On Awkward Questions

Minion 2 is just about to turn six.  We’ve always been close – he was just three when The Boyfriend and I started dating.  We joke that I fell for him before The Boyfriend.  He’s adorable and charming and a total handful sometimes.  

Lately, I’ve been getting the strangest, most awkward questions from him.  He never directs these things to The Boyfriend, instead always asking me directly about God (he’s in a religious kindergarten, heavy on the god stuff) that I try to deflect with “some people believe that,” trying to leave my own beliefs vague.  Some day, he’ll understand more and if he asks, we can chat then about what I believe, until then, sure, kid, God gives you eternal life and you’ll live happily ever after in heaven.  Another favorite was “where did the kitties come from?”  Yeah…  I tried to deflect it to The Boyfriend who, from the stove, yelled a firm “Nope! All you!”  Um, well…  They came from their mommy.  “Did she poop them out or throw them up?”  I start to squirm.  He’s five.  Why is he doing this to me?  It’s like he knows it’s uncomfortable and he’s actively trying to make it worse.  Not sure what he knows, I ask him if he knows where he came from.  “Mommy’s tummy!”  A-ha!  That’s where the kitties came from too.  

The hardest of these awkward questions came this week while I was driving the Minions home from school.  “Why did Daddy break up with Mommy?”  I don’t know what the kids know about the divorce – I came onto the scene at the end.  I don’t know what they’ve been told by either side (though, I do vividly recall on a road trip listening to The Boyfriend try to explain to the Minions that though their mother says otherwise, their father is not a terrible person and he did not break a promise to her…  That was infuriating but I held my tongue).  All I could say is that I didn’t know – I didn’t know them then – and that I bet his dad would have an answer for him when we got to the house.  

On one hand, I love that he trusts me enough to ask these things.  On the other, I am so scared of saying the wrong thing or not having a good enough answer for him.  Though it’s awkward and kind of tough, I wouldn’t trade these questions or the silliness and laughter that he brings to my life for anything.  I just hope I leave the same impression on him.  

Keeping Score

I read a blog post on a step-mommy blog (yep, that’s really a thing) recently about keeping score. If I can remember where, I’ll link to it. Basically, we all keep score whether we mean to or not. Whether, like it was in that case, between parents’ households in a shared custody situation, or like it can be sometimes, between members of one household.

It’s hard sometimes not to keep score – mentally. Sometimes the things we all do in our houses feel unbalanced and like we’re pulling more than our fair share. And it’s usually those times I find myself wondering why I’m always doing the dishes/laundry/etc. and those are the times it’s easiest to feel unappreciated.

In those times, I find it useful to think about why I am doing what I am doing. My doing laundry today means that The Boyfriend can focus on writing a paper for class and running conference calls for work. My taking The Minions out for breakfast meant the house was quiet for a couple of hours for him to work. It’s easier to feel like a team if I focus on how my contributions are helping.

This is not to say I hold a disproportionate share of responsibility in our house. We’re really good at balancing, actually. But there are still those days and this is how I handle them.