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Just A Day After Christmas Vent Session, Carry On!

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

There's no point to this post other than to say--- Holidays with a young stepkid are the absolute worst. 

The unequal distribution of toys (i.e. if we say "we're not going to do electronics because SK already has plenty" and then SK walks through the door with the latest gadget we've agreed she won't be receiving at our house). We have (almost) 2 small siblings that DH and I agreed won't be receiving every latest shred of technology and will be encouraged [read forced *acute*] to do things like--- go outside, build a fort, ride a bike, play in the snow, play a team or individual sport/instrument/learn a language SOMETHING other than head shoved into a device. It does snow where we live, oftentimes heavily, but we have all of the equipment to play outside in it and regularly play outside with the youngest one, then come inside and warm up.

SK constantly climbs all over DH and is underfoot with him constantly, even though he's firm telling her to get out of the way. We have a young toddler that's just walking and so everything is a death trap: stairs, small objects that can be picked up and swallowed, open dishwashers where knives can be grabbed. So we're both having to harp on SK about leaving crap everywhere the baby can eat, close the baby gates, pick up valuables unless you want them covered in baby goo. DH is just as on the hook with these efforts as I am, but SK makes it very difficult when as soon as he picks up the baby, SK is trying to climb all over him, too. He goes to change the diaper, SK follows. He goes to fix baby some food-- SK is suddenly hungry, thirsty and requires MORE attention than the 1yo eating. I can reliably hand my toddler a cut up PB&J, Goldfish and a sippy cup of milk and so long as I'm supervising and no one is choking, she's eating like a champ. SK whines about the edges not being cut, too much jelly, not liking the Goldfish and wanting 2-3 refills of milk. It's a minor comparison that is easily shut down by us (eat it, scrape your own jelly off or go get a refill of water) but it's just the constant WHINING and expectation of catering. I'm sure some of it just age, some is personal annoyance and some is legit a product of SK's environment. But the combination really irks me at the moment.

We have to run around kingdom come on Christmas Day because our parenting plan is garbage (thanks DH, you really screwed us with this one!) and every year for the next decade basically we're to do handoffs with the ex ON Christmas-- meaning our (almost) 2 kids don't really get to start Christmas until that afternoon. I'm about to put the kibosh on that and SK can join in mid-day next year-- but it bothered me this year and I can see down the barrel of next with 2 small kiddos, one being more "aware" of Santa and having to put this elaborate show on to stave off a 2yo trying to get to presents. Nah, bro--- SK can get the presents when she gets here and we'll do our own family of 4 Christmas prior to that. 

Did I mention i'm heavily pregnant?! And annoyed??!

 

That is all, just a rant about what is probably normal 7-10yo behavior that is just highlighted by (1) blended family-ness and (2) my patience level running at an all time low

futurobrillante99's picture

The only advice I have to offer with Christmas is to NOT make your children wait until SD is there. She gets to wake up somewhere and open her presents as soon as she wakes up without having to wait for someone else. Give your kids the same experience. Hold back a present or two to open when SD arrives.

You can't control what others give the kid, but you can make her play with them in her room.

Finally, ignore the whining as much as you can but have your partner talk to SD about being clingy or baby-ish. Have him reassure her that she's not being replaced. Have him play up the perks of being older by giving her better privileges while pointing out that babies CAN'T do what she's allowed to do.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

I totally agree. Next year, we're going to proceed as usual with our family and DH can leave midday every Christmas to go chase down SD and then they can join when they join. I'm not sacrificing my kids Christmas morning for the sake of a crap parenting plan agreement. 

Thisisnotus's picture

Let me tell you that I do not think it's normal 7-10 year old behavior. My 3 bios are close in age so there was a time that they were 7,9, and 11........not a single one of them behaved like that. They could get themselves a drink, eat what they were given...didn't climb or crawl on me or their father.....

My SD12....12 for god's sake and in middle school behaves exactly like you stated. My 1.5 year old DD eats a wider variety of foods then the 12 year old.......I can't even stand to witness her whiny BS anymore...I leave the room while "daddy" gets her snacks, and drinks, and napkins, and refills, and a towel for her shower, and the list goes on and on and on...........it's recently gotten worse for me some reason out of the blue....now we have to add in that "daddy" has to watch SD12 do dances, and sing, or watch videos with her on her phone...and if "daddy" turns his head away for just ONE SECOND...SD12 starts all over the beginning and skolds him.........she also follows him to the bathoom and sits on our bed right outside the door waiting for him and talking to him through the door the ENTIRE time. I dread her visits and wish I never for the rest of my life had to see her again.....................................

Don't stand for it! Tell your DH you are sick of it ( I can't b/c it would do no good cause skids are perfect angels). As for Christmas going forward.......do NOT plan around skids ever. They get their gifts whenever they get there......nobody waits for them. Period.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

Omg yes, our skids sound very similar. The difference is DH gets equally as annoyed (if not more) and always reprimands SK for being so in the way and whiney. But it's like in one ear and out the other. It's frustrating that my toddler can fend for herself at the dinner table more effectively than a much older sibling. She knows how to ask me for more drink, let's me know when she's done and eats what I put down with no fuss outside of a couple things she just doesn't yet like. But SK? Fits every meal. 

Thisisnotus's picture

my DH gets annoyed, too, but he would never dare utter a word to SD12. That's probably what bothers me more than SD12 totally bonkers behavior....that DH is unwilling to address it.

I love my 4 daughters with all of my heart, but I'm here to tell you that if one of them (at 12 years old) followed me around for 4 solid hours....sat on me when I sat down, crawled all over me, layed across my head, jumped on me, sat outside the bathroom door, followed me outside, stood by me while I cooked dinner......interupted every conversation I had with my spouse, demanded I look at them and watch them jump up and down and roll on the floor.....then demanded I get them a drink and snack....I would promptly send them to their room....to regroup and learn how to act like a civilized person.

As for the meals, I stopped eating with skids b/c I just can't stand the madness. I eat dinner when they are done and while they eat I remove myself from the dining area.........and again it's not even the skids...it is the fact that it turns my stomach to watch my DH cater to this 12 year old toddler.........it makes me feel horrible terrible things about him.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

I don't blame you! I know the feeling-- we dread mealtime because it is always a fight. I wouldn't say I'm disengaged at all, except when it comes to mealtime. I literally feel the blood boiling when the rest of the family is sitting down to eat and skid starts a tantrum about how its too hot/cold/chewy/crunchy/grilled/fried/mushy/hard/spicy/bland and then the tears, whining, head on the table and all out brawl basically ensues. Then there's the pause demanding a drink refill. Then back to the antics. DH sends her to bed more nights than not without her having eaten a shred of dinner.

I eat with my kid and DH and then when I'm done, I'll get up and let DH deal with the meltdown. Before I was pregnant I had slightly more patience by pouring myself another glass of wine. But listening to all of that meal after meal with NO wine, yeah--- not happening!!