To say the wicked are misunderstood is an understatement. Disney movies are known for their sad openings to their happily ever after nonsense. Nemo’s mom dies, Cinderella loses her father. But what about the step-mothers? In this modern age, I can not imagined there being such a thing as an obedient step-daughter. I tend to doubt Cinderella was ever cooperative upon request. Every telling of Cinderella, all the different versions are from her point of view. There is a saying of any story…there are three versions; yours, mine and the truth. Well here is my version.
I asked my 9 year old step-daughter to make her bed, once. She refused. She flat out refused. She refused to fold her clothes and put them away. I washed them, she can put them away. After a few weeks I noticed I was re-washing clean clothes. She was putting her dirty clothes on top of the clean clothes. She was forever complaining she didn’t have any clothes. My kids might not have always put their clothes away, but they knew their wardrobe. This is why I insisted she start organizing her own clothes. She refused to clear her plate after a meal, put the dish in the sink…never mind the dishwasher. I asked her to give everyone a napkin. She took the pile threw it in the middle of the table and ran away. She started throwing spoons in the garbage. Spoons my mother received at her bridal shower in 1968.
I could not get passed thinking she was just being defiant. Especially when the morning of her tenth birthday she woke up bright and early, showered and made her bed all on her own. The only problem with her waking early and getting ready was she ended up in our bed on her kindle waiting for us to wake up. Now as a married woman, I, on occasion, grab a hold of some morning wood before I open my eyes. Good thing I didn’t that day. When it came to the little darling understanding the difference between the daddy daughter relationship and the husband wife relationship, we ran into big problems. I had to lock the door so she wouldn’t barge in. She demanded to know why. Privacy no longer existed. Do rules or proper etiquette apply to any stepchild? Eavesdropping on conversations she reported back to her mother. Incessantly interrupting conversations for the attention. She did nothing but complain about me to her mother and extended family which included my new mother-in-law.
Her mom wanted her to stay young, innocent and naive forever where her dad wanted her to become mature, informed, and confident. It would be wonderful if we could keep our kids young but it just doesn’t work that way. It is nothing but a disservice to our children to handicap them by doing everything for them and teaching them nothing. My step-daughter has been sheltered and her mother doesn’t inform her of anything (She once said to me and I quote “I tell her as little as possible”) the child is bombarded with information from external sources. She asks her mother, she won’t tell her so she began asking us. Once armed with new exciting information, she returned home to discuss it with her mother only to have her freak out. The kid jumps into a panic and blames me. “Leigh said it.” She lied because she, “was afraid if I told mom the truth she wouldn’t let me talk to dad or vice versa”.
My husband asked me to help fill in the gaps of knowledge this kid didn’t have. This created a dilemma. Do I a reject my husband’s request out of respect for his daughter’s mother or stay true to myself and my marriage, inform this child of something since she knows nothing? Most people would agree it is the mother’s, and only the mother’s, place for certain topics. I whole-heartedly agree however we are an exception. At ten years old she knew nothing about female anatomy or function of such. The health curriculum would be covering this information. We felt it would be less awkward for her to hear this at home. She was starting to hear certain words and phrases from the media and repeating them not knowing what any of it meant: jerk-off, lady jam and she hated the word sex. Didn’t know what it was, but hated the word. Any mother would be hurt when another woman comes their child’s life. Her mom took it further and sued my husband to keep me away because I discussed these topics without her consent. Let me remind you, my husband wanted his daughter to be properly informed.
I am grateful my children have a step-mother. I am woman enough to admit I can use another woman’s help in raising two daughters. My children have another person in their life and more extended family who love them, unconditionally. This is all I ever wanted to be as a step-mother. And that is the absolute truth.
Disney movies are missing the perspective of the step-mother. No one sets out to be a step parent. All the articles and books giving advice on how to make a blended family work neglect that we are human. They enable the children to berate us. There is only so much one person can take. Disney should create an alternate story line of their movies to show the evil side of the step-children. Courts should hold children accountable for their manipulative ways instead of treating them like innocent youngsters. It is all a facade. Instead of fairy tales, we can call them facade tales. Cinderella wasn’t treated like a slave. She didn’t want to do her part in the new family she was lucky to be a part of.