Being a wicked stepmother is full of treacherous decisions that are actually land mines waiting to explode in your face. Here is one such account of a stepmother fail that happened a few years back.
There I was, basking in the glory of my awesome weekend, a weekend that started on Thursday with a great date night. My husband and I had a great Italian meal (made by me) with Puccini playing in the background (and kids in bed, it was a late dinner) finished off with gelato and watching Lost. My husband gave me Hollywood Bowl tickets to the KCRW world music series. Yeah! We’re huge fans of the bowl. The next day, two tickets to the Kings game fell into our lap, and how could we say no after finding a babysitter and knowing we were headed for the VIP seats. Nachos and hockey: how could a husband ask for more? Saturday we went hiking (see earlier post), and Sunday we put up our new natural woven shades that we custom ordered from JC Penny’s. And they look great. It was like one great thing after another. The universe knew it was just too much.
And so entered Monday.
My stepson was with us this weekend. He had some antibiotics that my husband picked up from his mom’s house on Friday. My husband said they were to be taken three times a day. So my stepson took them three times on Saturday and Sunday. My husband went off to work Monday morning. I was already feeling the weekend glow fading when I looked at the bottle of antibiotics. Hm, twenty-eight pills? It sure didn’t look like twenty-eight pills. And twenty-eight doesn’t divide by three a day. Oh wait that says twice daily. SHIT. So there it was, he had two extra pills this weekend and I counted the pills. It only added up to a total of twenty after I counted the ones he already had taken. Where are the rest of the pills? I called my husband at work. He said why did I think it was three times a day? I didn’t know. I had to drop off my stepson and head to L.A. for some more new job paperwork.
If you’ve ever seen TV, you can be pretty sure of the things stepmothers are good for. You know, trying to send their step kids off to boarding school, usually being terrible at taking care of them because they just don’t love them like their real mother would. I pretty much get tired of that story line. You know how it goes, a stepmother ignores a child’s complaints and then the real mother instantly recognizes that the child is ill and rushes them to the doctor just in time. Those selfish stepmothers just don’t love their step kids enough to know what they need.
And that’s all I need is a day like this to remind me of who I am ... just the stepmother. I know it was an accident but it happened at my house. Minus ten points for the stepmom.
I dropped him off and explained to his mother what happened. His mother said, “I always read the labels before I give medication because I am not a medical person.” (Points for real mom, as I am a nurse.) She also told me she hopes what’s in the bottle is really what he’s supposed to get. Maybe it’s not even the right prescription, she says. Fail, FAIL, FAIL.
And that’s the stuff that gets me. I do read labels. I take my job seriously and I am anal about medication. I remind my husband to give my stepson the Claritin for allergies. I try really hard to stay on top off it. But the truth is I have two other kids to keep track of. And it’s easier to keep track of your own kids lives when you were the one who went to the doctor and the one who picked up the prescription. I left the responsibility up to them because I am not the parent. And I can hear them now (real mom and her husband). Can’t even trust the nurses with medication for him. Later my husband told me when he called her, she was very understanding and mentioned she had told him it was three times a day. No problem. And that’s the way it usually is. No problem for him, you are a sucky stepmom for me.