By Juniper Bell On Dec 2 2010, 6:00 am
When I get married at the end of this month, I’ll be acquiring not only a husband, but also a stepdaughter. She’s six, and she’s adorable and feisty and always up to something new. I don’t have kids of my own, so becoming part of her life has been, well…eye-opening. Wonderful, but…well, mind-expanding. Here’s a list of things I never did before she came into my life.
1. Watch Barbie movies. I never liked Barbie as a kid, but now I’ve watched every one of these movies. Luckily, they’re not bad. They’re fun and generally have a positive message for young girls. And she LOVES them. So I watch them.
2. Pretend to be a prince. Yep, in games of make believe, I get stuck with the prince role while she gets to be the beautiful princess. I don’t mind too much—at least I don’t have to be the evil stepmother.
3. Wipe another person’s butt. She was three when I came into her life, and that time has included learning how to properly tend to herself. I’ve changed diapers, of course, but it’s never gone beyond that before. Did I mention “mind-expanding”?
4. Take half an hour to get out of the house. When I was single, I grabbed my purse and walked out the door. No more! With three of us, there’s coats, boots, hair-brushing, snacks, things we forgot, the last-minute trip to the bathroom…half an hour is optimistic sometimes.
5. Worry so much. About that cough she has, about her sugar intake, about the kid who was mean to her in school, about whether she’s learning to read fast enough, about whether it’s hard on her, having a stepmother.
That was my biggest worry, until she informed me she doesn’t like the word “stepmother”—all those fairy tales—so I’m now her “love-mother.” I figure, if she loves me half as much as I love her, we’ll be okay.
Any advice for a soon-to-be “love-mother” would be much appreciated!