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Ex p coming to dd's birthday party- advice please

(11 Posts)
littlelamb Fri 19-Jun-09 16:41:47

Can't be bothered to namechange, so here goes.
Dd's dad and I were together for a long time before I got pregnant with dd. I found out I was pg at uni, he wanted nothing to do with it. He was there for the birth and has shown intermittent interest every since. At her party two years ago, he showed up with his new girlfriend who then proceeded to whip out the video camera and generally go a bit ott. It resulted in a massive arguement as my grandad had a word with her that ended up with him asking her if she was even invited blush Cue massive family bust up. I am on brilliant terms with his grandparents, who are paying for the party. I spoke to him this morning as he had told me that he wants to come to her party. I have thought about it and said no. He can't talk to me on the phone without shouting and I don't see why there should be that atmosphere at a children's party. Most of the parents there will remember the fight two years ago blush. I have said he is welcome to come anyway and see her after the party. It is at an outdoor play place so it will make no odds to her if he is there or not. The next day he wants to take her for a few hours before he heads home, which is about 3 hours away.
He makes very little effort to see dd throughout the year- Christmas and birthdays always cause the same arguements as he expects me to just hand her over having made no effort to even call for the rest of the year hmm I'm now torn. His grandparents are paying for the party, and he mentioned this this morning in between shouting at me. I said it made no difference, if push came to shove I'll pay for the bloody thing myself. Am I being unreasonable? I don't see why he should be able to just swan in and make me on edge for the whole party. He doesn't know hte children or the parents who have been invited, and I just find it a little odd that he can't just see her the next day. I don't like being called unreasonable by him but I honestly can't tell if I am being?? What shall I do?

TwoSunnyDays Fri 19-Jun-09 17:01:27

Eeeek what a horrible situation. It sounds to me as if you have your daughters best interests as heart, a relaxed mum at a party with a nice atmosphere and no cause for gossip later, so I would stick with your plan. When questioned I would repeat that its best for her. You sound quite reasonable.

I would also be tempted to hang up every time he shouted, but thats just me

littlelamb Fri 19-Jun-09 17:07:37

TwoSunnyDays, I gave him two warnings that I would hang up if he kept on, and then I did blush I am beyond shoting on the phone, I know it achieves nothing, shame he doesn't think the same. It just annoys me because every year it is the same arguement, he promises to make more of an effort and it doesn't happen. I've said to him that I don't want her to sense that there is a problem between us, and if he insists on takign her away everytime he wants to see her rather than us all spend a few hours together for once it will become very obvious to her that there is one. His response to that was that he doesn't want to play happy families with me. What a charmer hmm

Snorbs Fri 19-Jun-09 18:05:17

I have to say I think YA being a bit U, based on what you've written here. Your grandfather had a go at his girlfriend at your DD's party but you seem to somehow be holding your ex to blame for that. Was it really your ex's fault that your grandfather was insulting to your ex's girlfriend?

You also seem more concerned about what the other parents will think than what your DD will think - sure, if it's an outdoor play area then your DD and her dad won't spend a huge amount of time together but I do think it would make a difference for DD if she knows her dad's there.

I still remember the (very few) times my dad came along to one of my birthday parties. I'm sure there were more than a few gritted teeth and false smiles slapped on between him and my mum, but I was pleased he was there. Even back then I knew my dad was an unreliable twat but the fact that he did, at least, make a special effort for my birthday meant a lot.

What particularly caught my eye was that you take a pop at your ex for always wanting to take DD out with him on his own, rather than her seeing both him and you at the same time. But you're also talking about stopping exactly that from happening at her birthday party.

I know it's not easy when parents split up - I'm a lone parent and my ex is all too often a righteous pain in the arse, too. But I do believe that we as the resident parents sometimes need to just suck it up, slap on the fake smile and involve the non-res parents in special celebrations like this (provided there's no history of violence etc, of course).

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 19-Jun-09 18:07:38

If he doesn't bother with her the rest of the year does she even know who he is?

YANBU in my opinion.

littlelamb Fri 19-Jun-09 18:11:51

Snorbs, all the points you make are valid, and I am aware of the irony of wanting to spend time together and then not allowing him to come to the party. I'm not more bothered by what the other parents think, but from my point of view the last party was horrendous, and they, as my friends, are the ones who had to help me pick up the pieces. I am trying to keep dd's best interests at heart when I make that decision, and that is what is causing the most difficulty. Of course it would be nice for her to have her dad there. But in a way I want her to be able to enjoy her party without the added distraction and, tbh, the novelty, of her dad being there.

Snorbs Fri 19-Jun-09 18:32:24

With respect, the fact that the last party was horrendous (and I don't doubt that) suggests that the appropriate response would be to prevent your grandfather from attending. To say "Last time person A had a go at person B which escalated and caused a scene, therefore person C can't come this time" just doesn't seem reasonable. Sorry.

And I have to say that regarding your daughter's father as "a distraction" to her, at her birthday party, saddens me.

littlelamb Fri 19-Jun-09 19:00:26

snorbs, I don't think I explained the whole situation in my op. My grandad won't be coming, mostly because of the fallout caused last time I'm not blaming her dad for that particular arguement, but there is still friction there and I don't want a repeat. I do appreciate your views as I can see that they are just as valid as mine iyswim. And yes, it is sad, but after I have put so much time and effort into organising a party for her and her friends it would piss me off somewhat to have him waltz in and be some kind of special attraction, but there you go I am trying to do what's best for her, the more times I let him just breeze in for christmas and birthday with bugger all in between, the more I am telling him it's OK to do so

Snorbs Fri 19-Jun-09 19:32:00

"after I have put so much time and effort into organising a party for her ... it would piss me off somewhat to have him waltz in"

I can understand that. But I can also see, as I'm sure you can, that those sentiments are about you getting pissed off with him taking advantage of your organisational skills and not really to do with DD. It has most definitely pissed me off in the past when my ex has done that. But I know that me being annoyed about it is is my problem, not my DCs. My ex took the piss all through our relationship so I'd be an idiot to expect that to change after we split up wink

You know that your DD would be excited to see both you and her dad at the party. Yes, it might steal your thunder a little bit but you'll be the one getting the big kisses and hugs off her at bedtime.

As for what you are, or are not, telling him: if you stop him coming to this birthday party, do you think it will make any difference to whether he turns up at other times?

Doha Fri 19-Jun-09 19:33:43

littlelamb l have nothing to add and no experiences in situations like this BUT l see you point totally and in my opinion YANBU- l would probably do the same.
Yor exDP has plenty of other days to entertain your DD without railroading her party.
This is her day and will probably not notice if he is there or not. The last thing you need is to be constantly looking over your shoulder for him to arrive or to see what he is up to.

littlelamb Fri 19-Jun-09 19:44:41

I doubt it snorbs. I have repeatedly told him he has to make more of an effort if he wants to see her- it's not enough to give me a weeks notice twice a year that he wants to see her hmm. He very often gives me no choice in the matter at all. When I said he could come to my parents house at Christmas to see dd, he said that actually he had hoped to take her to his. When I said no way he said fine, he wouldn't see her at all then shock I am fed up of giving in to him to try and make myself look reasonable to him, but I do want to keep the high ground here. At Christmas I gave in and let him have her for the afternoon, as I didn't think it was fair for her not to see him at all. But that is just one example of where I have given in and I'm fed up of him constantly acting like a spoilt child not getting his own way. And the worst thing is, it's dd in the middle of it all. If he would just stick to a reasonable contact agreement none of this would be a problem but he can't even manage one phonecall a week

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