Not to brag here, but kids love me. Babies reach out their arms for me, toddlers wipe their sticky little hands on my pants, the older kids wanted me to play and read.
Me? Not so much. I always likened this to the way cats behave. Cats seem to know who doesn’t like them and then they rub and weave around that person’s legs. Kids and me the same thing.
I love my parents, but I just never thought that I would want to be one myself. Then I met a guy who already had a girl in his life. A seven year old girl to be exact, who called him daddy and required a story at bedtime every night.
I knew my husband had a child long before we started dating. He asked what I thought about kids, I replied they were fine as long as they weren’t mine. His response, “You could practice by being a step-mom.” I was very skeptical. Little people seemed like a lot of trouble. Plus, what if I messed one up?
He really enjoyed being a parent and was willing to let me share in that special part of his life. I really liked him, so I gave the kid thing a try. I was honored, curious, and scared to death. She didn’t bite or kick, just hid behind her dad’s leg and held his hand. Then one day she held mine.
It snuck up on me. I began to really like it. Really, really like it. Also, I was pretty good at it. She liked me, and I liked her hugs and kisses. I liked the completely distorted pictures she drew of me and the way she wanted her hair-do to match mine.
I also loved the way my guy loved her. I could make him laugh, but he sang songs for her. And as I got more used to little hands and stuffed animals, I began to fall in love all over again. I fell in love with her, but also more in love with him.
Now, it is not all cotton candy and ice cream. There are tantrums, tears and fights, and that is just me. It is hard being a parent (type person) and I don’t even do it full time. I miss uninterrupted movies and always knowing where my scissors (and glue and glitter) are.
I didn’t have my husband for a few years and then let the babies come. I jumped in with both feet, and got really wet. We all had to adjust. She had to learn how to share her daddy with me, he had to learn to trust me with his child, and I had to learn how to share a partner with someone whose needs came before my own.
That was one of the hardest things to adjust to. There is no number one. But she is a kid and I am an adult. She needs a lot more help taking care of herself than I do, and I don’t always handle it with grace or poise.
I hate sleeping alone while he is sleeping in the chair next to her bed to scare away the monsters. I don’t always think it is fair that she gets to go to camp, soccer, and art class when I can’t buy those gorgeous heels. But, how can you argue when our fridge is covered in one of a kind artwork?
I still get to do things for myself and I do get a lot of couple time with my husband. He is aware that this is a big lifestyle change for me. I went from one to three without stopping at go. He makes sure to tell me when I am doing it right and consults me before decisions are made. He knows that choosing them was a major change in my life plan.
After two years I am still not sure what I am doing. I am afraid I am going to mess her little brain up. But, I make her smile and laugh. She tells me secrets that just the two of us share. She gets mad at me and I get frustrated with her.
I traded in some of the nights out and freedoms for sleepovers and bedtime stories. I gave up some of the partying and foolishness and I got a family. I am not sure how I ended up married to a man with a child. I fell in love I guess, with both of them.