Yesterday I got cranky at Tim. He is my almost 18 year-old beautiful stepson. Who I call my son, no step about it. When people ask me how many children I have I just say three. He has lived with us mostly full-time since he was eight years old. The age Max is now.
There were a LOT of teething problems at first, mostly on my part. Tim is an eager to please, amazingly high-spirited, wonderful giving guy.
He can also be a massive pain in the arse.
I've gotten used to him inhaling all of the food in the pantry .... leaving his workbag dumped on the ground after he gets home every day .... using my car as a garbage bin ....taking the home phone upstairs every night. I've learnt to choose my battles wisely, and I let him get away with a lot because he does a lot. His brothers adore him. He works for Dave, is in his third year apprenticeship soon, and I'm so proud that he is such a hard worker.
But the laundry situation makes me want to stab myself in the face.
With alarming regularity, he senses the EXACT time I have finished all the laundry in the house. Then he brings down his dirty washing, dumping it so that all the bits of grass and dirt from his soccer boots are all over the floor. Then he puts a load of his washing on.
And leaves it sitting in the washing machine. Wet. Forever.
I used to finish it off for him, until he started expecting me to. It's become a battle. Because I don't want to walk past the laundry and see all of his piles of dirty stuff, day after day.
I asked Dave to have a word with him, but he just said it should "come from me." I told him it already had come from me, 1,417 times in the past year.
Yesterday morning was D-Day. If I was to do washing, I'd have to get all the wet, almost mouldy stuff out of the washing machine, sidestepping all of his other mounds of week-old dirty clothes.
This is probably almost as boring writing it out as it is for you reading it, I'm sure. I'm sorry. I just needed to get to this next part - the one where I asked Tim to please stop doing this, he instantly gets angry at *me*, and I was in no mood. So I got angry back, saying to him I need to be able to tell him things like this.
And then our Lord and Master Dave, who was upstairs sitting on his throne overseeing his Kingdom while taking a dump, shouts out to ME to lay off.
I suddenly sprouted purple and black horns. It's such a shame - I haven't lost my cool like that in a long, long time. I don't think Rocco has ever seen me so cross - for the first time ever he was a little scared of me. And perhaps in awe.
I shouted the whole house down and kept shouting, until the roof and walls collapsed and Dave and his precious toilet came crashing and he sat there, blinking in the rubble.
Not really. But I did say terrible, mean spiteful things. Because as Dave kept yelling at me to shut up, I was yelling at Dave to stay out of it, stop being so defensive, I'm allowed to be angry at Tim, Tim was calmly telling me REALLY nasty things, out of Daves earshot. Tim happened to be holding Rocco at this point, and Max was sitting right next to us, listening to everybody. The only thing missing was Jerry Springer.
I was taught from an early age how to perfect the art of a vicious verbal attack on somebody, and I'm not proud of it. By the end, everybody was crying (except his Lordship upstairs, of course.) I felt so bad.
I took Max and Rocco to a huge playcentre, bought them McDominos for lunch, then some toys. Dreading coming home, I drove up to our house, absently thinking, "If Dave has snapped my laptop I will bash his Valiant with a golf club."
Which really surprised me, because we don't even have any golf clubs.
They had gone, away to Dave's mothers house for the night. Dave left me a nice note with kisses and hugs, hoping I can have a nice "relax." I replied by text, calling him an arsehole. Because he is and I'm still cranky.
I'm an ugly, cranky cow. And as soon as Tim comes home I will sit down with him and apologise. (I HATE when I have to apologise.)
And we'll hopefully talk calmly with each other about what happened, each stating our case.
It's hard, step-parenting. I often get no say in anything Tim does. It's hard when Dave feels so protective that he needs to step in, right at that pivotal moment when I'm cranky at Tim. I'm allowed to be cranky at Tim! I yelled out yesterday. But then things descended into yucky, I start screaming and crying, and as soon as I do that my whole credibility goes out the window and I become The Crazy Lady.
I hate being her.
So. They are due home soon. Rocco, Max and I ended up having a wonderful time together. (After I'd done three hours housecleaning and the weeks grocery shopping and dissassembling the expensive clothes hanger I've broken in my fit of rage.)
The scary part is ... Max has recently displayed signs of pre-teen attitudeness. And Rocco has been a petulant rebel since his cells started dividing.
How was your weekend?