The day that Little Bean asked if she was someone else’s daughter . . .
Today started like a pretty normal day. It was the first day back at school following the half-term holiday, so it was the usual chaos of trying to get back into the old routine. As we rounded the corner in the car towards school, Little Bean noticed one of her school friends walking with her Mum and three brothers. Little Bean commented that it must be difficult for her Mum with four children, and I replied that it was the same in our house as we have four children, too.
I stopped the car and walked around the car to get the Beans out onto the pavement gobsmacked is pretty much the best description for how I felt when Little Bean asked, “Is H our real Mother?”. I thought I’d misheard her, so I asked her, “What did you just say?” again, she said, “Is H our real Mother?”. H is Curly’s Mum, Hubby’s ex-wife. I think I stood there in stunned silence for a few seconds before saying, “Of course, she isn’t; I’m your real Mum. The only Mum you have ever had and the only one you will ever have”. Unfortunately, I don’t think it came out as well as it could have done due to the shock I was in, and then Little Bean made matters worse by saying, “I was only joking; I didn’t mean it!”.
Since we were at school, I didn’t have time to stand and talk to her about it, so I had to wait until this evening to have a chat with her, but it upset me all day.
As we returned to the car, I broke down in tears; I couldn’t help it. To think that my daughter thinks I couldn’t be her Mum really hurt. We have discussed our ‘blended family’ situation with both her and Beanie Boy numerous times. It has never been a taboo subject, and if they want to know anything, we have been open and honest about how Curly lives with his Mum and not with us. They have been told that their Daddy IS Curly’s Daddy too and that he used to be married to Curly’s Mum but that they fell out of love and went their separate ways. Mummy and Daddy then fell in love, got married and had three beautiful Beans.
When we got to the car, Beanie Boy asked me if I was okay and said, “I know you’re our Mummy”. Ever the sensitive little fella, he gave me a big cuddle, which, of course, made me cry more. It played on my mind all day. I have a pretty good relationship with both of my boys; it’s an easy relationship. They are both Mummy’s boys, but Little Bean is very much a Daddy’s girl. It wasn’t always that way, though; before the boys were born, Little Bean was ‘my’ girl. She was my best friend, and we would have such a giggle together, but from the moment we brought Beanie Boy home from the hospital, there was a shift. Suddenly, she was Daddy’s girl!
We have always tried to keep things fair, so bedtimes have always alternated; I put the boys to bed one night whilst Daddy puts Little Bean to bed, and the next night, we switch. We try very hard to give each of the Beans quality time alone with one or both parents whenever possible, but I do feel that Little Bean is closer to others than she is to me, which upsets me greatly, and I hope that in time this will change.
This evening, I sat with Little Bean to do her homework and read. All was well, albeit she was pretty short-tempered with me (as she often is), but as it came to bedtime and Hubby took the boys upstairs, I sat down with Little Bean and asked her what had made her think to ask me such a thing. Immediately she started crying, saying, “I don’t know, I just needed to know”. I tried explaining that she wasn’t in any kind of trouble and I wasn’t cross with her but that I was upset to think that she had even considered that I wasn’t her Mummy.
I showed her the photograph on her windowsill of Daddy and I looking adoringly at our newborn daughter when she was just hours old and said that she only needed to look at this photograph to know who her Mummy was. I told her (again) how she was the baby I had waited so long to meet, the little girl I had hoped and prayed for, the first baby to grow in my tummy, the first baby to steal my heart, and we both cried LOTS!!
She said that she was sorry, but she just thought that since Daddy was married to H before me, maybe she was H’s daughter too and that Daddy had chosen to keep her whilst H kept Curly. At this point, I called Hubby to join the conversation and help me explain it all again to Little Bean. I’m hoping that this will be the first and LAST time we ever have to have this kind of conversation, as it was obviously something I had never really considered any of the Beans to ask. Perhaps this is a downfall of being a blended family.
Once I had put Little Bean to bed and closed her door, I popped to our bedroom to pop some ironing away, and then I heard Little Bean sobbing. I went back to her bedroom and asked her why she was crying again and she said that she felt really bad for upsetting me and told me again how much she loved me and was sorry. We had another cuddle, and then thankfully she settled down to sleep. It’s been a very emotionally draining day for me, so I think an early night is in order.
As I keep telling myself, tomorrow is a new day x