I am sometimes a little guilty, in steppie-land, of treating the Return of the Stepkid a little like a medical procedure.
Let me explain how this works.
I've written on this blog before about how the bliss of kid-freedom makes it hard to return to the weekendly grind - a little like how it is when you've been off work, that first day back after a holiday. The tossing and turning the night before, thinking about the size of your inbox, and the hell of going back to the same old colleagues whinging about the same old crap round the coffee machine that spews out turd-coloured coffee that tastes NOTHING like the fabulous fresh ground nectar you've been drinking in Italy.....yeah, you know the feeling. But you can't stay in Italy forever, we all have to crash back down to earth, and the anticipation of that crash is far worse than the reality. Because you drag your sorry butt back into work, sit in the car or bus full of dread, resentment and resolve to check the job sites or the property listings for villas in Tuscany, and then you walk in the office, smell the inferior grade coffee, the receptionist gives you a surly snarl as you sign in, and then by 11am you're back in the tight bitching circle round the coffee machine like you've never been away.
You can also apply this analogy to medical procedures. You know the tendency we have to overestimate the pain and discomfort we are surely going to be in (I have this with PAP smears, ick). And then, though it sucks at the time, it's usually over and forgotten fairly quickly and life goes on as usual. Think ripping off a Band-Aid.
Talking of, I have to go get a smear test next week. Ick.
I guess if you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll realise by now that I hate the thought of the stepkid visits more than the actual reality. The reality is, it's usually fine, by and large. She does like me, I think, despite the best efforts of BM, and I do enjoy spending time with her, although she does kinda suck when she's tired and cranky and all over DP like a rash. And those are the times that tend to stick out in my head and make me dread the visits when I've had a bit of a breather from it.
So why do we have a tendency to latch on to the negative? Oh OK, what's with this WE. I mean me, really! Why the sense of dread? Why the arguments with DP the night before she's due to come about how he is going to ignore me for the coming week (well OK, sometimes he does). Seeing as it's my inner child that comes out during this time, I can only assume that it's a kind of regression back to the days when I used to dread having to take Calpol when I was sick (some people, even adults, actually LIKE that stuff - sick puppies!) and the thought of the taste of it was far worse than the actual taste. Like Calpol, I have a feeling that the SD visits, although at times unpalatable in theory, are actually good for me though. And maybe they are even good for her. I can hope, huh....