I'm almost a little surprised to say this because Cabbage weekends are always a bit of a challenge for me, but we seriously had a pretty great weekend. We really didn't have plans made and Friday night it was decided that we needed to go to a pumpkin patch. After looking around online, Louisburg Cider Mill seemed like the best (cheapest) option. So the next morning I made us a picnic lunch (mom...you're never getting that insulated picnic basket back...what did you expect...it's covered with elephants) and we jumped into the car and headed south. There was a brief moment of bad bad deja vu as we pulled into a line of cars, but the line moved at a reasonable pace.
Michael had the Cabbage and I jump out to get in line for activity tickets while he found a parking spot. Tickets were purchased just as Michael walked up to us and off we went to jump around on the giant air pillow. We went through a short maze built from wood pallets. We slid down Sunflower Hill and we got lost in a corn maze. We jumped back in the car just as we were reaching hangry levels and drove a couple of miles over to Somerset Wineries. We purchased a bottle of wine, which they opened for us and gave us two plastic glasses. Then we walked over to the very edge of the winery, threw down a blanket and ate our picnic. And it was good. Really good. Our spot was between two large trees. It was quite and secluded. There were no lines or screaming. It was just crisp Fall air with bright sunshine keeping us warm. No one was complaining. No one was crying. Instead we were munching on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apple slices and cheese curds and laughing about silly things like farts.
That morning, as Michael was putting on his shoes and the Cabbage was watching cartoons, I told Michael about the email conversation I had been having with Karen. I told him what she said about replacements and I included the Cabbage in this conversation. I said "I am not a replacement for her mother." Then I went on to clarify that I was an authority figure, but not a mother figure. The Cabbage piped up and said "but you are my step mom." My reply to this was "fine. If that's the label you need to use, please add the word wicked before the step." I explained to her that it was fine to call me what ever but recognize that I am not a mom. I'm sorry, but I'm not. When the Cabbage is in the house, I am a child care provider. I make sure she has food and clean clothes. I try to plan some sort of activity or outing because if we were trapped in the house all day I would drown in her in the bathtub. I lack the "motherly" instincts required for nurturing. She wants to leave the house without brushing her hair? By all means, let's not brush her hair. We did get busted recently for not making sure she brushes her teeth when she's at our house. We've been trying a little bit harder to make that happen now. But again, I shrug my shoulders at this because I, myself have been known to not brush my teeth on Sundays. What? It's the sabbath.
Sure, the Cabbage tells people I'm her step mom, but really, no one knows what that means. Everyone has their own idea of what that means and there are mothers out there who will look at my situation and declare I have joined their club. I counter that declaration with no offense, but I have not joined your club. There's nothing wrong with your club. It's just not the club for me and I'm tired of trying to make it the club for me. Which is what I think I've been trying to do and why I feel like I'm constantly struggling with the Cabbage. I've been trying to force myself into mom jeans when I'm more comfortable in yoga pants. I've been stuck on a label that others want to give me. So this weekend, I stopped trying to "mother". Instead of trying to please and reason with a five year old, I just did my own thing. Eat the sandwich. Don't eat the sandwich. I don't really care. I pretty much did nothing with the idea of "would the Cabbage like this?" Instead the question was always "would I like this?" And you know what? I heard less complaining.
My waist sits too low for those high waisted mom jeans any way.