You can’t see it, but trust me. I am RADIATING anger right now.
The kids spent the night with Steve last night, because I had to be up and at the church crazy early to help with the parade float. So I called his cell a little past 8pm to tell them good night and give them phone hugs and kisses.
Except they weren’t home. Steve had taken them to the karaoke bar so he could hang out with his latest victim, who works there.
We have a verbal agreement that he will tell me if he’s going to take the kids out anywhere, because I like to know where they are. This hasn’t been a problem before, because he doesn’t usually take them anywhere, because I’ve told him that if he ever DRINKS while he’s watching my kids, or heaven forbid, DRINKS AND THEN DRIVES WITH THEM IN HIS TRUCK, he will lose his unsupervised visitation rights. Since Steve is unable to be in a place that serves alcohol without partaking, and pretty much everywhere he goes serves alcohol, this has meant that the kids don’t usually go places with him.
(True story: once he took them to the home of his oldest friend, a guy he grew up with, whose kids are about the same age as ours. The idea was that the kids could play together while Steve and his friend hung out.
His oldest friend told him, “Dude, come back when you can drink!” So the kids have not been over there since.)
But anyway, Luke and and Elizabeth spent the night with him last night, and apparently a Friday night at home was out of the question. So they went to the bar with him.
This morning after the float was ready to go and before the parade started, I found where the Silkotches were settled in along the parade route, and asked Luke and Elizabeth if they wanted to walk with me to DQ for some ice cream. Luke was comfy where he was, but Elizabeth said she’d come.
I don’t really care for DQ ice cream — I don’t think it has any actual cream in it, or any dairy-related substances for that matter, but there was something I needed to ask Elizabeth: had Steve been drinking last night when they were out with him?
She confirmed that he’d been drinking beer.
Epic. Visitation. Fail.
She ordered an ice cream sandwich, I ordered a Heath Blizzard, and we headed back. When we got to where Steve was, I informed him that since the verbal agreement hadn’t worked out, I’d be filing a formal visitation agreement.
“I was drinking iced tea last night!” he immediately declared indignantly.
“Elizabeth says you were drinking beer,” I shrugged. “I already know you’re a [censored] liar; her I trust.”
“I had…one beer,” he weaseled unconvincingly. “Then I switched to iced tea.”
“Thanks for the confession. Anyway, you aren’t supposed to take them out at all without notifying me.”
“I already apologized for that,” he sneered, as though that was supposed to end the matter. “So why don’t you just run along back to your–”
And that was when my Blizzard hit his head. It exploded against his face and into his hair and all over his hat in the most satisfying manner possible, and then splooshed down to cover his shoulders and chest. Seriously, if I had PLANNED to fling my Blizzard at him I could not have achieved a more glorious effect. It was a thing of beauty.
I left him dripping there and returned to where the float was parked, already writing the new visitation agreement in my head. I’m not sure how much I can legally do just on the basis of my word (or Elizabeth’s word, really) against his, but I know that if I turn a blind eye to this once and at some point down the road Luke and/or Elizabeth are killed or injured because of his irresponsibility, I would be responsible by assent. And also I would have to kill Steve, if he survived the accident.
So. Yeah. I’m angry. I’m tired of living next door to the whole ridiculous lot of them. I am considering options that will get me out of this neighborhood without violating my move-away restrictions. It is Time To Move On. That might make things a little harder at first, but I feel very strongly that, for the well-being of my children, the time has come to get out of Silkotchland.
I know doors open when they’re supposed to, and it’s generally not a good idea to try to kick them open prematurely just because you’re angry, but this is about Luke and Elizabeth making it to adulthood relatively intact.
Let’s see where kicking some doors gets me.