I Am Jack's Raging Mommy

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Monday, June 12, 2006

I promise not to poison any apples

I don't feel like I am a good step-mom. In fact, I'm pretty confident that I am not. I don't always like Caleb, and he really has to be able to pick up on that. Children are perceptive, more so than we give them credit for. I just know that he can tell when I am irritated, and that makes me feel even more guilty. It all feeds into itself and I come to dread the visits more and more. When I was pregnant with Jack and worrying about being a good parent friends would try to reassure me by telling me that the fact that I cared was evidence enough I would do fine. Maybe they were right, because I love Jack with a frightening fierceness. But I just don't have that with Caleb. I suppose it will grow as time goes on, but what if it doesn't? What if I never like him very much and he grows up knowing that? I joke about being the evil step-mother, but it's based in reality as I see all these signs pointing towards it.

I'm impatient, and irritable, and I get frustrated when he can't or wont understand or follow my rules. I feel very strongly that Caleb and Jack need to have the same set of rules in this house, but they are so radically different than what Caleb has at home that I feel like I am beating my head against a brick wall. He says aint constantly, and uses the phrase "bling bling" in a non-ironic manner. His mom teaches him that acting like a little gangster/thug is cute, and that is simply not the way it is here. And I'm sorry, but when I tell you not to let your brother eat the crayons, just because you don't hand them to him yourself does not make it okay that he is in fact eating the crayons. Twice! Then when I tell him that he can't color when Jack is up since he won't keep the crayons away from him, Caleb goes off in a corner and pouts for half an hour. The only reason I don't call him on the pouting is that I expect that if I did it would end in a tantrum and he'd be put in time-out anyway.

Maybe I really am expecting too much, and I know he has to get used to me as much as I do him. We are all adjusting to this, it's new for all of us, I just wish I didn't feel like such a failure all the time.


(On a side note, a complete stranger just came to my door giggling and asking for cigarettes. I just shut the door without saying a word. What can you say?)

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