Step-parenting is like running through a beautiful field of flowers and sunshine and then finding out somewhere along the way that it's filled with landmines...and you have to keep running and parenting anyway even as your legs are getting blown off in this beautiful place, and you have no idea where the next mine is coming from, or what part of you might get blown away.
This morning, it was my heart. I'm a tough girl. But this morning I write with tears in my eyes.
When children fight over TV in our house, the TV is simply shut off because as we tell the kids, TV is never more important than people. They fought about the TV (usually the big kids don't want to watch what the little kid wants to watch and they're mean about it). Sonny shut it off.
Later, I walk through the livingroom and the little one complains that he is bored. I suggest that he has the power to choose an activity other than sitting on the couch doing nothing. He replies "when do I get to go back to mommy's house".
Insert land mine explosion here.
Insert photo of stepmother with a leg blown off, placid expression, parenting mode intact.
I reply "why, does she let you watch all the TV you want at her house?".
Slightly older brother, who was also there, yells and I mean YELLS, with a snarl, and some rage: NO! Because he is clearly pissed that they have been called on some b.s. Probably also mad because he's 7 and might think I'm somehow talking smack about his mother. And you don't talk smack about people's mammas.
I reply "oh...well then I'll have to check the calendar".
There was no more complaining about boredom...they found activities. And two minutes later they were looking for hugs again.
But I was certainly wounded. Not forever...just for today...and in a way it's a relief. As a step-parent, you always know that these moments will come, I just hadn't had to deal with them yet. I guess that's the trick though...keep your parenting wits about you until you can get to a bathroom to cry where they can't see you.