Jack’s daycare is closed this week for spring break. Since David is still job hunting (applying for the few and far between jobs that come available – arg, the economy surely sucks!), Jack is at home with him. David has watched Jack by himself for a few hours at a time upon occasion and has helped with day-to-day care of Jack but this is the first time he’s had extended sole responsibility of the boy. And you know what? He is doing a fantastic job!
I’m not that surprised. David is a natural with kids and also extremely observant. He has absorbed a lot about how I parent just by watching and living with me and Jack. He has integrated into the step-father role with a larger amount of ease than I thought was possible. This just makes me love him that much more!
Monday went even more smoothly than I had anticipated. Not only did Jack have *fun* with David, but he ate really well, played at the park, and even took a two hour nap! David is proud of himself and with good reason – getting a toddler to nap is not usually an easy feat and two hours of sleep? That is pure perfection.
I am truly enthralled watching the step-parenting transition happen and the bond grow between David and Jack. Parenting with blood relatives is fairly straight-forward as you have the obvious ties and social norms to rely on. Joe and I had some things to negotiate between the two of us in our parenting partnership, but our responsibilities toward Jack were pretty simple to determine. The step-parent integration seems more complex, as it generally takes place over less time and the dynamics aren’t always readily apparent or accepted. Rejection can come from the child, the mother, the father, or the person doing the step-parenting. David has had to consider everything he does with Jack from the perspective of Jack, of me, and of Joe. He has been very careful not to step on any toes while at the same time interacting with Jack in a manner that would get them on the right path to a symbiotic step-parent/-child relationship. His methods have paid off, it seems. I’m sure there will be challenges that aren’t resolved easily in the future, but it is good to know we have some success to build upon.