SD turned up this weekend with 2 binbags full of clothes that have gone from ours to BM's over the last few months. BM's latest edict is that SD is to come back in exactly the clothes she came to us in from BM, and that none of her clothes are to stay at ours, and none of our clothes are to go to hers, apart from school uniform.
Well, I guess this means that less of SD's half decent stuff will get chewed up by BM's feral dogs, and we have an excuse to offload all the horrid chavvy "Golddigga" stuff back to BM.
I just felt so sorry for her when I saw her dragging the binbag of clothing in from the car. She looked so unhappy - all her stuff in there, basically any reminder that SD has a life with us has been ejected from BM's house, and the two lives forced to be completely separate. And of course, the whole life-in-a-binbag is a big sign from the BM that she thinks that her daughter's life here is trash that she wishes she could just throw away for good.
She mentions her mother cautiously now, looking for any sign from us that we are going to reciprocate the trench warfare that BM is now engaged in. But we will not. We sympathised when SD told us BM's beloved car had been stolen (although secretly thinking, boy, aint Karma a bitch) and that as a result, she hadn't been able to get to her allotment to care for her chickens and had had to give them away. We let her talk about what she's been doing all week. What kind of life would it be for her if she wasn't allowed to do this and she was constantly having to watch herself in case some reference to Mum slipped out? We could not do this to her. Much as I have a thorough distaste for the woman, BM is still SD's mother, and she won't get another one of those. I just hope that we will do enough to show her that just because one side decides to play dirty, doesn't mean that the other immediately has to follow suit.
BM and the Hatchet Face are now on permanent alert for any minor transgressions from us, and they are upping the ante with all these rules so much now that they are making it more and more likely that something will go wrong - will SD come home in a pair of socks that aren't from BM's? She won't have put the wrong pair of socks on by mistake of course, this will be us trying to get one over on them, us DELIBERATELY waging sock-war, we will of course have thrown her rightful pair of socks away, or something of the kind, and sent her back in these just to spite them. Sure, because we don't have full time jobs to worry about or anything, we just spend all our time thinking up elaborate plans to one-up the BM....
See this is the trouble. Because they care so much about this stuff, they automatically think that we do, and that we will be keen to engage in this charade of subterfuge and skirmish. They could not actually conceive that all we wish for is for SD to be able to move freely between the two homes, love both parents and both sets of step-parents, without remorse or guilt, and for everyone to, if not get on with one another, at least be able to show some degree of civility. If we ever express these sentiments, it is not seen as being genuine, but some kind of game-plan or strategy. But this is a CHILD'S LIFE that is being played with as though it is some kind of war-game! SD is not a pawn, she is not a trump card, she is not the spoils of battle - she is a human being. Why is it that the one person who professes to love her more, and better than everyone else in her life, is the one person who cannot see how much she is hurting, and thinks it's OK to stand her child on the street in the rain surrounded by binbags to wait for her father to pick her up.