Monday night after supper, Sunshine and I sat at the table and played dominoes with the girls. It’s something we try to do once a week whenever we can: spend some real family time together.
Obviously, when you’re the step-father you want to try to be as much of a father figure as you can to your step-kids. It took me awhile to come around, but I think I’m much better at it now than I was a few years ago.
The girls have been very patient and forgiving over the past year. Maybe they haven’t seen as much of the “depressed CBG” as Sunshine has, I don’t know…but they are always loving and playful and talkative around me. When I come back from visiting my son for a weekend, they’re waiting at the front door just to give me a hug.
You can’t buy that type of happiness.
I noticed last night, though, that my quick temper was still an issue. The girls were getting really wired-up and acting loud and silly…the more we played, the louder and sillier they got, Kiddo in particular (the 11 year old). At first it was funny, then it was a little annoying, then it became REALLY annoying.
I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I basically told her to stop acting like such a fool (I’m paraphrasing). Things quickly changed as she got quiet and acted quiet for the remainder of the evening.
At one point during the game when she went to use the washroom, I asked Sunshine if I was too tough on her. She shrugged and suggested perhaps I was.
Now the “old me” would probably be stewing and refuse to say anything after that. But I wasn’t feeling anger…I was feeling bad for letting her down. So when Kiddo came back to the table, I apologized for being hard on her. She said it was fine and we continued to play the game.
Before going to bed, she wasn’t feeling well and had a pretty big headache. My guess was because she had wound herself up so much that she gave herself a headache…but that’s just my theory.
As I was hugging her goodnight, I apologized again if I had been too rough on her. I continued with, “…but you know that you were pretty much out of control at that point, right?” She agreed and continued to hug me.
I don’t know when I’ll be back to my old self, but I know when I can see improvements in my own behaviour. I’m slowly getting there. One day at a time…but I’m getting there.