This weekend has been such a mixed bag it is quite representative for me of the whole experience of stepparenting.
Highs: DSS telling me how much he loves all the dinners I make when he is here, him dancing around the room to an album DP and I put on, playing poker with him (which he is now scarily good at for an under ten) and him being all excited when he won. Him styling his (overdue for a cut) hair in different ways and making me choose which I liked best.
Lows: The fact that however much one-on-one time we give him and however many games we play with him during the weekend, he always wants more and finds it so hard to entertain himself for any length of time. It makes me question whether we should drop more of our own stuff while he is here, as opposed to dropping some but not all as we currently do. But most of all, the fact that today we took him to an event where his mum and her family were (that he really wanted to go to, not a problem with us as we all get on) and then after a few hours there when we said it was time to go home, he started crying and saying he didn't want to come back with us and he wanted to stay there. He almost never cries so it was just heart wrenching, and it went on for ages. This hasn't happened for about a year, usually he can't wait to come over and his mum complains that she feels like she doesn't get so much as a goodbye kiss or backward glance when DP picks him up! I don't blame DSS at all, I think it's just that the transition moments are hard for him sometimes, he's only little. But it really does make me feel shitty. Sigh.
I was thinking about this on my way to work. Highs - My boys and DSS seem more and more like real brothers every visit. Now DSS is at secondary school like DS1 they spent all weekend chatting about his school and DS1 helped him with his maths. They went shopping and DSS bought DS2 a bar of chocolate because he wasn't feeling well. Then when they left DSS gave me the biggest hug (he's not a tactile kid at all so it means a LOT) Lows - That I get irritated by DSD, and I shouldn't but its just the constant chatter and hyperactivity, it wears me out. She is a great kid but so demanding and needy, the more attention she gets the more she needs. I sat down to watch Downton Abbey last night and realised that was the first time I'd actually sat down all day!!
Highs, going through pics with dsd of her and myself when she was very young and looking at the fun we have had Lows, watching her struggle to eat with a knife and fork , asking for her beans on toast to be cut up and cleaning up the resulting mess
DH sat with her again and showed her how to use them (she's 7)
Highs - DSS1(17) telling me about his college course and his plans for the following week and me realising he's a really, really interesting person in his own right. Lows - DSS2(16) avoiding me and not speaking a word to me all weekend and scarpering to his room whenever he couldn't hide himself away in the dining room. He's autistic and I'm the first to admit I know NOTHING about the spectrum, I don't even know if he's classed as high or low functioning but when we first met and for the first few months after we got on like a house on fire. Now he's terrified of me and won't even look at me. I don't understand it. Maybe the house burnt down completely! I had an awful dream about him last night too, woke up almost crying so it must be playing on my mind.