I have tried many things in my life. Some of them have been easier than others, but the hardest adventure I have ever been on was taking on the role of “stepfather," especially since I struggle to be a functioning adult on most days. I still wait to do laundry until I have nothing to wear the next day and I still eat food from a can because I’m too lazy to cook.
The first time I realized that this might be harder than I thought was when I gave my stepdaughter, Tayla, lasagna for breakfast. Everything seemed fine to me; Tayla and I were home alone, she was happily playing her video game while she waited for her mother to get back from an early morning doctor’s appointment. I looked to the clock and realized that it was nearing eleven and she had yet to have breakfast.
I broke away from my comfortable spot cuddled next to her on the couch and looked in the fridge for anything to feed her. There it was sitting on the second shelf in all its glory, like it had been a gift from God himself: left over lasagna. I knew it was one of my favourite things first thing in the morning and I also knew that it was Tayla’s favourite food.
“Hey, Tay, want some lasagna?” I asked. I watched her eyes light up as she enthusiastically nodded. I felt like I was doing great. How could anyone ever think that parenting was difficult? I plopped a large plate into the microwave and set her up at the table.
About halfway through her breakfast of champions, her mother walked in the door. I smiled proudly as I announced she didn’t have to worry about breakfast, for I had already given Tayla food. I didn’t understand the look of disapproval that crossed her mother’s face as Tayla stuffed a rather large piece into her mouth.
“Lasagna for breakfast?” She asked.
Turns out, you never give a child lasagna for breakfast. A list of acceptable foods was then created for me. Cereal, eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, oatmeal, your typical breakfast foods. But never, ever, ever lasagna.
“At least you tried though. Most people would have just waited until I got home,” she said reassuringly. That was when I knew I had an interesting adventure awaiting me.
Photo Credit: Sean Lalonde