For a short while, the alienator “cooperated” with the parenting plan.

But there was always a twist.

An angle.

A play.

Compliance was never going to be an option.

The simplest things would always be as difficult as possible.

Just because.

At first, it seemed as though having the kids ride the bus to our home everyday after school would be perfect.

Snacks and help with homework made sense.

But the alienator couldn’t let anything be perfect or make sense.

Always manipulation.

Always sabotage.

Always something.

Erratic pickup times.

4:15 pm.

3:47 pm.

6:22 pm.

8 pm.

No schedule.

No communication.

No explanations.

Just nothing.

We were always left hanging.

Always left to wonder.

Do we feed them dinner?

Should they go to bed?

Is she coming at all?

We had jobs.  We needed a schedule.

They were kids.  They needed routine and structure.

When she would finally arrive, another game would ensue.

Refusal to pull into the driveway.

Refusal to pull off the very busy road.

Refusal to stop driving through our yard.

Refusal to text instead of laying on the horn to announce her arrival.

Refusal to be a grownup.

And then one day from the living room window, I witnessed a new kind of indoctrination.  I stared in amazement and disbelief.

It was October 29, 2012.

The kids’ arms were full of jackets, instruments and backpacks as they rushed out the front door and ran to the car stopped on the busy road in front of our home.

Liam grabbed the car door and started to plow inside.  Just then, the alienator jumped out of the driver’s seat, shouted at them to drop their belongings and proceeded to lead them in a ritual.

As if coming off the beach and removing the sand, in unison she instructed the kids to “brush off the evil” vigorously and to not miss a single particle.

I watched as all three children carefully patted down each arm and leg before jumping into the car.

And driving through the yard before disappearing out of sight.

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