Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Step Parenting... A Parenting Step

My husband and I have half legal custody of his son. Therefore, according to the minimum requirements of the Indiana Parenting Guidelines, we have him every other weekend and once a week day. Today we had him and he ended up sleeping over. Which is great! However, the poor lil’ guy was sick.

See, all is well when Daddy is around. Daddy makes him feel better. But after Daddy goes to work…it’s up to the step mommy. Usually we play, finger paint, eat, color, read, and just do the regular kid stuff. This time though, cold symptoms interfered…coughing, runny nose, sneezing, and a horrible no good very bad case of the grumpies too.

Let me remind you that I am a new step-mommy and I have no experience with sick children. I am also so worried what he is going to think about me because let me tell you, I care about what that 3 year old thinks...I want to be "worlds best step-mommy" and I want a mug that proves it! It isn't easy knowing you are already in line behind the real mommy, you're 2nd best. Nothing in life prepares you for step-parenting except step-parenting itself. And today, well it wore me out for one, but it also made my step-mommy hood snap into a reality check.

Between the little crying fits because he doesn’t feel well and the nasally speech, I had to nurture him and act like I enjoyed cleaning up snot. I had to show him twice as much attention because he just wanted to be comforted, which all around actually made him feel better. And he asked for more of me… I was his medicine.

As the night ended, he felt worse. And then, I started to sneeze. “Great,” I thought, “Now I am going to get sick too and I am pregnant and blah blah blah….” So, I threw a mini temper tantrum of my own. And for a second, I wished that I had someone to wipe my nose and give me medicine and make my dinner and scratch my back…it took me back to my childhood days where I remembered how good my mom was to me when I was sick. The little things she did like putting a wet wash-rag over my forehead, or singing to me, or rocking me, or reading to me, or making sure all the bubbles were out of my ginger-ale… made me feel 90% better. And then it hit me. I just took a parenting step.

Even though I am his new step-mommy and he is my step-son, I play the “mother” role…which I knew. However, he was calling for me like he does for his daddy or for his mommy. He wanted his step-mommy to make him feel better. He was actually treating me like a mommy! And then I felt it… the feeling of being more than a step-mom to him…I am mother material and he can sense I love him and care about him. I felt like he just allowed me to take a huge step up the parenting ladder, almost all the way to the top.

And I hate to fall down a ring, but in all reality, he is only preparing me for poopy diapers, puke running down my shirt, and restless nights with my own baby when she is born in June. Which once again, I have no experience in that field what so ever… but whether I am step-mommy or just plain mommy, I will still do my duties and buy nose plugs and rubber gloves to prepare for the worst!


Spaghetti Fields said...

Welcome to reality! I was up at 3 am getting cough medicine for an asthmetic "had a bad dream" little girl. It sucks, but you do what you got to do. It gets easier in the know how as time goes one, but the worry never will.

Lisa said...

Three is such a sweet age. The first kid is always the practice kid, whether step or by birth! Is he excited about being a big brother?