauded SD, because she told her not to be so pathetic (honestly!), to grow up, said that when dad was the absent parent he saw her regularly and whenever he could and pointed out,very sternly ''you have barely visited me, or contacted me on the phone since I left to live with dad. I am seeing these friends on Saturday, you can come over the following week''. Mum wasn''t happy about this, texted my husband very angrily saying he should not allow their daughter to speak to her like that, but he just told her it was tough.
What I''m saying is that I know most kids don''t end up living with dad, but they remember how much time dad spent with them, and they do value it. I know for my SD coming to our home when she was living with mum was like a mini holiday for her, so for her it was essential, but all the parents I know who are separated, all of their kids have a whale of a time at dads and absolutely love it. Childhood memories stay with you forever, and dads are so important in children''s lives, as are their extended families and even their blended families. Time is precious, not only for the NRP, but the children too, as it''s not long before they''re teenagers and don''t really want to be spending time with their parents.
Just to update you on my original thread, my fiance has called the swimming baths and they do hold the same swimming lessons from 4pm onwards during week days.
The ex is now on holiday with the children until Friday, however we have decided to take them to their swimming lesson this Sunday, as we will be unable to take them on our next designated weekend as we''ve got a christening and party to take the children to.
My fiance intends to attempt to discuss the situation with the ex and if nothing get resolved he''s going to put it in a letter to the ex with a copy to the judge.
Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions.
There you go, they can go swimming on other days can''t they? Dad''s time with them is so short and so precious that I''m sure he wants to spend every second with them. Sometimes being one step ahead in these situations helps, because he already knows there''s swimming on other days, so she can''t say that there isn''t!
So many times these ex''s keep so much close to their chest, just because.
I remember trying to arrange something or find something out with me ex and saying, everything always has to be such a big secret doesn''t it.
It did and does still, but I have found out my own similar to your methods of finding out.
With regard to the parties that are in mums vacinity my partner has offered to swap weekends with her until such time as his contact increases but mum said no to this stipulating that alternate weekends have been sorted, basically implying that there is little or no room for flexibility.
So this suggestion has been knocked on the head.
The next route is making her aware that they can do their swimming lessons after school - this will also be a no, purely because she likes to be in control.
Third option is my fiance dropping them off at their mums because she lives 2 mins away from the swimming baths but instead he asks for the time to be made up elsewhere by perhaps having them on Fri after school until Sunday lunchtime.
This will also be a no because the ex does not want to increase overnight contact as she''s trying to draw out my ex being eligable for a reduction through the CSA.
Not sure how we''d proceed after this other than writing to her and copying the judge in.
I''ve kept away from this thread so far but I do want to say one thing about the timing of swimming lessons.
Where I live, this is how booking swimming lessons works:
Booking opens at a particular time on a particular day. If you know the system you turn up a couple of hours early to start queueing for the day/time you want. There are only a few spaces in each slot as priority goes first to the children who are already having lessons at that day/time and then to children who are already having lessons.
Once you have booked your first set of lessons you are in the system, so you get priority, up to a point.
At the end of half a term there is a test. If your child passes the test then you get an immediate chance to book in for the next level up - though if your child''s lesson is at the end of the week you don''t have a lot of choice of days and times as they have already been taken. If your child fails the test then you can re-book for the same time slot. If you want to change the slot, though, you have to do the queueing thing all over again.
It is a complete pain - I had to take half a day off work once to get lessons that fitted in with my working hours and didn''t mean traipsing back and forth to the pool on different days with each child.
So although your ex shouldn''t really have booked the lessons into your time, in some ways it''s understandable that she has carried on with that time slot as it may be the only one she can have without having to queue for hours. It may even be the only one available at the moment - in my experience just because the pool offers lessons at all sorts of times it doesn''t mean that they are actually available to be booked for your child.
When my fiancé spoke to the leisure centre they didn''t have a system like one you explained & it was a straight forward booking process.
It''s not a case of not wanting to take his daughters swimming its just problematic with the pool being by mums house & the increased travelling involved toing & frowing.
Mum has gone ahead and booked numerous months in advance without double checking with my fiancé. Instead she hands the swimming bag over & assumes hes free to take them. As a result we have got several things booked over the coming months that we cannot change or get money back on that the girls will have to miss their lessons for all because the ex didn''t feel it necessary to inform my partner of her intentions.