It’s quite the dreary day here in southeast Michigan. Cloudy skies with a mix of rain and sleet. It kind of makes you feel, blah. The kids helped me out this morning at work, well, they really helped everyone out. They were turning on the televisions and filling up all the ice bins. I’ve seriously never met any other kids who are as helpful as they are. The second they see someone doing a list of tasks, they always go ask if they need help. Every time I am cooking dinner, they wrap their arms around me and ask if they can roll up their sleeves too. It’s amazing and it’s one of the things I love about them. They are very aware of the help they can give to others.
I’m reminding myself of all those things because Jordan is really pushing my buttons right now. Like really getting in there with her pointy little fingers. Ever since I was finishing up at work she has been begging me to go to an arcade place. “Paaaaaahhhleeeaasseeeee can we go to Chucky Cheese or Dave & Busters?!!!? We NEVEEERRRRrrrrrrrr get to go there!!” After the 10th time of being asked I said, “Jo, we went to a lot of places to do fun things over break.” — Two minutes later, mumbling under her breath, “That’s still not fair.” Which of course makes my head snap back and look at her like, girl choose your next words very carefully. I mean, I just took them to AirTime, roller skating, to the movies, brunch, and out to dinner once. Like GUYS, I just spent most of my Christmas money on you over break, STOP and be APPRECIATIVE. Did I mention they have a double basketball arcade game and ski ball game in the basement that they got for Christmas? So I’m looking her dead straight in the eyes and ask her if there is anything she has to say since clearly she is mumbling under her breath. Her response was, “Well, Nana (their mom’s mom) is taking us to see a movie on Friday.” My immediate assumption (as a step mom) is that this little seven year old is trying to throw this in my face. All I could muster up was a smile and said, “That’s great, I hope you really enjoy that.”
James quickly came to my defense and told her that wasn’t very nice of what she said and all Jordan could say was, “Well it’s true.” Which I understand, it is true, but I felt like she was comparing me in that moment. Like Nana will take her some where fun and I won’t. I think if she was talking about my mom I wouldn’t be so jolted by this, but because she was talking about her mother’s mom, it stung a little more. After the conversation drew silent, off she went to her room and started blaring Taylor Swift “We are Never Ever Ever, Getting Back Together” while singing it through her microphone. I get it girl, you’re pissed at me. This isn’t the first or the last time something like this will happen. These are one of those feelings and emotions that come with being a step parent. I just have to let it go. Let it roll off of me like water off a ducks back. (gotta find the humor somewhere)
I remember seven years ago I wasn’t taking things so calmly. I would get so bent out of shape and start crying because they would say something that hurt my feelings, half the time they didn’t mean to, but other times I really believe they knew what they were saying in that moment. One time Jordan told me she hated me, she was like three and it made James and I both cry, which then made her cry, and Matt walked in wondering what the hell happened to the three of us. That was the only time though, but I know those years are coming and I need to start preparing myself now. As a mother, in general, you know your kids will always love you, as a step mom, things can be a little different. You never really know and at the end of the day, they don’t have to love me, they choose to love me. I hope over the course of their lifetime they continue to choose to love me. Even when I have to tell them no when they are older or take away their cell phones or car keys. I hope they know I am just being a mother and they can’t hold that against me. Oh if teenagers were only that understandable, right?
So here I sit on this dreary day listening to my daughter belt out angry Taylor Swift lyrics at me from her bedroom. I can’t help but giggle now though because she is so damn dramatic and maybe just to break the tension I will go blare and sing some Frozen in my room. That should make at least ONE of them laugh.