Cogs and Wheels and Exes

Yesterday, taking a trip into town with H9, we happened to sit beside a mother and her kid on the metro.

It turned out that the kid was known to my son, as he was the son of his mother’s boyfriend. And the woman, of course, was his mother: my son’s mother’s boyfriend’s kid’s mother.

And I wondered, as we sat there making strained conversation: what is my official connection to this person? Exes thrice removed? Step step something or other? Or is there any useful word to describe these tangled web of family and ex-family relations of modern life?


The city of Stockholm seems to consist of huge interlocked networks of single people with children, all trying to arrange to see each other, co-coordinating their kid days and kid-free weekends. And if any person in this vast and complex system decides to change their “kid week” then it has long-reaching repercussions on the private lives of thousands.

Perhaps some sort of government authority is required to keep track of it all. We will have to send in a form and get consensus (and the Swedes do love a good consensus) before throwing the dating patterns of the divorced masses into chaos. Or else arrange a fat tax rebate for babysitters.

And, on other news, LadyFi has published volume 2 of the Strange Shores expats blog carnival. So pop on over and enjoy some prime tits – sorry, I meant prime titbits. And don’t be shy in offering to host a blog carnival in the near future!

/ paddy


9 thoughts on “Cogs and Wheels and Exes

  1. It would be a good idea to make a netbased program. Imagine that you can feed the program with information every day and then see the outcome. Like: Can i switch day with the mother (N)and go to the zoo?, beeeeeeeeeeep ” N has a pedicure-treatment-will-be-back-at-3-pm” or “Impossible, N has a romantic dinner with P” . But then you can develope the program, N has a romantic dinner with P but P´s ex wife S is “open for activity”. So you contact S and bring all the kids to the zoo, if S is up for it. “Open activity dosnt mean sex” The program will crash if you get another kid with S.

  2. And I thought a programmer’s solution was to callous on this matter… :-)

    As for web based programs – aren’t there already a lot of those as freeware, shareware, et c?

    B t w Paddy, you don’t really have a problem handling these situations, have you? As a programmer you have handled much more complicated stuff on a daily basis. WHILE oops IF x THEN, IF y THEN, IF no THEN z OR ELSE. :-)

    The subject is of course a serious one, but perhaps we don’t have to resort to government intervention. The idea about cooperation software is actually a good idea. If only we could reach a workable consensus on which product to use.


  3. You’re so right, we should have a system for naming the ex-relations, just as we have systems for naming other family relations such as cousins et c.

    Actually, on the (luckily expanding) single-parent-partner market, I think one of the most determinative factors for whether you opt for A or B as a potential future lover/acquaintance/bf/gf/partner -is which week best matches one’s own child-free week(end)…

    So… who’s out for UNeven numbered weekends?!

  4. I think what’s clear is that the country is forming one great commune where everyone should be responsible for all of the children standing nearby at any given point in time.

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