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Just peeking in, this board is usually dead!

On father going away. I don't think he's wrong to not tell you. He's entitled to privacy when he's not taking care of the child - the same goes for you. Should an emergency arise, it might actually be easier if he were away - you'd be able to make any important decisions without having to call him and explain your reasoning and get him to agree.

On weekends. I think the critical issue here is *what's in the child's best interest*. It's in the child's best interest to develop a strong comittment to sports - not only in terms of weight management and general health, but also as a source of confidence and pride, things that will serve him *well* in his teenaged years. It's also in the child's best interest to develop a healthy social life with kids his age and that includes playdates and birthday parties.

I'd suggest getting the Dad to involve the child in sports in the *Dad's* town. There are surely teams that only meet on the weekends there. Alternately, I'd suggest the Dad take the child later on Saturdays, so he'd be able to participate in sports.

That said, I agree that there are probably more issues at work. Kids are reticent to say negative things about parents and this may be his way of letting you know he's bored stupid at Dad's house. If Dad's parking him in front of the TV or not coming up with interesting activities, it's no wonder your son is thinking of other things to do. I'd give Dad an opportunity to do a better job of stimulating the kidlet, but if it's still not resulting in more active weekends, I'd argue it's a good time to re-assess the visitation decision.

Talk to the Dad. Decide together what an ideal *lifestyle* would be for the kidlet and then divvy up the work to make it happen.

As for the importance of time with mom *or* dad, the fact is that it doesn't take that much time to maintain a great relaitonship with your kid. More important is for the kidlet to be building good habits and relationships in *all* aspects of his life that will see him through his teenaged years and beyond.

I dunno about taxes. I'm like Ish, no support, little involvement from the Dad.

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