Dating a man with kids
On his birthday, he unwrapped the gift I gave him, threw it on the floor and said, "I've already got one of these at Mommy's house." (He didn't.) Meanwhile, he opened the third Star Wars lightsaber of the evening with as much joy and gratitude as he had the first. No one—not my parents, my friends, anyone I've ever been in charge of in a professional capacity, nor the guy in front of me at the red light—would describe me as patient, and being around Noah without some sort of freak-out often requires me to become a person I am not. On the summer day Noah begged and pleaded for cottage cheese and then refused to eat from the container I'd opened—"I want Daddy to do it! Most days, I'm positive my ambivalence along with my failure to act like a mature adult will eventually cause me to destroy what is otherwise the most fulfilling, caring and adult relationship I've ever had." he cried over and over—I took a spoonful of the stuff and hurled it at him. There are nights when I'll read Noah a book before bed or help Bob pack his schoolbag.It barely grazed his cheek, but we both burst into tears. But there are also Saturdays when my primary urge is to take off for a day of yoga, shopping, a manicure and lunch with my girlfriends, or to lie in bed all day and read.Later, following a lesson about how it's not OK for anyone, even adults, to throw food (or anything else) at another person, we managed to have a laugh. In many ways, it's why I've remained so emotionally hands-off. I can enjoy his presence, but I don't miss him when he's gone. As he grows, his feelings about his parents, his home life and me will change. But I don't want to be someone I'm not; I don't want to have to conform to another's expectations or play nice. That's a job as a nanny or, at the very least, a one-way street.So, of course, Mommy's zoo has better animals.Mommy's Christmas tree was also bigger, with better ornaments.But in the meantime, Noah isn't going anywhere. That doesn't make me any less resentful whenever I attend a wedding by myself or forgo a week in Paris because Bob can't afford to go. Noah is not allowed to wipe his hands on the couch (yay! He is not the master of the in—car music selection (although we have lately found a nice middle ground in Michael Jackson's Bad). ) And, in the end, he's looking for his place in this family. "It's no wonder he questions who I am—especially when I'm still questioning who I am.
We all moved in together a year ago—Bob and I full-time, Noah every other weekend and Wednesdays overnight.And usually, I am—as long as we're both in the mood for it. Then I realize that he probably feels the same way.