"My Stepdaughter Is Out to Get Me!"
Her Turn, continued
"The things Jessica says are pathetic. She told her mother I wasn't feeding her. 'They had only two pieces of bread in the house on Sunday, and she gave them both to Logan,' she said. Well, Logan's daycare center asks parents to make the same thing for all the kids for lunch on certain days of the week to eliminate squabbling. Monday is sandwich day. Since we only had two slices of bread left, I gave them to Logan, and packed soup, breadsticks, fruit, and dessert for Jessica. It's not as if I let her go hungry!
"Last Christmas, she was sullen because Logan received two presents more than she did. Never mind that hers cost more. She ran home and complained to her mom about how unfair the holidays were at our house.
"To make matters worse, Jessica's mother broadcast this and a whole lot of other nonsense to the entire community. I'm not exaggerating -- the woman actually wrote a vicious letter to my supervisor at work as well as a letter to the editor of the local newspaper calling me a hypocrite as a parenting expert because my own household was in turmoil. In her words, I was 'facilitating an immoral lifestyle.' My supervisor told her that the contents of the letter had no bearing on my job, and people who know me dismissed the newspaper letter as garbage, but still, I was mortified.
"Jim was horrified his ex-wife could be so vicious to me. But there's a lot more that he refuses to recognize and deal with, such as Jessica's lack of basic manners and discipline. If I walk into the den and say hello, she sits silently staring at the TV. If I ask her to do something -- clean up her room, let the dog out -- she simply doesn't do it. If I tell her to stop bouncing the soccer ball in the house, she ignores me. When I finally lose it and start yelling, Jim gets defensive, claiming I'm picking on her.
"I've tried to be super-stepmother. But I've had enough of this child coming between me and my husband -- it's destroying my marriage."