My ex has been nice to us in this past month, and as much as it is a relief for me, I am still puzzled about his latest incarnation as a caring father, when not too long ago he told me that I was not able to look after our son AND called me many colourful names because I refused to hand him over some money which he thought -wrongly as usual- that it should be his.
I see his recent change of behaviour and wonder what is behind it. Is it real? Is it some sort of preemptive measure to avoid escalating maintenance payments? Is it a mind game? or is it just the sad realization that Robert is all he has left? I do not know, and I am hesitant to make a judgement call on this one. I am going to wait and see, and I mean really wait for a long long time. Maybe ten years from now I will be able to tell some more. In the meantime I am taking his “helpfulness” where I find it, and taking advantage of it while it lasts. As things happened, it looks like I will not be able to rely on his helpfulness too much because he got himself a full time job (something that he has been loath to do since moving to Cape Town). He said that he would be working every day including Saturday mornings until 11:30. What worried him, as he told me yesterday (and again this is completely out of character for my ex) is that he will not get too much time to spend with Robert, very strange.
In return my natural instinct is also to be nice, and although my analytical mind tells me that perhaps this is not such a good idea, I am willing to risk it. I feel in the end my son will benefit of a hostility-free relationship between his mother and his father.
On that note today was the said father’s birthday and we went with him to the Waterfront after he finished working (and gym) and I bought my ex a ticket to the Aquarium which he enjoyed. Robert has his usual fun-filled day at the toy store and we later introduced him again to the fish. He is still too young to appreciate all exhibits, but occasionally he would look and say fish, or “big” but mostly it is water (Ahti).
The Two Oceans Aquarium is really nice. The last time I was here was on the fateful day I lost my wallet (the one that got really lost, not the one I stupidly misplaced), so this became my first visit to the new frogs exhibit, which was interesting. The few species they showed great variation in size and colours. Some of the frogs are as big as an adult’s fists while others would fit comfortably on a small coin. In addition to this new exhibits therer were also the old favourites like the predator exhibit, and we were there in time for their feeding. My personal favourite is the kelp forrest with many snub nosed fishes that look pouty and angry. The only photo I took though was in the tank of the clown fish (made famous by the movie Finding Nemo) but the pictures turned out poor especially since I did not have enough time to study the features of my new camera. I will have to try it out next time at leisure.
At the Aquarium I bumped into W. and her tall, tall son Zack. Zack is now 18 months, and Robert still wears some of babygros that were too small for him at 12 months. I do not see much of Zack’s mom anymore because she lives and works in Sommerset West, but she promised to get in touch whenever she was in Cape Town.
It was five thrity in the afternoon when we got out of the Aquarium. Robert was completely finished, but I still managed to do some shopping. I went looking for some clothes for me and ended up buying a sandal for Robert. Meanwhile my own sandal is falling apart, but I will shop for myself some other time.
During the excitement out, Robert has nothing to eat for the whole afternoon, but he made up for it by eating one whole scrambled egg and toast. When I reported this to his father in a text message, he texted me back thanking me for a nice birthday. “You are still important in my life and now Robert gives it meaning” he said. Whatever that means, I will know ten years from now.