If there is one thing in my life I have always known, it was that I wanted to be a mom. I could give you some long drawn out reason about how I was blessed (and still am) to have the best mom ever created by God. Believe me, that’s a large part of it. But at a certain level, I think I’ve always known that I was destined to be a mom.
I also always wanted to have a daughter. I am, by nature, extremely girly. I love dresses and shoes and purses. I hate outdoorsy, dirty activities (as told by my previous post about fun times on the farm). So God must have thought he was real funny when he planted a boy named Adam Hutton in my life. Along the path from boyfriend and girlfriend to husband and wife, I was introduced to his son, T, a little boy who loves roughhousing and all things outdoors and makes my super clean apartment as messy as possible. But despite all that, hearing him say, “I love you Katie,” melts my heart into a little puddle on the floor.
Never underestimate the power of a regular household object to create one giant mess. T loves taking baths. Adam and I love that he loves taking baths because we can rest and recoop before we play another round of crash the Matchbox cars or “tackle” football. So on Friday night, as T was taking his bath, Adam went to check on him. I immediately knew something was wrong when I heard Adam gasp, start laughing and then heard T say, “Don’t tell Katie I did this.” True to his word, Adam refused to tell me, leaving me to nervously cross to the bathroom. What I found were bubbles. Bubbles all over the bathtub, bubbles all over the floor and bubbles all over the wall. Turns out, T decided he needed a bubble bath and dumped half of the contents of his brand new shampoo into the tub, soaking his set of clean clothes and losing his bath toys in the process.
Little boys don’t like taking the blame for things they didn’t do. On Saturday morning, I came out to find that my husband had “folded” the blankets. When I asked Adam if that was really how he folded blankets, he replied, “No, that’s how T folds blankets.” T immediately perked up from his toys and said, “No it’s not Daddy. Don’t be silly. You folded the blankets.” Adam stared in disbelief at his son. “I can’t believe you just sold me out,” he said. T looked right at him and said, “Ha ha.”
If it applies to one situation, it must apply to all of them. Our wedding album is on a bookshelf that T can reach. One day he pulled it down and flipped to a page, pointed, and said, “Katie are you married to my daddy?” I told him yes, that I was dressed up in a fancy white dress and that Daddy was in a nice tux. He flipped to the next page (a picture of me and our groomsmen) and said, “All these guys are in tuxes. Are you married to all of them Katie?” Before I could even explain, he went on to the next page (a picture of me and my dad) and said, “Grandpa Tom’s in a tux. You must be married to him too.”
Little boys like their toys … and making messes with their toys. On Sunday, T was playing with a puzzle … and by playing I mean dumping all the pieces out of the box, picking them up, and then doing it again. When it was time to clean up, he took the puzzle to the top of the stairs and let it go, just to see it fall. Now, I could have taken the opportunity to talk to him about taking care of his toys, but I was too busy telling my husband not to chase my parents’ cat with a remote control car. Maybe I should rephrase this particular lesson to ALL boys …
Older boys + younger boys = TROUBLE. Shortly before we went to see my older brother and his family in the Cities, my younger brother gave T a message for his uncle. We got to Daniel’s house, walked in the door and T went straight to his uncle and said, “You have a funny beard,” and walked away. He has also learned the phrase “Oui Oui hugh hugh” (which translated into 4 year old is “wink wink honk honk”) and “Charlie bit me” (which came out as “Charlie” plus another word that starts with a b and rhymes with witching, causing Katie to ask that we no longer use that particular phrase).
Becoming a stepmom has been thrilling, exhausting, heart wrenching and wonderful. But along the way, and through all the lessons that I continue to learn, we always remember to have a little fun.