Today was the day I met Kenrick’s kids in person. We’ve been together for 10 months and I suppose I knew that this day would come. It isn’t to say that I was truly dreading it, but there was a part of me, a large part of me, that was truly uncomfortable. I suppose it has more to do with my OCD and struggles with depression that makes the situation even more internally problematic. I cringed at the thought of my non-kid proofed house being the Spring Break home of a seven and five year old.
Kenrick has been understandably excited for days. I’ve been more moody than normal and had a mini meltdown on Saturday. This was no fault of his daughters, it was my own insecurity and personal demons. The struggle of being in a job that I’m beginning to deplore, the stress of finances, and the idea of for the first time having several inhabitants in my home for more than one evening all sent me into an episode. I like things structured and planned. Nothing about children involve structure or adhering to plans.
I met the girls after my sister-in-law did as I had to attend a class and the plan was to have them have a play date with my nephew. Upon my arrival all the kids ran to the door to see who was there. His youngest, Margaret, seemed
to be interested in seeing me for all of two seconds and when I asked for a hug told me, “I’m not really a hug person.” I smiled and gave her a hug anyway. I regret that. I think it was my nervousness that made me invade her personal space. Next was Anna, the oldest, who looked at me quizzically and then allowed me to hug her. I suppose seeing me in person will do that to you. Throughout the entire ordeal I remained pleasant, a smile ever present on my face, but visibly nervous all the same. They seemed to be having such a great time with their new found playmates, Jordan and Sasha, and I worried about what they would think or how they’d feel to leave the land of fun to enter my sterile domain.
We took them to McDonald’s to have a quick bite, as I already knew, kids can eat frequently and considering the amount of energy they expelled when playing it was no surprise. Anna, who had picked some weeds (flowers) for me upon leaving my brother’s house willingly sat beside me. She seems to be quite more accepting of me than her younger sister. Anna would go back and forth to the counter where her dad was still placing the order while Margaret would sit across from me and be in her own world. I tried on several occasions to engage her in conversation but she was more interested in playing under the table, simply ignoring me, or holding on to her constant companion, a stuffed animal named Rosie. I smiled and grabbed my security blanket, my iPhone. I had several opponents in Words with Friends that I needed to get back to. I would periodically look up to see if I could engage her, the small smile ever present on my face. She seemed, however, happy to just be and so I left her to be in her own space without further interruption. Bonding, I suppose, may come later. When Anna returned to the table and began eating I couldn’t help but to scream a little inside as I was reminded of my spotless house and the not so spotless children. Anna ate, as a child does, not quite so neatly. My eyes were immediately drawn to her wiping her greasy hands on her clothes, the ketchup stains that were now on Kenrick’s nice shirt, and Margaret playing in her food. As endearing as this may normally be for some, it wasn’t for me. What would happen to my wood dining table and fabric chair covers? At this point there were no daydreams of me being a stepmother nor were there hopes of my being able to be less OCD when children are in the picture. Rather, I thought, how soon before they’re gone?!
Now don’t get me wrong, I do like the girls, I have spoken to them on several prior occasions via the telephone and Skype, but this is completely foreign to me. I’m not even used to living with Kenrick as I often threaten to kick him out. I’m just used to things being a certain way and I have not yet adapted to the change. So now I sit alone in my queen-sized bed, Kenrick is curled up with the girls in the guest bedroom (he’s okay with having them here in my house but not with them seeing us sleep in the same bed), and I’m wondering just how well I’ll be able to handle all of this in the light of day. And when I say light of day I really am thinking about what will occur in the house while I’m away at work during the day. Will my pristine furniture still be free from food and marks? Will Kenrick remember the things that drive me completely crazy and not do them? Will I be able to mellow out just a little? Either way, tomorrow is Kenrick’s 47th birthday and our 10 month anniversary and for his sake I’ll be sure to try and keep my idiosyncrasies at bay, even if it’s only for one day.
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