Before Little Bean and Beanie Boy came along I used to think I was a pretty good stepmum to Curly. We would often have days out on our own and do craft activities at home or playing games, doing puzzles. In the good old days of Top of the Pops we would have ‘dizzy disco night’ where the rules were ‘dance to everything and just be daft’. Curly used to think this was hilarious and we would dance until we dropped.
Things slowed down quite a lot when I was pregnant with Little Bean, we would still go for lots of walks together, me waddling, Curly on his scooter or doing my ‘challenges’. Curly used to be painful when we went out for walks, always dragging behind, always moaning . . . that is until I uttered the words “I bet you can’t get to the next lamp post in 20 seconds” after that we never looked back. I would set various challenges for him on our walks and they worked a treat, he would get plenty of exercise and I would get to walk at a reasonable pace.
Then Little Bean came along and Curly graciously accepted that I didn’t have the time to spend with him that I had done previously. We would still do odd things together but always Little Bean was there and then ultimately Beanie Boy too. Earlier this year when Curly was having a few problems at school and we could tell that all was not well with him, I sat down and had a chat with him about how he was feeling and he said that he wanted to spend more time alone with me, more time alone with Daddy and more time alone just the three of us. We have had the odd trip out here and there to the cinema just for Curly but time to be just the three of us is a tough call.
During the October half-term Curly went away for a few days to York with Hubby’s parents and he told them that he missed quality time alone with me and so I knew I needed to make a conscious effort to make more time for him. Recently Little Bean and I have been doing quite a lot of baking and so I decided that I would do some with Curly too. As we began sorting out the ingredients Curly said “we used to do this all the time didn’t we?”. I thought about it for a second and said “yes we did, didn’t we”. Suddenly Curly began regaling me with his memories of our baking sessions, the special batman apron that he used to wear, he remembered the times that I would rub flour all over his face and let him just get messy and then he went quiet, I looked down to see a sad face staring into the distance and I realised how much he missed that special time. For the past 3+ years I have been a crap stepmum and I need to make a change, he is still my baby too – he’s just a lot bigger but he still needs me just as much and I’m going to make an early New Year’s resolution to try harder with him. First stop, I need to find him a new cooking apron because he’s seriously outgrown the batman one!