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Is being snowed-in a good enough reason to tweak access pattern?

(27 Posts)
Petal02 Tue 30-Nov-10 18:54:49

We're supposed to be having SS over tomorrow night. As things stand at the moment, the village roads are really bad (we live in a village, and SS lives in another village about 10 miles away). DH and I both came home from work at lunch time, and it's a good job we did, as it's snowed heavily ever since. What I really want to suggest to DH, is that we postpone (not cancel, heaven forbid) the mid-week access night for perhaps 24 hours, until the roads are clearer.

I'm not trying to stop DH from seeing his son, but just know DH will go to quite ridiculous lengths in hazardous conditions, rather than break the access pattern.

Half of me just thinks I should let it go, and half of me I suggest we defer til it's safe to drive round the villages - surely a 16 yr old wouldn't be traumatised by this ..... ???

catsmother Tue 30-Nov-10 20:34:16

Totally agree with you. If driving's involved, it's just not worth it when conditions are hazardous and you're told not to make any unnecessary journeys. Postponing it by 24 hours or so - or even a week should it come to it - is hardly the stuff of lifelong trauma !

christmasheave Wed 01-Dec-10 08:17:58

You'd think so, but going on past experience, Petal, I wouldn't hold your breath...

FreudianFoxSquishedByAPouffe Wed 01-Dec-10 08:25:18

I thought it might be you. It's definitely a good reason but I don't think your DP will see it that way.

spidookly Wed 01-Dec-10 08:26:34

Of course it is. Undertaking an unnecessary journey in hazardous conditions for something that can be done at any time?

Would your DH really think you were trying to stop him seeing his son if you suggested he not endanger both their lives by driving around in the snow?

I didn't even know 16 yos had "access" visits. Surely at that age they trundle between parents as suits them and drive everyone else crazy with their teenage selfishness?

spidookly Wed 01-Dec-10 08:27:21

Oops, sorry, see there is more to this that I wasn't aware of.

Hope you figure it out Petal

pleasechange Wed 01-Dec-10 08:38:42

Petal I definitely think it's a good reason to postpone. See you point about DH though, I can imagine a similar conversation at our house, with allnew being big bad witch to suggest such a thing

Petal02 Wed 01-Dec-10 10:12:35

We had further heavy snowfall overnight, and can't get anywhere unless we walk. So I may just keep stumm and see if DH brings up the subject. Otherwise, as Allnew suggests, I'll just been seen as The Wicked Witch of the West for mentioning postponement.

But if DH does suggest he tries to make the journey, he'll get the full force of my feelings - am not prepared to risk becoming a widow, just to comply with this sodding rota.

catsmother Wed 01-Dec-10 12:42:14

Think so many of our DPs have been guilt-tripped and/or emotionally blackmailed for so long regarding contact, with many of them also suffering years of obstructed (partially or totally) contact. Consequently, once contact is happening, the teeniest tiniest abberation is hyper-analysed, and hyper-fretted about should it cause the whole damn arrangement to fall to pieces. Ridiculous really - and whilst there may be some very extreme cases where the ex siezes the slightest excuse to start messing about again, I do feel that many men make a rod for their own backs by being so paranoid about the effects a slight - and unavoidable - change might create.

I know that my DP has driven, for example, when he was ill and in no state really to concentrate for the 5 hour round trip ... thus endangering not only himself and his kids but also other road users. He's also driven through the snow, when roads were just about passable but when you were still being told not to take any risks you didn't have to. He argued that contact was something that "had" to be done - and in the wider picture I agree - but not right at that at that precise particular sodding moment FFS ! Him and the kids ended up in the car for twice as long as usual - what's the point of that ?

In my case, fear of what "revenge" the ex might take should he "mess up" her plans by failing to collect the skids seems to override all other sensible considerations. Makes me beyond furious - with the pair of them, her for being such a spiteful bitch who's likely to cause trouble when she doesn't get her own way, and him for being such a pathetic bloody wet lettuce about it.

Even young kids can understand perfectly well that the snow which closes their down their school and makes the pavement slippy to walk on, also makes it dangerous to drive. An older child definitely understands and getting the hump about it would be nothing except precious attention seeking.

Petal02 Wed 01-Dec-10 12:49:50

Catsmother - you're right about DH making a rod for his own back. The ex NEVER drops off or collects, and even when DH has been working away for the week, he's been known to come back on a Wednesday night (even though he's practically driven all night) to honour his mid-week night arrangement. I really can't blame the ex, she doesn't get involved very much these days. However SS is extremely clingy (which seems unhealthy at his age). However DH always argues that contact "has" to take place - and I agree with your comments, that yes, contact should take place, but not necessarily during a blizzard!!

I think DH is so terrified of upsetting his son, that he'll go to any lengths up hold the rota. And of course none of this encourages SS to be even remotely independent.

mjinsparklystockings Wed 01-Dec-10 13:24:50

Message withdrawn

Petal02 Wed 01-Dec-10 13:58:53

MJ - you might be right, that DH clings to contact to avoid facing up to the fact that in 2 years, SS may well be at Uni. I really don't know how he'll cope with that.

prettyfly1 Wed 01-Dec-10 18:20:02

I have to be honest though, whenever I see this come up, I totally get what you are saying op, HOWEVER I know if I only got to see my kids once or twice a week I would walk through the snow in a pair of frilly knickers to get to them if I had to. It might seem irrational to you but if it were reversed would you feel the same?

Petal02 Wed 01-Dec-10 19:44:48

But I wasn't suggesting he saw less of his son this week, just that maybe we could postpone this week's visit by 24/28 hrs. And obviously if the access starts later, it would finish later - still resulting in the same amount of time spent together.

notremotelyintofootie Wed 01-Dec-10 23:09:33

What happened tonight petal? Did dp see sense or did he go and get Ds?

I think i'm so lucky that my dp can't drive soni've been able to refuse to drive etc when it's not been safe but dp would still moan,. Luckily I persuaded dsd to use thd train to get to us and that has made alot of difference, is ss not able to use public transport to get to yours?

Petal02 Thu 02-Dec-10 07:04:22

It's actually tonight that he's supposed to be arriving (sorry if I didn't make that clear). Actually, when I did finally broach the subject, DH was far more practical about it than I'd given him credit for. I said "it's going to be tricky for you to collect SS tonight", he replied "god, I'd forgotten all about that, unless the weather improves I'll have to make some different arrangements."

I was in shock !!! Although I'm delighted that common sense appears to be prevailing.

There are no buses running in our area at present, due to snow, and SS never uses public transport - I doubt DH considers it appropriate, after all, SS is only 16 !!!

notremotelyintofootie Thu 02-Dec-10 08:17:37

Well that's a good start! Dp would never have let dsd come down on the train alone, he was really Babying her but the car broke down one day and we had to get her home so I chucked her on the train (45 mins) and she was absolutely fine at 13! She's now 15 and I'd happy to get the train on her own... It took dp ages to relax about it but I think it helped dsd mature a bit too... Perhaps that would be a good start to try and get dss to use public transport?....

Bahhhumbug Thu 02-Dec-10 09:36:18

Reverse psychology perhaps Petal - 'I hope youre not thinking of putting off DSs visit - I have plans for weekend and i dont want to change them for DSS.

I know your DHs military precision tendencies with access from previouses Petal - thats all - hence the desperate measures !!


Bahhhumbug Thu 02-Dec-10 09:39:50


Oh well thats my suggestion blown out the water.


Glad you've had a glimmer of hope for the future though old girl -

Bahhhumbug Thu 02-Dec-10 10:00:28

I think thats why my DH is like he is with his son - what someone said - was it Catsmother ? about our DH/Ps being aware that in a few years they wont be living with them and be gone. I am utterly convinced my DH will be heartbroken when his 'little' 23yr old boy decides to leave home even if he's 28 or whatever. Its like a desperate wish to cling on to whatevers left of the father and child scenario and do as much as he possibly can for him before he's gone.
I think its heightened by my SS being his youngest and there being a big gap between him and his older brother. So on top of all the usual empty nest feelings of redundancy my DH dreads as he has dedicated himself to being a parent for the last 30 years ( from when his first was born to current day )- there is also the added factor of perpetuation of a - big age gap - last child somehow always being 'little Johnny' or whatever.

Bahhhumbug Thu 02-Dec-10 10:02:35

Sorry did any of that make sense - I know what I mean anyway.


oh and


Bahhhumbug Thu 02-Dec-10 10:10:28

Sorry - again - !!

It was MJ who said about the last years of beong their 'daddy' slipping away.

Petal02 Thu 02-Dec-10 10:54:56

Tomorrow could be interesting if SS does arrive this evening as scheduled. His school is closed, so he'll just be hanging round the house on Friday. I won't be at work tomorrow, so I'm dreading it. DH will be working - he's a builder and is working on a job round the corner, so the snow hasn't held him up much this week.

It would be a case of bringing SS to our house, just to leave him with me all day tomorrow. Access by proxy again. Let's wait and see.

pinkbraces Thu 02-Dec-10 11:03:49

Surely at the age of 16 its not access anymore. Its just SS coming "home" to see his Dad, and if he cant be picked up or make his own way over he will see him the next day.

Does he not want to be their if his Dad isnt?

My two SC just see our house and their mum's house as home and they are much younger. I assumed the older the kids got the less formal everything is.

pleasechange Thu 02-Dec-10 11:31:11

pinkbraces - I think it's partly down to the attitude of the parent with care and also the level of 'gumption' of the 'child' involved.

For example in our case the pwc would rather hell freeze over than not have 100% control over every aspect of life in general, including the precise times when DH is 'allowed' to see his 15yo 'child'. Compounded with this is the fact that the said 'child' has no mind of his own nor the ability to realise that actually, he could actually just get up, open the door, jump on a bus and be at dad's house within 30 mins. So he remains within his mother's control, whilst complaining that he'd like to see more of DH

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