So, a lot has been going on lately. Where to begin….
Let’s start with two weeks ago. So, since Chaz is working nights now, overnights. It has been hard on me. It has been hard on Chuckie. Chuckie don’t get why Daddy has to work all night, why he sleeps most of the day and I have been so busy trying to keep house clean AND get the Etsy store going AND being the only one taking care of Chuckie that Chaz and I are both wore thin.
Chaz is running on empty. He’s always tired, he’s not sleeping through the night and he’s missing out on precious time with Chuckie and John-Jacob. He hates it.
I am trying to make up for the time that Chaz is missing by playing the role of, you guessed it, both parents. I am organizing the play dates and making sure lunch is child-friendly and disciplining. As well as starting up a new business, I am running on empty too.
To top it all off, Chuckie isn’t understanding. He wants me to spend that time with him. He wants to sit down for one-on-one time and cuddles and it is very hard to do when I am pushed to the limit as it is.
So Saturday night, Chaz left for work. Me and Chuckie decided we were going to sleep on the couch and we did. I get a phone call the next morning, 7:30, from Chas, asking me where Chuckie is. He wasn’t in the house!!
I lost it. Emotional turmoil and fear. He had left the house while I was asleep, walked a block away to a restaraunt and was picked up, PICKED UP, by one of CoaCoa’s friends and taken to her house.
I was terrified for Chuckie’s well-being. I was horrified that I had let him leave. I was scared. I was frantic and….I was getting the cops called on me.
That’s right, CoaCoa called the cops with the intent of negligence. It wasn’t (Thank God). Chuckie had to unlock the door. He put on his shoes and he left while I was sleeping. As scary and as dangerous as it was, it could have happened to anyone. No charges could be pressed.
Well, you can guess what a real witch CoaCoa was after that…
Yes, some days that’s exactly how it feels… but, the next weekend came flying up and I was bound and determined it was NOT happening again.
So, Project Lock Down came into effect. The front door had three locks, his shoes were put on the fridge and I slept in the hallway leading to his bedroom.
SURE ENOUGH! I wake up to Chuckie trying to walk over me…
“What are you doing out of bed?”
“I don’t know…”
“What do you mean, you don’t know?”
“I woke up.”
“Obviously you woke up. You know what…sit there. I’m calling your father!”
Note: Chuckie is 5. Daddy plays bad cop in our good cop, bad cop discipline technique. It works every time.
So Daddy gets on the phone. Daddy gets onto Chuckie and Chaz, my loving husband, calms me down before…
“The door is unlocked-”
“What do you mean the door is unlocked’?”
“I mean, he unlocked the bottom lock…”
“CHARLES FINSTER! GET YOUR BUTT BACK IN HERE! YOUR FATHER WANTS TO TALK TO YOU!”
And the discipline continued. Grounded for two weekends, since we knew CoaCoa wouldn’t participate. No tv except at bedtime and therapy was in order.
We told CoaCoa what happened. I vented to friends and anyone who would help me with words of advice and encouragement and then…
“I don’t think therapy will be needed. Chuckie told me what’s wrong. He was telling his friends at school.”
Oh boy, the “he’s telling people at school” line.
“Why is that?”
“It’s the color of his room. He says the brown scares him, whatever that means.”
“His room has panelling.”
“Okay, so can you talk your landlord into painting it?”
“Ummm…Look, I don’t know. I will ask but I doubt it.”
((That would be the ever-building pile of shit storm her and Chaz argued through after that but-))
We got Chuckie for Step-Mother’s day, which was Friday. We went out to eat and enjoyed some amazing catfish followed by a great night at the park.
Then, on Saturday, had a great time with the local neighbors and…OMG!!! Chuckie actually got invited to a birthday party! Chuckie and John-Jacob both! A little girl across the alleyway is turning one! Can’t wait! So, Chuckie and John-Jacob had a sleep over. No problems, no sneaking out.
We decided to celebrate Step Mother’s Day on Sunday. Chaz woke me up before locking me out of the bedroom saying I wasn’t allowed in there and working on my Step Mother’s Day present.
I gave both boys a bath. Luckily, at three and five, they are still young enough to bathe together, and fed them both breakfast before making an amazing dessert. (Will post the recipe for a Chocolate Overdose later, keep updated by following my blog.)
Chuckie got Grammy two rolls of crochet yarn and a plaque. (That is now up in my Etsy store)
John-Jacob had actually helped design Maw-Maw’s plaque and got her a roll of crochet yarn too.. (Also in the Etsy Store)
We grabbed the desserts and after pleading and begging from Chuckie walked with two Easter baskets, two heavy wooden plaques, a dog, two preschoolers, and two chocolate pies with whipped cream, in the heat 4 blocks to Grammy and Pappy’s house for the bar-b-que.
Once we got there, everything fell into place. Maw Maw (My sister’s step-mom and John-Jacob’s step-grandma) loved her gift and was so excited to see it. Grammy (My mom, Chuckie’s step-grandma) loved the fact that her dog matched the one in the picture. The boys played. The men watched tv. The boys watched tv with the men. Us women gossipped and sat at the table, crochetting and facebook mobile. Everyone ate and Grammy convinced Chuckie to stay the night there. He NEVER stays the night away from home…
“Daddy, is it okay if Chuckie stays the night at Grammy’s?” *Wink Wink*
“No, I changed my mind. I want to sleep at home tonight.”
“I think it’s a great idea.” He got the picture. “Will get you ready for sleep overs with your friends.”
And then, Chaz has me sit down, showing me my Mother’s Day Present. The most beautiful photo album he ever could have made with all of our favorite pictures of the little ones.
Chuckie was exstatic to finally have Daddy there and even made Daddy his first pot of coffee. He said he was a pro at making coffee now and wanted to “go to Hawaii and win an award.” He is such a smart little boy. He told Daddy all about his day and even got some one-on-one time with Daddy before we left.
I guess what all this ranting and rollercoaster of emotions and good days and bad days was about is…
Being a step mother is hard. It’s downright the hardest fucking thing I have ever had to do. I am always doing too much or not enough or interfering or not being active enough and it’s…really emotionally draining.
I have learned to find support. That it isn’t obvious the turmoils that you go through as a step-parent. People tell you all the time that you knew what was coming. That you knew what you were getting yourself into. The truth is…do you ever?
Who would have guessed I was going to fall madly in love with Chaz. That he would be my companion, my best friend. That I would be attracted to him from day one or that the child, our child, that was once my best friend’s kid, a newborn baby that I got to hold and first birthday parties we attended to. The little boy who I got bottles out of the fridge for, as a friend of his parents, and comforted until Daddy returned to the room…
Yes, I knew what was coming to a sense. Chuckie grew into my heart instead of beneath it. I was there for first steps, for the first birthday party, and his first Halloween. I knew exactly what I was getting into there. I knew I was falling in love with an amazing man who had a beautiful child that I already knew everything about, from his favorite tv shows to his favorite foods.
What I didn’t know was that I was also facing his toxic ex-wife. A woman who was once my friend, now reigning down on me the hell storms we had talked about reigning down on others. I didn’t know it would be endless struggles for extra time with Chuckie, constant critiquing on our parenting, and….
So I don’t know, maybe I did know what I was getting myself into. Maybe I didn’t. But I take pride in my little Chuckie. He is my ray of sunshine. He means the world to me. Words can not describe your love for your child, your own or by marriage. Does it really matter how they come into your life?
So…what did I learn from the month of April? That times are going to be tough? That shit is going to hit the fan and come raining down on us? That we will feel like tearing out our hair, screaming at the top of our lungs, and I will spend way too much on therapists so I should probably just invest in a better insurance plan?
Or did I learn that things will get better? That April may have been hard. I may have felt like screaming, crying, giving up, and (Thank God) finally getting the anti-anxiety medicine that I need.
Did I learn that May might be better? Might be my light at the end of the tunnel? Finally a chance at good, honest co-parenting.
What I learnt was that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that all hell is breaking loose and we are fighting and there are therapists and stress and arguments and hateful words. Yes, it sucks but none of that matters.
What matters is that I have a little boy. I have an amazing step-son. He lights up my world and knows how to make the worst times better. He is smart and funny. He knows almost all his planets and wants to be on Masterchef when he grows up. He doesn’t eat cake, won’t touch ice cream, and wakes up before the sun rises. He has me sleeping in the hallway and talking about Star Wars. My little boy is in tumbling. He is in t-ball. He plays fair and never resorts to violence. He hates dark corners and stuffs his dirty clothes in the couch cushions but…he is mine.
When we first started seeing you again, we told you “Ohana”. Maw Maw asked you today if you knew what that meant and it broke my heart when you said no. We don’t tell you that often enough anymore. Ohana needs to be said just as often as I love you. You will always be my little Stitch. Not my own blood, but damn straight I will put my blood on the line for you. I promise, Ohana will be brought back into our vocabulary. I love you son. I always will.