When I met Jon’s kids properly for the first time I shit myself. I’d met them a few times before as ‘daddy’s friend’, which was fine, but they’d started asking Jon if I was his girlfriend and if we kiss each other, so we thought we’d better come clean.
Despite them only being two (almost three) and four at the time, as we sat down at Jon’s house for tea that night, I felt as though I was on trial with a tiny Gestapo and, to this day, Bella still bares some striking similarities to Heinrich Himmler.
As we were still in the early days of our relationship, I was still making an effort with my appearance so, naturally, I had my cleavage on display. Isaac told me he could ‘see my boobies’ and Bella asked me if I ‘always wear lots of make-up’ within minutes of sitting down. Snap forward another three months and as they see me emerging from bed looking like something from The Hills Have Eyes and not giving a fuck, Bella would have had her answer.
As the evening progressed and the kids got ready for bed, Bella asked me if I was ‘going back to my own house now’. Jon had told me before than he had concerns about Bella’s jealousy, as previously she had almost scratched another child’s eyes out when Jon helped them out of a ball pool at a soft play centre; ‘GET OFF MY DADDDDDDDDY!!!’ she had yelled. But, thankfully, Bella and I have been the best of friends since day one and there hasn’t been a scrap of jealousy. She instantly felt comfortable with me and she’s the daughter I never had. They have both understood my position from the beginning and when one of Bella’s friends innocently asked her why she doesn’t call me mummy, Bella responded, matter-of-factly, ‘she’s my step-mum… and she’s not even wicked,’ before carrying on playing princesses. She tells everyone she wants to be a writer ‘like my step-mum’, and I have no doubt about it, with the weird shit she comes out with she’ll make millions writing thrillers.
We also couldn’t ask for a better relationship between our children. Isaac takes the helm; they all look up to him and he’s a caring boy, making sure everyone is okay. He is oblivious to the fact that everyone likes him and is extremely laid back. Bella is the mother hen, telling the boys off like a school teacher and coming out with lines such as ‘I’m really disappointed with you Leo,’ and ‘if I have to ask you one more time…’. Leo just loves having his brother and sister over to stay and talks about them all the time when they aren’t here. They laugh constantly and make up the weirdest games – their most recent one being trying to escape a bad guy called ‘Crankro’ whilst pretending to be mice? Whatever goes on in their fucked up little heads is ok with me, as long as they are happy. More recently, since Elliott came along, they have all shown a grown-up side; respecting that sometime’s Elliott needs attention first and involving him in their games as much as they can (he was a baby alien the other day).
I have a great relationship with my step children and Jon has raised Leo as his own, not once treating them any differently. It just goes to show that not every family unit is as nauseating as Topsy and fucking Tim’s.