Monday, May 5, 2014

Parenting Class Graduate

A few weeks ago, I received a lovely letter in the mail from the State of Pennsylvania. It’s contents? Well, simply put, it stated that since I was involved in a custody situation (i.e. from the divorce, seeking shared custody of R), I was required by the court to attend a state-mandated class on co-parenting. For the low, low price of $60 (money order only...who gets a money order?!) I was able to attend a class where there were NO snacks or beverages. What a rip.

Anyway, I got up and made myself look pretty decent, considering I was up most the night with a sick baby. I drove up, 10 minutes early, coffee in hand, ready to perhaps meet my second husband...a single, broken-hearted divorcee with one child, a sparkling smile, witty personality and respectable employment.

Newsflash: I walked into the class and it took me .35 seconds to realize I would NOT be meeting my future second husband there. At risk for sounding incredibly stuck-up and arrogant, I’ll say this with the utmost humility...I was the most respectable person in the room. For a few reasons.

  1. I was the only person there without a mass amount of tattoos. For instance, the gentleman in front of me sporting a ripped t shirt and cut off jorts, had an interesting conglomeration of tats on his leg. I could only see half, but there was a bike chain in the shape of a “B”, nun-chucks and a pair of crutches. I spent most of the class figuring out the story behind them.
  2. I’m hazarding a guess here, but I would go out on a limb to say that I was one of the only attendees without a criminal record.
  3. The teacher introduced himself and stated that he was a therapist at the local maximum security prison.
  4. When bathroom breaks were given, I was one of two people who actually went to the bathroom instead of out the door to suck on a cancer stick.

These four factors left me wondering a few things. Surely, I couldn’t be the only decent person in the county getting divorced. My lawyer told me this class was a necessary evil, but maybe everyone else knew something I didn't?

Now, I’m not completely knocking the class. There was useful information. Most common sense. But most likely, the people that need it most, will not listen. We watched an informative video about the effects of divorce on children. Which then made me have a complex about the rest of R’s life and how I might have ruined him for the future.

But then I realized that, thus far, the ex and I have had a fairly reasonable co-parenting experience, which we can hopefully continue. This was affirmed to me when I heard the lady in back of me pipe up with, “My ex don’t pay me no child support. He ain’t worth nothin’. I don’t need him anyway. I’m an independent woman.”

Get it, girl. Holla at yo ladies.

Don’t worry, I’ve successfully graduated from co-parenting class. I even have a certificate to prove it. Perhaps I’ll frame it and hang it on my wall at the new place.

Nah. I’ll put it in R’s scrapbook.

I finished out my day in the ER with R, as he was diagnosed with RSV and an ear infection. I swear, someday this kid will either be immune to all communicable diseases, or he’s prepping to be an Avenger.

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