There should be a new addition to our household within four weeks.
I’m not ready for this. Granny, who has apparently forgotten what it is like to have a screaming, pooping, needy infant in the house, can’t wait. Our daughter can’t wait. Her sister can’t wait. Am I the only sane one in the house?
I will admit that I have had some pleasant moments daydreaming about teaching my young granddaughter about the infield fly rule, reading to her, taking walks with her and watching birds in our backyard together. (Do you think she has to learn how to walk before she can learn to chase cats?) Nevertheless, her arrival will mark the beginning of an extremely stressful transition. That is the nature of things, even in the best of circumstances.
In the last couple of weeks, we are getting not-so-subtle hints that this may not be the best of circumstances. Start with a healthy dose of teenage drama, stir in a hormonal girl with a baby on the way, add a dash of young man with the common sense of earwax, broil over a half dozen angry late-night telephone conversations, and you have a potent stew that will make your stomach turn.
Yes, for about the sixth time since my daughter became pregnant, she and the father of the child have broken off all contact. This has been the most angry and bitter of the breakups to date. There is a possibility that they will never attempt to patch things up. But the odds are also good that within a few weeks, my daughter will be convinced she can never live without the boy.
One of the issues is child support. He doesn’t think he should be saddled with the indignity of being forced by the state to pay. My daughter should trust him to do the right thing, he says. I’d be more convinced if he were already doing the right thing by his first child. He has a track record, all right, and he’s dropped the baton every time.
Due to his anger (perhaps fear?) over the possibility of being forced to pay his fair share as well as the results of a few other games that high school kids know how to play so well, venom is being sprayed liberally in both directions. I really hope that by the time my granddaughter is old enough to understand what is going on in the world, my daughter and the father will have at least learned to be civil. No child should ever witness that sort of hatred between parents. It makes me sad to think that my granddaughter might be so abused.
In one conversation, the boy first said that if he had to pay child support, he wouldn’t ever have anything to do with the child. Then, in the next breath, he said he’d go to court to get custody of her. You can imagine that shook up my daughter more than a little bit. At this point, she doesn’t want him to have anything to do with the child. And all this with less than a month to go.
My belief is that someday these two kids will settle down and mature enough to figure out that doing right by their daughter is their first responsibility. I just hope they learn that lesson before they do too much damage to this little girl who doesn’t deserve any of it.