Okay, it didn’t go exactly as I expected, but here’s the scoop…
We had to sit in this itty bitty room for a half hour watching a video of how tragic divorce is. After that, we met with a court mediator to see if we could come to an agreement by ourselves.
Since we were unable to accomplish that, the mediator is sending a recommendation to the judge, based on our meeting. I am told that these judges very rarely go against the mediator’s recommendations. Unfortunately, I will not know the exact details until the paperwork is mailed to me in a week or so.
The mediator did tell us the maximum he would be entitled to, but that was before he made several highly endearing comments to the mediator.
But first, he asked for every other weekend and all day Sunday on the remaining weekends, with ME driving DD 100 miles round trip to drop her. Best he will actually get is one hour each weekend at my house and two midweek visits for an hour each, also at my house. Also, this agreement will stay in place unless he goes back to court to change it. So he will not get any increased visitation as DD gets older unless he goes to considerable trouble.
Of course, he made it very clear to the mediator that he could not be inconvenienced by midweek visits. You know…with gas prices what they are these days. And there is absolutely no way he is willing to go into work early on those days so he could leave early. That would be too much of a hassle.
The mediator asked if I could pump milk so he could feed DD. No, I said. My milk contains too much lipase (sincere thanks to whomever gave me that info) and it spoils, even when frozen (this is true, BTW). How does he know this is really true, he asked. I told him I would be entirely willing to pump milk in his presence, allow him to store it in the manner of his choosing for several hours, then taste it himself to determine its worthiness to be fed to DD.
He blamed me for taking DD away from him. I countered with the fact that I left after he said he did not want DD. That comment, he said, was part of a heated argument. He went on to clarify his comment to the mediator…What he had really said was, “You just need to shut f*** up. I never even wanted a baby.” Oh, and the topic of the argument...I was upset because he left 5 week old DD alone in a running car in a parking lot.
You should have seen the mediator’s eyes go all agoogle when she heard that! She asked him if he wanted DD. *crickets*…*crickets*…*crickets*...”well…yes,” he said. Later on, he accidentally slipped and said, “I didn’t want a…we weren’t ready to have a baby.”
With regard to DD’s peanut sensitivity, he said he wanted proof. He thought I was making it up to get back at him for sticking a cashew-coated finger into DD's mouth when she was 2 days old. You want proof, do you? I whipped out my most recent paperwork from the pediatrician and calmly directed his eyes to the line that read “DIAGNOSIS: Allergy to Peanuts”. The mediator gave him a lecture on the seriousness of peanut allergies and admonished him that this was not a topic he should be arguing with me about. She reiterated THREE TIMES that children can die of this type of condition and he should have been supportive of me seeking treatment for DD.
When I told him that DD’s pediatrician wanted her to be exclusively breastfed until 9 to 12 months to avoid additional allergy issues, he said “she will just have to learn to eat food like any other kid.” At this point, I could tell by the mediator’s expression that she was heartily impressed by DH’s parenting sense.
He ended the whole debacle by whimpering and whining to the mediator about the dissolution of his first marriage and capped the day off by telling me I was pretty and calling me “Hon” in the parking lot before heading off in to the glaring afternoon sun.
Overall, I would say that DH faired much better in the eyes of the mediator in the area of being a concerned and competent parent.