What it really means to be a step-dad

A big shout-out to all the step-dads out there! In a way it’s a huge blessing to get readymade kids without having to change all the diapers… and it can be quite a challenge, too! I’m lucky that I have so much love and we get along well. This poem is clearly a dramatisation – I don’t make dinner very often.

I started writing this poem just over a year ago and never got round to finishing it. National Poetry Writing Month is a good opportunity to do that – writing 30 poems in 30 days 🙂 It’s interesting to look back at this poem and note how things have changed in the past year – and how they haven’t! I’m looking forward to writing a follow-up poem to it someday soon-ish!!

it’s 3:45, the end of my day
switch off my world, it’s time to play
cos as your bundle off the schoolbus
there’s no more me, it’s time for us
mayhem ensues as you enter the door
jumping about, shrieking for more
my answer’s always yes if you want to jump around
I’ll carry you like a baby, though you’re 90 pounds
and I’m panting and I’m sweating and I’m aching from the falls
struggling to stand up as you’re bouncing off the walls
and I’m trying to find a moment to breathe
just a few minutes so that I can finally make dinner
and now they’re fighting over who gets to play with me next
and there can only be one winner
and the loser’s not happy, lashes out and now I’m the discipliner
meanwhile, mum does the dishes

bedtime’s a kerfuffle
cos I’ve come in between
a finely honed routine
and invited the question:
how many ‘just one more story’s can we get out of him?
for a grown up, I sure love to play
you want patience, I got it in spades
I’ll run beside you on your bike
hear the same song as often as you like
let you make the rules in every game
fall for your tricks however lame
yes I’ll act surprised when you hide in the same places
I’ll pretend to be frightened of your cute “scary” faces

but what happens six months from now?
will we bring each other such joy
when I’m no longer your shiny new toy?
when I’m more a parent than a friend
when I gotta do work not play let’s pretend
when you see that now I’m here to stay
it won’t be so easy to get your own way
what then? when baby’s here too
screaming even louder than you
when sibling rivalry goes through the roof
and I’m lost and I’m scared cos I don’t have a clue
maybe then I’ll find out what it really means to be a step-dad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *