I had my first real moment of step parenting 101 over the weekend. I didn’t really know what to do. Up to this point, over the last couple of years since the girls have been in my life I haven’t really had to deal with any discipline or anything like that. Bill handles it if needed. And honestly at the moment we don’t have them often enough yet to where any major issues arise. It’s only ever little things. For the most part they are really well behaved kids. They’re kids, so they still whine and pout and all that, but it’s usually nothing and only lasts for a few minutes at most. Except…for this past weekend.
The youngest, Little Miss S, has some major issues with waking up, especially in the car. If she wakes on her own, she usually ok, but if you have to wake her up It’s almost guaranteed that she’s going to whine and even cry a little. Apparently she’s been like this since she was a baby. She’s 6 now. Which ok, is fine, she’ll hopefully grow out of it.
So to the point, this weekend, was the worst I’ve ever seen her. I have no words for whatever it was she was doing. It started in the movie theatre. We took the kids to see Big Hero 6, which by the way is an awesome movie. I’d recommend seeing it if you have kids or not. I loved it. Little miss S fell asleep ¾ of the way through the movie. Her sister decided to wake her up after the movie was over while we waited to see if anything was going to be shown after the credits. So of course, she was cranky and sitting there with her pouty face. We were able to get her to the car…eventually…she walked pretty dang slowly because she was pouting. Once we got her in the car she refused to get up out of her booster to move it over so she could get the seat belt out from under it. After a few minutes of that we were tired of sitting there so I had to physically pick her up off the booster to move it because she wouldn’t do it her self. When we got home she was in tears and wouldn’t get out of the car. Refusing to bend her elbow to get her arm out from under the seat belt. Acting like she didn’t know how, when it was literally only her fingers touching the seat belt. After that she decided she didn’t know how to get out of her booster and moved only her torso in a jerking zombie like motion, which of course was doing nothing. All of this while continuing to whine and cry. At one point I told her I’d go inside and get a bottle ready for her. Maybe not the best thing to say but I was just shocked at how she was acting. I still have no words for what she was doing.
Bill and I sat outside the car while she continued her little fit and he was telling her to get out etc. And I didn’t know what to do. I made the mistake, apparently, of telling him what to do instead of suggesting it, which he didn’t like and responded with a kind of jerky comment.
I told him to just leave her there and let’s walk in the garage. Mind you, the car was in the driveway and we could see her from the garage. But that didn’t happen. I walked away after about 5 minutes of this and let him deal with it. Eventually they came in the garage and sat down on couch out there and after an hour she was fine.
It’s hard to step in with something like that. I know this is a minor thing compared to what we have in store for us as they grow older and the problems we will probably face with teenagers, but I realized that Bill and I are going to have to figure this out. I’m going to have to figure out how I fit into this. What my role is as that step parent. At this point, I feel, they aren’t my kids so I don’t have the right to take the lead but I do have a say and I will and should be involved. Of course things will change and get easier when we can move closer to them and have them on a more frequent basis, but for now I’m trying to figure this all out. I think they still have to get used to me in a way. At their house it’s different, they live with their mom and her boyfriend so he sees them all the time so I’m sure for him it’s different. But for me, am I just dad’s girlfriend? I’m not and we’re going to grow and learn from all these experiences together.