Thursday, November 26, 2009

Stepmoms--What Happens When Daddy Gets It Right

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. The names of the guilty, however, are totally accurate, so they may face public humiliation for years.

Last Saturday was like most others I've had for the past eight weeks. 1. Wake up waaay earlier than I'd like (impossible to sleep in with a six-year-old shooting a nerf dart gun near your bed). 2. Forage for breakfast (What's with all this healthy crap my husband buys when my stepson stays with us? I want my poptarts, my Snickers bar). 3. Attend stepson's soccer game (to which at this time I have no snide comment, but read on).

If you've never had the pleasure of attending a six-year-olds's soccer game, allow me provide the highlights--well, at least the highlights of my particular flavor of soccer.

This one-hour carnival starts with half an hour of "practice." This really amounts to herding the boys to a shared vicinity, where they do anything but focus on the game of soccer. Orange cones for soccer drills end up on nearly every little head, making it look more like a Devo concert and less like a sporting event. Then, some little monkey manages to tangle himself in the goal net, while another, oblivious to practice, is already eating the organic sugar-free, gluten-free soy nut granola bars reserved for halftime.

The next half hour is the game. My stepson's team (the Blue Dolphins--better than the first name, The Blue Rocks) is epically bad. Even though the parents are adamant that no one keeps score, all the kids do, and the winning team delights in shouting the number of goals they've made after each score. It's clear to me that my stepson cares nothing about the game. He likes to run, fall, and make scary faces at his opponents. He treats the ball like it's radioactive, staying as far away as possible, and only kicking it if it happens to roll across his toes. When I asked him once if he liked playing, he eagerly told me that "it's better when you're losing, because then you don't have to work so hard." That's the spirit!

Now, let's get to the real story. Last Saturday, my husband and I were walking in the parking lot with stepson toward the soccer field. The mother of one of stepson's teammates approached us with her younger 3-year-old son, who apparently loves my stepson. Let's call him "Cody."

"Hi, you guys! Look, Cody! It's your friend! And there's his daddy and his..." (Pause). In case you didn't realize, the pause was directed at me.

My stepson loudly shouts, "This is NOT my mom! This is NOT my mom!" while pointing at me.

"I'm his stepmom," I politely offer.

"Yes," soccer mom snarkily replies, "I know what you are, but Cody doesn't know what that is, and I really don't want him to know."

Whoa! Really? What am I--a homewrecker? No, I didn't break up my husband's former marriage. A threat? Yes, probably. Stepmoms are the anti-Christ to the ultimately revered role of "Mothers."

Of course, I didn't say any of these things. One of those situations where I thought of a million quips about 10 minutes later. But I know, my husband knows, and my stepson knows that I'm not some whore who steals husbands. I'm a thoughtful woman who has attended all of stepson's soccer games, which is more than his actual mother can say. I make his dinner, do his laundry, read him bedtime stories. Am I trying to replace his mom? No way. I'm not his mom and I never will be. I'm his stepmom, and that's fine with me. And, I'm a damn good stepmom, too.

With over half of marriages ending in divorce, Soccer Bitch, as I now fondly call her, should be a little worried. Maybe someday her husband will replace her with "Wife 2.0." And if Soccer Bitch treats this woman with the disdain she treated me with, I hope the stepmom kicks her in the shins. GOOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!

P.S. The title of this post comes from two proposed bumper stickers some fellow stepmom friends of mine suggested:

Stepmoms--What Happens When Daddy Gets It Right!
Stepmoms--What Happen When Mommy Goes Batshit!

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