Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Where the happiness of one outweighs all others

Tonight is going to be frustrating. I hope I can be charming and not lose my temper. I am pinch hitter parent for scouts. Ex asked me to switch visitation so he could go to a happy hour with an old coworker.

As it turns out, one topic of discussion will be the potential changing of scout night from Wednesday. The Jewish family has religious education on Wednesday nights and cannot attend.

The first try for a change was in Sept by email. Then it was revisited in October. I had not previously responded, because I thought the change was too far fetched. Then it looked like it might happen per an email by the den leader.

I responded that a change would be inconvenient to my family. Ours is not an arbitrary night, this Wednesday thing. It is visitation. It is in legal documents. It is my only night off each week. And, although I didn't say it, it is the only thing in my son's life that I am not responsible for.

I do not want to switch nights and have to switch visitation, with ex still doing scouts. It unbalances the week for when J sees his dad. On the flip side, I do not want to switch nights and have to take over routinely doing scouting.

So then the topic came up again this week as an agenda item for tonight. I wrote the den leader and asked, "Is this going to continue to come up each month?" He had assured me after my first email to him that the change would not occur, almost like it was a moot point and he was just asking. He responded this time that he just wanted to be fair to the family involved. I think he's been more than fair. At least five emails have come from him concerning this over the last two and a half months. I am feeling bamboozled by this family, who I already disliked and was lacking respect for. They are whiny people, always have been.

What I think is unfair is hitting us over the head with this each month. If anything would be fair, it would be one family not feeling so pompous to ask 15 other families to alter their schedules. (I could not fathom the audacity!) It would have been fair if that family had sought out another cub scout pack that meets on a different night. I will assume that they've known for years that religious education and scouts were going to clash. Why couldn't they be proactive? And if they truly want to be involved with this pack, why have they done none of the weekend stuff so far this year? They haven't even been active on a small scale.

I also have to wonder if it being religious education gives them some false leverage with the den leader. If it were tutoring or a sports league being the diversion, would it carry such weight for this repeated inquiry?

I will mention one other angle for ex's sake. He gets off work at 4, gets J, and sits in a restaurant until 7 while J does his homework, waiting for scouts to start. He lives close to 45 minutes from scouts on a good day, so it would be impossible to wrestle traffic to get home, only to turn around and come back. Further, they often don't get home until 9:30 or later afterwards. He's requested several times that they start scouts earlier, but nobody listened. Scouting insists upon a family dinner. It doesn't seem to matter what it does to ex's family dinner. Thing is, they only meet twice a month! Such a change would just ruin everyone's families!

I told ex that, if it comes to it, I will suggest tonight that they have their cake and eat it, too. They can start scouts at 5:30 and have plenty of time for religious education as well afterwards.

So, I need your help. Am I off base with this, wanting things to remain as they are and not wanting another family to dictate my life? I'm sure the den would never go for a compromise over the times. I will not compromise the night in question. It is an important point that I do not try to hold up a whole den because my family is different somehow from all the others. Being divorced parents makes our lives much different than theirs. We're also the only ones that don't live five minutes from the meeting place. We're different, but we receive no concessions.

If it changes, ex says he will withdraw J and put him in a different group when it's time for Boy Scouts in the sixth grade. Or he'll find an active pack/den that meets on Wednesday nights down where he lives. (Fat chance.)

Do you see any other alternatives? Am I being unreasonable? Should I subordinate my family's structure and needs for another kid's religious education?


Klynn said...

It is the other family's responsibility to adjust their schedule to attend scout meetings. The date/time has been set for the group. It is up to them to decide whether or not to attend. In such a situation the majority rules.

I don't think it was wrong of them to ask, because honestly, it could have been better for everyone else on a different date/time, too. But since no one jumped on the opportunity, they really should have let it drop.

Hope that your schedule continues to be convienent, or at least acceptable.

Anonymous said...

That's ludicrous! I can't believe the gall of that other family! I mean, they can ask, but that doesn't mean they're going to get!


Anonymous said...

What klynn said, absolutely. And hey, it couldn't hurt to ask to move it to 5:30. If they say no, so be it, but it's worth a shot.

Anonymous said...

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brite69 said...

Wow. Your scouts only meet twice a month? That would make my world SO much less cluttered. We meet every Tuesday at 630. So, every Tuesday, I pick up my son from school, go home for about 20 minutes, pick up my nephew from the bus, go home and make/eat dinner, rush to scouts, realize that I forgot to do/bring/whatever something vital for the meeting, spaz for an hour to an hour and a half and go home. And I think we are part of one of the MOST disorganized scout troops/packs in the nation. I got a call on Tuesday from the Cub Master asking if we were still planning on being in it. I told him we were, but with my not being able to walk very well one week and the boy and I being sick this past week, we just couldn't make it. I then told him that I tried to call and couldn't get an answer. That's when I got his new number and a huge guilt trip trying to get me to attend that night.

Somehow, I think I have blogged about this. o_O Sorry for flooding your comments. I'm working until 3 this afternoon so I can attend my grandfather's viewing and catching up on your blog is helping the time pass quicker.

Cricket said...

brite, I am so sad about your grandfather. That picture you have is priceless.

We meet twice a month as a den and once a month as a pack. Then there are various Saturday events/tours/badge opportunities. It adds up, but is not overwhelming. Last year, we met an additional time at night, but the den leader this year decided to just do two nights a month.