I Want to be a Pole Dancer!

I have had no fewer than three people tell me in the last 48 hours that I should write a book.  The thing is, I don’t think anyone would believe it.  It’s too far-fetched to even be entertaining sometimes, and flat out annoying at others.
These comments were spawned by a vent I posted.  Friday night, we were out to eat, and Blondie declared that she wants to be a pole dancer like Denise.  I told her that  that is not appropriate for kids and that she can’t say that.  She just can’t.
“But why?” she wants to know.  “It’s her job.”
Indeed it is.  And jobs aren’t bad, right?
I felt like I was running in circles trying to figure out how to tell my mostly innocent soon-to-be 9 year old child that pole dancing is not an esteemed profession, that Denise really takes her clothes off while she dances and men cheer and throw money at her.  But I couldn’t.  So I had to eventually go with a “because I said so”.  I don’t really like to do that; I do want my children to learn the how and why of things in life.  But it’s just too soon for them to learn some things.
Responses to my vent ranged from sensible (“Tell her to say she wants to be just a dancer, like ballet or tap”) to truthful (“Tell her Denise takes her clothes off to get money from men and that’s bad!”) to simply delightful (“When you get the call from school that she repeated that there, you make sure to pick Carl up on the way and drag him in there with you!”) with a generous smattering of outrage and sympathy.
I wasn’t looking for any of those things with that post; I really was just venting.  Perhaps I let too many eyes into my world sometimes; I need to let it out once in awhile.  I did take all those comments into consideration though.
Blondie doesn’t understand what pole dancing really is.  They’ve watched videos of “pole fitness” so she thinks pole dancers wear leotards and compete for trophies and medals.  Her statement was innocent, but it brings to light the damage that her father and Denise are doing, likely without meaning to, just because they’re idiots.
I don’t know what to do about it.  I can’t legally withhold visitation, because there is nothing illegal going on there (to my knowledge).  That would cause a shitty legal battle that might get messy, long, and expensive.  A friend sent me a message later that day, suggesting that I take more control over custody, get supervised visits and limit time spent with him.  That’s something that I’ve wrestled with, and I responded as such:
Is it better for the girls to have a relationship with him and eventually see him for who he is, or would they be better off without him around completely? I know that my life would be easier if he would sign away his rights, but he never will, if just to hold it over my head and use it as a sympathy card to play. I just don’t know – if I tell them they can’t see dad I’m the bad guy, but does that actually make me their protector, or am I denying them something important? It’s fucked up either way.

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Tattoos and Piercings

It’s been awhile since I last wrote.  Some stuff has transpired, both in regards to the Epic Saga of Carl and in my life in general.  I’ll try to catch you up as time permits, but first things first, here’s the background you need:
Carl and Denise are no longer in their house.  I assume they got kicked out for not paying the rent, but he won’t actually tell me, because it’s none of my business.  They and their spawn and the dog moved into a teeny apartment in his aunt’s basement, where he went when he first moved out of my house.  Carl’s recent Facebook posts have included things like:
I am trying to make something happen, I have applied for almost 200 jobs and not 1call back. Does anyone know how to prepare a good resume? My resume looks like crap I think and I have no idea what to put into a cover letter. My second question is when I do find a job, can I work something out with someone for rides to and from work till I get my van back on the road when I get my taxes back? Something has to give soon. Very very soon.  [This one had an awesome response to it.  It was great.]
and
Looking to go out for my birthday tomorrow night. Would anyone be able to babysit for the night? Please message me if you might be able to help. [Before he edited it, this included the timeframe of 7pm-4am.]
and many, many requests for babysitters.
Tonight, Blondie tells me that dad is getting his lip pierced.
Um wait, what now?
You have no job, beg for rides and babysitters and jobs, yet you have the money to go get your lip pierced?  Not to mention that facial piercings are generally not helpful in finding a job.  So I asked him.  His response? Something to the tune of “Yeah so, and I’m getting a new tattoo. But not until after I get a job.  I have an interview tomorrow.”
Sometimes all you can do is shake your head…
tats and pericingsNot quite, but you know what I mean…

Pole Fitness

My parents watch my kids while I work.  Today was a work day, so Vivian was at grandma and grandpa’s and Caitlyn was at school.
This afternoon when I picked them up, grandma told me that Vivian had been pole dancing on the wall.  (Grandma is aware of Denise’s occupation, which I actually call “stripper”.  My kids, on the other hand, believe that she is a security guard.  Or so I thought.)
Um, wait….what now?
She said that dad showed her and Caitlyn videos of pole dancing when they were at his house the night before.  She showed me how to do it – it involved grabbing a door frame with both hands and kind of wiggling her little tush.  It would have been cute, and probably funny, had it not been modeled after pole dancing.
Remaining remarkably calm for the panicky hot head that I actually am, I did some gentle questioning and found out from Caitlyn that they did, indeed watch videos of pole dancing last night, “because dad and Denise wanted to”.  And she told me that Denise “is a pole dancer for her job”.
So what were the people in the video wearing? Leotards.  (Thank god they were wearing clothes.)  And what did they do? Climbed up a pole and danced. Umm, why? I don’t know, I guess it’s their job?
It was a good thing my phone was in the car, because Carl had obviously lapsed in judgement (again).  It took a bit to get everyone ready to go.  As soon as we were all buckled in, though, and “waiting for the car to warm up”, the text messages started flying out of my phone like lubed up lightening.  The first was to Philip, telling him that I might need bail money later.  The next was to Carl, because he’s an idiot.
Are you fucking kidding me? You showed our 3 and 8 year old daughters videos of women pole dancing? And told them that Denise is a pole dancer? Are you serious?
          I showed them an 8 and 9 year old doing pole fitness
Kids shouldn’t be pole dancing and you shouldn’t be letting them watch it.  Use some judgement.
Pole fitness is something that people of all ages do it is part of gymnastics now it’s not  
something bad.
Well you just wait until Caitlyn tells a teacher or her counselor that her dad’s girlfriend is a pole dancer for her job, because that’s what she told me.
I can’t wait for that phone call from school.

pole fitness
Um, no.  Just no.