OK to ask about ex’s new boyfriend/girlfriend?

Have you ever asked your kids about their mom or dad’s new love interest?

According to some court documents it looks like Shaquille O’Neal did.

From HoopsVibe.com:

In this case, the disparagement allegedly took the form of Shaq grilling his kids for information concerning their mother’s new man.  In fact, the court documents claim that O’Neal pushed his children “to the point that they felt intimidated and scared of him.”  What’s more, Shaunie claims that Shaq told their six-year-old son to send a message to Marlon Yates that he was “going to kill him”, yelling at the boy “Say it now! My daddy is going to kill you!”

TMZ had a report with similar quotes.

So, I think we can all agree that it’s not OK for a parent to ask their child to deliver a threat to the new boyfriend/girlfriend, but is OK to ask questions about the new love interest?

What kinds of questions are allowable (if any)? What would be out of bounds?

Do you really want to know what your ex is up to or is it just hurtful?

Do you ask your kids if the other parent is asking about you? Do you tell them not to tell what’s going on in your house?

50 comments Add your comment

mom2alex&max

April 19th, 2010
7:08 am

I don’t really have any experience with this. My instinct tells me it’s none of the ex’s business. However, a friend of mine insists that if she ever got divorced she would demand to meet her ex’s GF..she claims is for the sake of her children. Meaning, she would need to know who her children are spending time with. My question is, what if you don’t approve? What then? It’s not like you have the power to dictate who your ex dates, right?

Andrea

April 19th, 2010
7:37 am

It is not okay to ask the kids. You would hope the parents would be mature enough not to bring every person they casually date around the kids, but more often that not, that isn’t the case. The kids should not be asked anything about the ex’s new boyfriend/girlfriend. It just puts the kids in the middle.

If you truly are concerned about the child’s well being with the new partner, the first person you should talk to is your ex. 9 times out of 10, BOTH you and the ex will know if your questions are stemming from concern or being nosey. Generally those who question the kids are just being nosey and they won’t ask the ex because the ex would pick up on the fact that the other parent is just being nosey.

It always amazes me how the ex always becomes so concerned about the other party when the divorce is final but didn’t give a rat’s patootee when they were married to that person.

motherjanegoose

April 19th, 2010
7:42 am

LOL…here is one topic I have NO experience in! Y’all have fun.

Roswell Jeff

April 19th, 2010
8:28 am

I have no experience in this area either. Something tells me that you would most likely get more information out of your kids during normal conversation. Children when constantly pressed will not feel comfortable with the situation and will withhold information. I bet if you leave them alone, they will spill the beans on their own. JMO

Jeff

April 19th, 2010
8:33 am

Amen mom2. What are you going to do if you don’t approve? I’m OK with either it being acceptable or being off limits. Maybe a background check is acceptable to all parties involved? But here’s what I do insist on; it’s a 2-way street. You get info about mine, I get info about yours. Otherwise, GTH. Can you tell I’ve been down this road lately? LOL.

Travel safe montherjane. I expect it’s rough out there this week.

motherjanegoose

April 19th, 2010
8:38 am

thanks Jeff…in from Idaho out to West Virginia.

Your rule is what teachers have known for years:

“We will believe half of what your kids tell us about you if you believe half of what they tell you about us” The kicker is that what the kids tell their parents is what happens in the classroom and is ***usually*** safe information. We tend to hear what happens in the bedroom, bathroom or in the middle of a parent fight and it gets juicy sometimes….hahaha!

[...] (You get two topic today. Please be sure to read the next topic down: Is it OK to ask your kids  questions about your ex’s new boyfriend/girlfriend? We have an interes…) [...]

First time poster

April 19th, 2010
8:43 am

This is a road I’m about to begin navigating and I can’t say that I’m looking forward to it. I did give a patootee what he did as my husband, so I am sure I will still now that we are divorced. I will go directly to him, as I always have if I have questions about a new person as I would expect he to do the same with me.

MiltonMan

April 19th, 2010
8:52 am

It is never okay to ask the children – this puts them in a mom vs. dad mode & it is a no winner. BTW; for those asking my ex-wife refused visitation rights until she met my girlfriend to which I refused. I took her back to court & the judge came down hard on her (rightfully so) & told her I could bascially date anyone that I wanted as long as the girlfriend was not abusing the kids.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 19th, 2010
8:57 am

Guys I posted a second topic for today off of Mathew McConaughey’s speech last night at the American Country Music Awards — He told everyone he conceived his child after the event last year — Do you know where and when you conceived?? Would you tell people???

Its what you ask

April 19th, 2010
8:59 am

Its Ok if your questions are innocuous. Just, “so, do you like name here?”. “are they nice?” “what sort of things do you guys like to do?”

But thats the extent of it.

gail

April 19th, 2010
9:16 am

Theresa, This is TOTALLY off topic, but I am literally dying inside and would like for you to consider this topic for the future—-ABOUT OLDER CHILDREN—–WHAT do you do if your son/daughter is about 3 weeks away from graduating college TO BE A TEACHER, and they get a DUI???????????????????? To me, a part of me has died, how do we as parents handle this? Just wanted to suggest this topic as I would love to hear from other parents…….signed PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY SICK IN CHEROKEE COUNTY.

Denise

April 19th, 2010
9:18 am

I saw my brother and his ex-wife go through this. It was awful! My ex-sis-in-law had a problem with the new gf/wife, based on info she obtained from the kids — and vice versa. It has been a long, rocky road and, IMO, the kids have had to witness the ugliest of adult (mis)behaviour in the process.

reality check up

April 19th, 2010
9:53 am

@ Gail, You don’t handle it, your son / daughter handles it Your “child” is an adult and has made adult choices and now has to suffer adult consequences. You give them emotional support but you let them “handle” the consequences of their behavior.

gail

April 19th, 2010
9:59 am

@reality check up…….YOU are soooo right……I am letting him handle it…..HE IS A ADULT…..I guess it just makes me sick because he made such a STUPID mistake…..I am a widow and have spent my whole life wanting better for them than I had……and this just kills me.
Thank you!

Mom

April 19th, 2010
10:00 am

It is absolutely not OK to grill the children about the ex’s love interests. However, in the interests of the children, being open to discussions brought up by the children is completely acceptable. It is very confusing when a parent consistently parades ever changing girlfriends/boyfriends in front of the children. As a divorced and later remarried parent, we hear a lot of things from the children. Most times they just need to work through the differences in the two households. All we’ve ever wanted was for the kids to be happy and feel loved no matter which house they are in. If they are being grilled, (this has happened to my kids) they will stopping talking at all.

To Gail

April 19th, 2010
10:24 am

Gail, Your son needs a good lawyer. Its up to you whether to help him. But if he can get it reduced to reckless driving, it shouldn’t effect his teaching prospects. Depending on the circumstances, he may be able to get that.

ASD

April 19th, 2010
10:38 am

My wife and I each have an ex. One of these is now dating while the other has remarried. My daughter is 21 so I have little to no concern with who my ex-wife dates. My present wife, however, has a 15-year-old son who lives with us but visits his father and step-mother in the agreed-upon divorce decree. When the ex-husband was dating, he actually made a point of allowing us to meet the woman who would eventually be his current wife. As it relates to your topic, I think the ex was correct in initiating the contact between all affected parties. No, I don’t think it’s okay to put the chidren in the middle. Handle the stuation as the adults you should be.

itpdude

April 19th, 2010
11:04 am

You’re doing a lot of divorce related stuff. Are un-wedding bells in your future?

catlady

April 19th, 2010
11:12 am

No stress on this one. I did not ask questions, but the children did tell me a little. I knew the woman and she did not break up our marriage, so the less I knew about “their life” the better. If my kids were uncomfortable, they talked to me, but mostly she was an adult and so was I (him, I don’t know about, even 22 years later!). After about 7 years they married–both their tough luck! LOL

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 19th, 2010
11:14 am

itpdude — no divorce planned for us — just doing what I run into –

Dar

April 19th, 2010
11:36 am

hmmm….had my X’s mistress stuck around after the divorce rather than dumping his butt when he no longer had my cash to spend or me to take care of the “hard stuff” (like laundry, cooking, cleaning and, um, other things she apparently didn’t like to do for him LOL) I wonder if I would have been able to resist the urge to ask my son about her. As it is, she stayed with her husband and kids when she found out who he “really is” (her words). On the rare occasion that my X and son spend time together I might ask what they did or if he, my son, had fun, but nothing more. Oddly, I wouldn’t have to ask even if I were interested because my X tends to call or text me about what is going on in his life — when he first walked I wished that karma would smack him, but I never wished for his life to be this sucky; now I just wish he would stop telling me about it, but he apparently has nobody else to talk to and I don’t know how to tell him to shut up without being mean so I listen and try not to feel any joy about his misery. I am engaged, my son and fiancee adore one another and my X sometimes expresses anger when my son talks about him (my fiancee) and says things to me like “you make sure he knows that I am the father.” Whatever. As my fiancee says “he is the one who left a perfectly good wife and son sitting out by the side of the road — I was just lucky to be the first one to drive by and find you.” awwwwww

catlady

April 19th, 2010
12:08 pm

Teresa Re Matthew: not sure HE conceived, as he would have to be female to do so. He “aided in the conception”, however.

Gail, the way education is going, your son might be better off pursuing another line of work anyway. This may be a blessing!

Denise

April 19th, 2010
12:30 pm

I think we discussed the proper protocol for introducing children to new partners and I think that is important. If a new relationship looks like it will stick, then the kids should be introduced. Before that, though, the parents should have a discussion on who the other will be introducing to their child(ren). That way there will be little “putting the child in the middle” (I’d hope). However it is done, though, I could see a parent asking a child the name, whether he/she is nice, how he/she feels the new partner is treating the child, etc. After that, the parent talks to the other parent and expresses whatever he/she feels about it, recognizing, though that children do sometimes lie when they don’t want to see their parents with someone else. It’s a balancing act but it doesn’t have to be terrible if all the adults involved act like adults. Am I living in a fairy tale? I’m sure I am! :-)

Gail, I really know how your feel...

April 19th, 2010
12:40 pm

…this happened to my child, not three weeks before graduation, but at the beginning of the senior year in college. He/she was left by us to handle it, including the 24 hours spent in jail as part of the 1st offender status, plus having to hire and pay the lawyer without our help; plus having to pay the monthly probation fees for 12 months. Whether a lesson was learned remains to be seen.

As another poster suggested, if you can get the charge reduced to reckless driving then that will be better. However, I think that can only happen IF the offender refused to take the field sobriety test. If the field breathalizer was taken and failed then I believe the district atty will not have any recourse but to pursue the DUI charge. I know of a UGA athlete who was charged with DUI in Alpharetta and refused to take the sobriety test. In that case he was able to plead to the lesser charge, but that also may have been favor to the kid and his atty. If you do not submit to the field sobriety test (breathalizer) then that is considered an admission of guilt and it is up to the alleged perpetrator to prove that he was NOT impaired. That is when you can sometimes plead to a lesser charge – with the breathalizer you are pretty much stuck unless you can prove the machine was malfuntioning or totally wrong.

My kid is a really a good kid, too; now whether this will affect future employment opportunities I am not sure, but I feel that it did affect the application to the grad school to which they aspired. M did get into another one, but has not graduated yet, so we will cross that bridge when it happens. And the chosen professional path is one where “moral character” is considered, so we are only hoping for the best.

And, finally,, it is NOT your fault, so try not to beat yourself up over it; but, as I know first hand, that is easier said than done….

stepmom2

April 19th, 2010
1:05 pm

@ Dar- we had the same problem with husband’s ex-wife. She’s on her 2nd boyfriend since her 2nd divorce this past November and she likes to call my husband and talk about her life and he just tells her unless it has to do with our daughter he doesn’t want to hear or read (via text) about it. Have you tried doing something like that?

abc

April 19th, 2010
3:22 pm

In my experience, ex-wives generally don’t give a hoot about who their ex is seeing, but can’t stand the thought of their kids being around another woman who is with their ex, regardless the age of their children. That drove my ex-wife nuts. She wound up all but kidnapping the youngest when he was 15, after leaving all of us over a year earlier. He then graduated H.S. a year late through evening school, can’t get into a real college, has no concept of respect for authority due to his mother’s constant circumvention of mine, and on and on. In short, by so doing, she didn’t hurt anyone except her own children.

Don’t trust your instincts about another woman or man being around your kids. You can’t be objective. It really is absolutely none of your business, so butt out.

Denise

April 19th, 2010
3:39 pm

abc, I disagree with “don’t trust your instincts”. You should always trust your instinct in terms of QUESTIONING a situation. And it is absolutely a parent’s business who is around his/her child. How often do we hear about a mother’s boyfriend molesting her children? Her child’s father should be concerned with who his ex-wife is bringing around his kids and vice versa. Your ex-wife was not working from her instinct. She was working from her CRAZY!! I don’t know you but I’m going to say that you are a lucky fellow for getting away from her crazy tail and I am very sorry that she jacked up HER kids. Parents have to do better! In her attempt to punish you, she ruined her kid. Not all parents/exes act that way.

abc

April 19th, 2010
3:58 pm

That’s the kind of crap that leads to what happened to my kids, Denise. She wasn’t trying to punish me; she just plain couldn’t handle another woman being her stand-in, which was pretty much her take on any woman that was with me. This is quite common among ex-wives whose children are with their ex-husbands.

You’re wrong; as soon as you think that you somehow have a right to intrude, in any way, due to the possibility of anything your little paranoid heart can dream up, you’re in the wrong. Your ex is your ex because you gave them up. So, give them up. They have parental rights and responsibilities that they have to handle, no matter your opinion of how they can or do handle them. It’s none of your business; and if you think there’s a problem, take it to court. If not willing to take it to court, then butt out, it’s none of your business.

Dar

April 19th, 2010
4:04 pm

Stepmom2 – Nice (actually not nice) to know that I am not the only one. Yes, I have tried telling him by text and over the phone/in person that I only want to speak about our son. Long and short, my X left in a very nasty way – he really beat me up emotionally on his way out the door rather than “just pull up his pants and leave” as my father would say – and it is still hard for me to be “strong” around him because I cringe when he calls me a “B” or says something like “see, this is why I had to go to her and leave you” if I try to stand up for myself. I know, I need to put on my big girl pants and toughen up when it comes to my X — if for no other reason, he someday needs to know that what he did in leaving his family was “not okay.”

Denise

April 19th, 2010
4:05 pm

I just feel like MOST people can handle these issues without going to court and going as far as your ex-wife. Sure a lot of people can’t handle the stand-ins and I definitely feel like your ex-wife went farrrrrrrrrrrr to the left but like I said, that is now how I would expect most mature people to handle co-parenting.

abc

April 19th, 2010
4:20 pm

Denise, it’s something that goes along with divorce: collaboration on parental roles disappears, there’s nothing that obligates such cooperation. In fact, if they could cooperate on things like that, chances are the parents would not divorce.

Once divorced, each parent has their own parental rights, and are (or should be) entitled to exercise them without interference from the ex. Whichever parent has custody of the children, whether shared, exclusive, or through visitation, has no obligation to consult with the other parent unless legally obligated to do so, such as taking the child across state lines. Likewise, the other parent has no business interfering with anything that goes on while the children are with their ex. Will the kids suffer? You bet. It goes with the territory. If you don’t want your children to have to deal with it, then don’t get divorced.

Maturity? Get real! Why do you think that people get divorced? Due to no other alternative after mature, thoughtful and wise discussion? That’s almost never what happens.

Dar

April 19th, 2010
4:29 pm

It is hard post-divorce. In most divorces, there is at least one person who is not making mature informed decisions in the best interest of others. My X not only suddenly ran out on his family, but he did things like buy a motorcycle and start riding it around with no license and now he hangs out in bars (he rarely drank while we were married). When a man asks me to drop his son off in front of a bar at 11pm on a Saturday for their “weekend visit”, how exactly am I supposed to trust him to make good decisions about who he brings around my son? But I really don’t have much of a choice and I am just lucky I guess that he has not yet brought anyone around. If he ever does, I am glad my son is old enough (hopefully) to avoid any damage from it if she is bad news.

DB

April 19th, 2010
4:45 pm

I’d say it would be ok to ask the kids how THEY like the girl/boyfriend, how THEY got along with them. But I would think you could ask that question in the context of your interest in what your child thinks, not to give them the 3rd degree. As long as you keep your own comment non-committal and non-judgemental, your child should feel like they can say whatever’s on their mind, if they have a concern about the ex’s new friend. It might take the patience of Job, though, to not come out with a smart-alek remark . . . :-)

Roswell Jeff

April 19th, 2010
4:45 pm

Dar, did he have a midlife crisis?

You know those motorcyclists are bad eggs… lol.

Dar

April 19th, 2010
4:49 pm

LOL, Jeff. If he is going to die at 72 then I guess it was a midlife crisis.

abc

April 19th, 2010
5:02 pm

Suppose your kids hate the ex’s new girlfriend. What are you to do then? It’s none of your business; it’s a bit pointless to bother your kids to get information that isn’t actionable. All you’ll do is look stupid to your kids, because they’re certain to be more than uncomfortable talking about Dad’s girlfriend, or even thinking about their father in terms of having one.

abc

April 19th, 2010
5:03 pm

…not to mention your kids (hopefully) being perceptive enough to realize that you’d be using them as a go-between to gain information. They don’t want to be stuck in the middle between you and your ex, they’ll only resent that, making you look additionally stupid.

mom2alex&max

April 19th, 2010
5:33 pm

@abc: that’s what I’m saying. I asked this on my very post. Although I suppose that if your kids tells you that the ex’s GF smokes cracks or snorts cocaine you could go to court and have visitation removed. But other than those extreme examples…there really isn’t much you can do about it if the ex’s new partner is just “questionable”.

Wounded Warrior

April 19th, 2010
5:42 pm

very simple. have that no one of the opposite sex can spend the night with your kids under the same roof. have this put into the divorce agreement; only 2 exceptions are blood relatives and also being married to a new spouse. this was used in my parents multiple divorces.

Wounded Warrior

April 19th, 2010
5:44 pm

didn’t use it im my divorce, since my kids were not allowed to be with my ex, period.

abc

April 19th, 2010
5:50 pm

mom2alex&max, even if your kids would relate to you that their Dad’s girlfriend was a crackhead, they’d probably be lying. It’s not as if kids like to see their parents with other people.

WoundedWarrior, I doubt that a stipulation such as that would stand up to challenge in courts. I seriously doubt you’re telling the truth about its applicability in your parents divorces.

Dar

April 19th, 2010
6:11 pm

@abc – I wanted something similar in my divorce because I didn’t want my son to be exposed to my X’s mistress. My X refused and my lawyer kinda said the same thing you are — he told me no court in GA would enforce it anyway. I can justify it however I want in my mind, but the honest truth is that is probably more about me being hurt and upset about the affair and divorce and wanting something, anything, to be in my control. I can justify it by saying that I didn’t want my son to be hurt by seeing his father with someone so soon after he left. I can also say that I thought a woman who would cheat on her own husband and leave three young children at home alone at all hours of the night to do it was not the kind of person I wanted my son exposed to. All of that is well and good, but at the end of the day I had no choice but to trust that the man who tore my son’s world apart would not do any further damage. Turns out the mistress didn’t really want to be more than a mistress and my son was never faced with her and my X together.

mom2alex&max

April 19th, 2010
8:04 pm

@abc: actually, now that it’s been mentioned, yes I think you can put a clause like that. I now remember one of my divorced friends had that put it, but it was mutually decided I think.

Lady Strange

April 20th, 2010
9:13 am

I’ve asked my ex casually about how it’s going with his girlfriend. Nothing prying though just trying to be friendly (and since we still currently live together until the house sells I have to deal with him on a daily basis). I don’t get the same respect though, all I get are off handed remarks about the person I’m dating. I got no respect when we were marriaged so I guess I shouldn’t expect any now either.

Mom

April 20th, 2010
10:23 am

We had the ‘no guests of the opposite sex’ clause in our divorce decree. My ex had it put in so I couldn’t have anyone over even though he had been cheating for years and taking my baby to her house. Really, it is really just a point of trying to be in control. In the end, that clause is just a waste of time. The kids can and will be exposed to the new love interests either way. If they aren’t allowed to ’spend the night’, who’s to say they won’t leave at ‘curfew’ and return first thing the next morning.

@Dar – Only you change how you feel about your ex’s emotional abuse. Many times the emotional abuse is much harder to take than physical abuse. Clearly he wasn’t worth having so move on and make yourself strong. The kids need you. Been there, done that!!!

Denise

April 20th, 2010
10:42 am

Dang, I guess my parents handled it a little differently…definitely not saying that it was PERFECT. Sure, they had issues with EACH OTHER but I guess they knew the other wouldn’t endanger their children so they didn’t have to question each other…or at least not question my brother and me about what the other was doing and with whom. I’ve said before that my mother had a few boyfriends that we met and even a husband during their time apart (they married and divorced each other twice) but it never interfered with our relationship with our father and he never asked us about it. Maybe because he knew we’d tell if something crazy was going on… Who knows? Daddy, on the other hand, didn’t bring too many broads around. When we were young he had two girlfriends at the same time but didn’t think we understood that. When we accidentally told one of them that became the last time we met a girlfriend until I was in college and there were PLENTY in between.

I pray that when I get married that I don’t marry a man who is as terrible as some of the ex-spouses you guys talk about. Yall seem very frustrated and often angry and I really wish you didn’t have to be. I guess that’s what happens, though, when a marriage or other relationship doesn’t work out.

FCM

April 21st, 2010
5:08 am

Depends on what your asking and why. When my children (5 &3 at the time) mentioned some name in a conversation I asked “Well who is that?” I got “Daddy’s g/f.” I said oh, how do you know? “Because she had his head in her lap and told us to go away she wanted to be alone with him.” AHHH. A series of questions arose: “How did that make you feel? Did she do that a lot of times or just a few? Did you talk to Daddy about it? Did she treat you well? Did she do things (walk, talk etc) with you?” The kids had some important feelings that had to be discussed.

Another time (same age) they came home with their done. I asked who did that? They replied another girls name. I said, oh who is that? Friend of the person above. Oh well that was nice, she did that because Daddy and (other person) were off somewhere. UMMM HMMMM. Well what else did you do? Oh, cool. What did you do with Daddy? Oh he wasn’t around much? (Interesting) How did you feel about that? Again, big time emtional stuff for them.

Honestly there was no jealousy or malice in my questions (unlike Shaq). I do admit there was some curiosity, but that is human nature. Further, Mom was busy herself while the children were with Dad.

Then a few years ago Daddy was on the phone with the kids and the reply to “what are you doing?” was often answered “In the park with Susie” or “Going to dinner with Susie.” As it happens, Susie is the child of long time friends of his family and I had met her while I was married to him. I will never forget my eldest getting off the phone (I had not commented on Susie–and this was about the 4th call her name came up in)…she said “I think Susie is his g/f and that is why he is there instead of with me.”

I encouraged my child to share her feelings about that with me. I encouraged her to share them with him. Then when I spoke to him about a summer vacation plan, I told him he should talk to them. He said he was going to introduce Susie to them. I told the girls they were going to meet Susie, to be nice to her, to be polite, and be the girls I was raising.

These days they would rather talk to Susie than Daddy. In fact, they told me openly they like Susie better than Daddy. I do not comment on Susie in any fashion. I just ask if they had fun, what did they do. Occassionally I will ask how she is like I would if I asked about your mother.

It is important that the “other” parent know what is going on. If Mom or Dad has a host of “special friends” in & out the door the other parent should know. The feelings the child has about all of it should be discussed. The reminders to treat the person nicely should be discussed. IMPORTANTLY the communications with the child should be none judgemental and allow the child to come to you if something unthinkable happens (abuse).

This is not to say I did not have feelings about Susie. Of course I did. I have the emails between he and Susie from during our marriage. The ones with the I love yous, the I should have married yous, etc. I know the web of lies he tangled himself in over her.

I also know that they are getting married. I can harbor resentment and be bitter OR I can be an adult. I can be the polite person MY mom raised me to be. I send a hello via the children or him from time to time. I speak to her without sniping. I thank her for taking care of my children when they are visiting with them. This person will have my children in their care several times a year for the next several years. She will be a part of their lives.

FCM

April 21st, 2010
5:19 am

OH I forgot the most important part and came off alturistic!

MY feelings about Susie do get shared….with my girlfriends over martinis and margaritas when my kids are not around.

FCM

April 21st, 2010
5:30 am

@abc I have that clause about no overnight guests in my decree. It is a pain (on me) sometimes because I have the children all the time. They saw Dad a grand total of 3 weeks last year.

Sometimes the children go to friends or family houses.

Do I regret it? Not really. The only person I have willing let met my kids since the divorce thought the clause was idiotic because of willing limiting my freedom. Otherwise he was fine with it, he did not think the girls should see him coming out of my room in the morning.