It’s 10:30 am and as I’m standing in the kitchen of our tiny rental home (because it was “essential” to get Trevor out of the house he shared with his ex-wife, yet we still have to pay half of the $2500 mortgage). Carter, Trevor’s oldest son says to me, “why does it take you so long to do laundry? It only takes my mommy two hours to do laundry.” This is the 689th time Carter has compared me to his mother in a negative light. You can imagine there has been zero, zip, zilch occurrences of the times I’ve done something equal to or better than his mother. I simply respond “because mommy only washes clothes for three people and I wash clothes for four people” with a smile on my face. Thinking that’s the end of that discussion and there is no possible way he can argue it, the simple phrase “mommy does it better” rolls off his tongue. While I continue to forcefully remove clothes from the washer and shove them in my basket to be placed in the dryer I think, “if you only knew what mommy does better than me” followed by every sin and evil under the sun. Instead, I smile and continue to wash the little heathen’s clothes.
I say this because sometimes that’s what we think as stepmother’s right? You would never say these things, but we sure as hell think them. At the time, I was standing in a kitchen in small town Montana taking care of my boyfriends two kids while he was at work for the day. Four months prior to this, I was in my hip and trendy downtown Washington DC apartment, exploring life, and working a job most people only dream of. I was in my late 20’s trying to figure out what I wanted out of life. Let me be clear, I love my life currently. I love Trevor, I love the kids, I love Montana (last best place on earth…so true). But all of this was new to me. I’ve never had kids, I’ve never had to do laundry for three other human’s (one of whom is clearly not appreciative of it. Maybe he would be if his laundry wasn’t done…cue evil stepmother laugh). So all of this is new. A new state, a new town, a new home, and a new family. Oh and snow! Did I mention sub zero temperatures and snow?! The transition was challenging at best. But not as challenging as the encounter I would have later that week with Trevor’s youngest son Henry.