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Question for parents of kids with two homes

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stupidstupidme posted 6/3/2013 11:27 AM

FT and I each have Bunt 50% of the time. In my eyes (and the eyes of our judge), Bunt's toys/clothes are HIS. There are a few exceptions to this that I understand.

He had his birthday party recently. Due to weird scheduling, they had the "friend" birthday party, and I wasn't included - even though I had asked to be, and that we plan it together. Bunt is very into Skylanders now, and his friends all gave him game pieces. His FRIENDS - not even gifts bought by FT and wife.

He got the game from me for his birthday also, and wants to bring his game pieces back and forth to both homes. He was so worried about asking them, that he asked me to talk to them first. I did. Sent a nice email saying how he wanted to use them at both homes, and that I would buy a Skylanders backpack for him to keep them in.

He came home almost in tears, saying they told him no - he cannot take them to my house at all... they tell him if he does, I will never return them. I have never once - EVER - kept anything of his. In fact, they still don't let him bring shoes/jackets/clothing - they will dress him in what I've sent him in (the stuff I buy) on days he comes to my house - even if it isn't weather appropriate.

In court, the judge had a FIT about this, and made a big deal about his stuff being HIS. I guess that doesn't matter.

I know I need to pick my battles, and I told Bunt maybe we'll just buy him doubles to keep at my house. He asked me to email them again.

Anyway - so many kids these days have two homes / divorced parents. How do you all handle things like this?

nowiknow23 posted 6/3/2013 11:31 AM


I haven't had to deal with this, ssm. DD's stuff is DD's stuff, and she can take it between my home and wasband's at will.

simplydevastated posted 6/3/2013 11:36 AM

(((HUGS))) to you and bunt

This is so sad that they do this stuff. There should be no problem with him bringing his stuff back and forth. I don't have to deal with this (yet) so I don't have any solutions.

When I was reading your post I did have the idea to just have him have duplicates of the things he absolutely loves so he play with them at both places. It's sad that it has to come this.

[This message edited by simplydevastated at 11:36 AM, June 3rd (Monday)]

stupidstupidme posted 6/3/2013 11:39 AM

Thanks. It just bothers me a lot, for his sake. He said something again on the way to school today, and I told him maybe we'll just get separate ones. He is going into the hospital on the 17th, and it is stressful enough (meaning, without poking the bear)...

However, it kinda chaps my ass that the judge is totally ignored, and it's not fair to Bunt... it's just wrong - so I hate giving in to that.

[This message edited by stupidstupidme at 11:39 AM, June 3rd (Monday)]

cryingdaily posted 6/3/2013 11:40 AM

Unfortunately, for things like this to work, you need two cooperative parents.

FT makes things adversarial when it doesn't have to be.

In your situation, I think the only thing you can do is either remind FT about what the judge said and hope he gives in or just buy him doubles of what he has there.

It's just too bad that you and Bunt are still dealing with this. Sounds like FT is just trying to grasp for any little bit of power he can.

sullymeishadomi posted 6/3/2013 12:06 PM

I agree with crying

Sad for FT is his son is going to remember him being an asshole. Does he want his son to almost alienate him when he is older?

GabyBaby posted 6/3/2013 12:22 PM

FT seems like a real 'gem'.

I'm with the previous posters in that my kids' belongings are THEIRS, no matter which home they are in.
That said, now that my kids are young adults, when they take things from my house to their father's house or vice versa (ie ipods or video games) they are responsible for bringing it home again. If they lose said item, I dont replace it.

Generally speaking though, to make things simple for the kids (and limit transporting breakable things), the kids have video game consoles at each house. They only really transport their portable electrinics (ipods/phones), a video game here or there, and whatever clothes they're wearing at the time.

tryingagain74 posted 6/3/2013 12:36 PM

My kids also take things back and forth with the understanding that anything meaningful (like beloved stuffed animals) don't get left at one parent's house. I have also told the kids that any gifts their dad gets them (or his side of the family) should either stay there or travel with them so that they have something to do at his house. Their dad is not big on stuff-- he'd probably be delighted if the kids were happy with very few things at his house-- so it's not much of an issue because STBX doesn't want most of it around polluting his museum, I mean, house.

Your ex is TOTALLY lame. I want my kids to be as happy and comfortable at their dad's house as they are at mine, and the only thing I restrict them from taking are library books that are signed out in my name since I don't want them getting lost or chucked while I'm stuck with the bill.

What I don't understand is how your ex can claim that the gift is from him when they're from your DS's friends. Have you brought that up to him at all?

stupidstupidme posted 6/3/2013 12:43 PM

He didn't try to claim ownership, or that he bought them. In fact, they didn't respond to the email at all. They just simply told him no, he wasn't allowed to bring any of them to my house.

Undefinabl3 posted 6/3/2013 13:02 PM

uggg....This sucks.

I have been on the other side - the side saying no - before with DH and SS.

I really didnt believe DH at first when he told me that things that went to Bio-mom's house never came back, and if they did they were ruined.

Shoes came back horribly dirty (think dirt bike in 80 dollar shoes), clothes came back riped and with holes, we literally had to by a belt every single week because he would let the dog chew on it.

CD/DVD's would break and scratch, video games and consoles -

Anway - we finally put our foot down after hundreds and hundreds of dollars wasted.

FWIW thought FT is being true to his name. We had good reason to stop the madness and keep the stuff at our house, it seems he's just trying to be an ass.

stupidstupidme posted 6/3/2013 13:10 PM

I could absolutely understand something like a laptop or even the game console. These are little plastic figurines. Plus, I've never once ruined or lost anything. One time they asked me for a sweatshirt that I didn't have. Never found it, never had it in the first place.

It is my shoes that come home smelling like horse manure. A few weeks ago, I picked Bunt up, and he had on a sweatshirt of theirs that he had left in his locker. The first thing out of his mouth was "Mom, you HAVE to wash this as soon as we get home, or I will get in trouble" I asked him why and he said he dropped it on the bathroom floor, and if Gigi knew, he'd "be in trouble"

He just turned 7 years old!!!! He's a KID! They ruin things and get things dirty. What upsets me is how worried he was.

ETA: he has already told me that his dad said when he turns 10, they are going to get him a cell phone, but he can only use it at their house.

[This message edited by stupidstupidme at 1:20 PM, June 3rd (Monday)]

peacelovetea posted 6/3/2013 13:54 PM

FT is really upping the FT ante. :(

I am lucky -- my ex and I agree that the kids' stuff can be shared. The kids took some of their stuff and half their clothes to his place when he moved out, and now that he bought a house, they will probably bring more over there from their rooms. They freely bring back and forth and clothes just get worn and washed wherever the end up, though we both buy clothes for our own houses. Special stuffies get brought back and forth, and so does DD's cello. Its theirs and we both encourage them to keep whatever the want at either house.

KeepOnMovin posted 6/3/2013 14:19 PM

STBXWW and i have 50/50. In the temporary order, toys/belongings are spelled out clearly that they are to move with the child from one house to the other (clean and in working order). No issues so far, but i'm continually surprised at her behavior, so anything's possible.

he has already told me that his dad said when he turns 10, they are going to get him a cell phone, but he can only use it at their house.

Obvious manipulation tactic on FT's part. I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. For most of us reasonable people, the purpose for getting a child a cell phone would be so we could talk to them/communicate when the child is at the other partents' house. Right?

But let's be honest, most kids (and my STBXWW) can't put the phone down once they start using it. In your case, FT is providing a cell phone, but putting pressure on Bunt to choose between having the phone and being with his mom.

People like FT make me sick! How can you make your child take part in some kind of twisted game?

OTHO, kids eventually figure out they're being manipulated and resent it. Bunt will see his dad for the asshole that he is. If FT was smart, he would do everything possible to make his son comfortable and happy. it will pay off in the long run.

cmego posted 6/3/2013 15:18 PM

We have skylanders obsession at our house too. For the first few weeks, I allowed him to pick a few to take back and forth. I had a special backpack, but EX made sure they came home...BUT...I have 90% custody.

The only thing I can add is that after a few weeks, they all but forgot about them (as usual!), so now they just stay here. I did buy a second "master game" or whatever it is called, so each house had one. Just the figures went back and forth, and just a few so they wouldn't become lost.

tabitha95 posted 6/3/2013 15:50 PM

My kids have Xboxs at both houses but they don't have duplicate games ( those suckers are $60 each

The kids shuttle those back and forth. If they forget them, then they just don't get to play with them. We don't do special trips if they forget.

HopeImOverIt posted 6/3/2013 16:58 PM

ETA: he has already told me that his dad said when he turns 10, they are going to get him a cell phone, but he can only use it at their house.

Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts. The whole point of a cell phone is to get in touch with your children when they are NOT with you. What good is that cell phone going to do them when Bunt is already with them at their house?

I can tell you, the problem with 10 year olds and cell phones is that they are careless with them. I can't tell you how many times my son has lost his cell phone, although so far it has always turned up eventually. Once he jumped into the pool at Ex's apartment with the phone in his pocket, ruining the battery. (Surprisingly the phone itself recovered after drying out.)

So if you don't see the need for the cell phone, you might be just as happy not having to take responsibility for making sure your child doesn't lose/ruin it. My Ex texts me all the time to complain that Son #2 hasn't answered his calls or txts. So yeah, you might be just as happy not being responsible for managing your child's phone relationship with his other parent.

My Ex texts me all the time telling me to send certain stuff with the kids, usually specific clothing such as bathing suits or dress clothing. They keep very little at his place.

The biggest irritant is he's too cheap to buy them pool towels to keep at his apartment, so he asks the kids to bring some from my house. It goes without saying that they don't get sent back clean!

hoya96 posted 6/3/2013 19:32 PM

I am unfortunately in the position of being the house that has to say no.

For items of small monetary value (ie stuffed animals, dolls, games, etc) I have absolutely no problem with the kids bringing stuff to both houses.

The problem is that my husband and I have purchased several very expensive electronics for our kids - an iPhone and Mac laptop for our oldest (13), iPods and DSis for the younger two, etc. Ex and OW have 3 other kids (hers), and do not supervise the kids properly. As a result, we've had some stuff get "lost" or "broken" at their home.

Yes, it's in our decree that they are supposed to replace these items. Yes, there is always some long, convoluted excuse as to why this particular situation does not fall under the decree. No, I don't have the money in lawyer fees to actually pursue it (it would cost more to litigate than replace the items!)

As a result, the kids know they have to leave their technology items here. They're not happy about it, but they understand.

The saddest part is that their father makes over twice my salary (and I'm remarried to another teacher). He should theoretically be able to purchase these items for the kids at his home. Of course, he should also theoretically be able to pay half of their tuition, sports fees, uniforms, etc.

AppleBlossom posted 6/3/2013 22:25 PM

We also have two houses that keep things separate. As much as we try, things do get lost and they do get left at the other house. it only took a couple of precious things being lost to make the kids realise that there was stuff for dad's house and stuff for mum's house.

Every now and again there is an exception, but we are good now about returning things. We do tend to have two of everything, but its taken us about five years to get there. It has also evolved that they do different things at each house. We are more about baking and games and reading, he is more about all the activity and bike rides and going to people's houses.

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