Dad’s New Girlfriend

(And no, I’m not talking about my dad.)

The more astute readers amongst you might have guessed that Monday’s post wasn’t actually about “my friend.”  It was—surprise, surprise—about me.  And The Wedding Date.  And the fact that I’m meeting his kids for the first time tonight.

For those of you just tuning in, The Wedding Date is my boyfriend; we met at a wedding back in July (hence the name) and after several months of “fieldwork” he finally asked if I was ready to end my “experiment.”

Seeing as my “experiment” consisted of registering for three online dating sites simultaneously (and dating 30 men in the course of a year in an attempt to figure out what I’d been doing wrong), it was a perfectly valid question.  We had, after all, just flown to Boston together and six months had elapsed since we first met.

Fortunately, we’d got the sticky subjects out of the way early on our first date: I was writing a blog about online dating (and was sort-of seeing someone in Pittsburgh at the time) and he, despite being only a few years my senior, had kids.

I don’t think I heard the next ten words out of his mouth.  We were eating dinner at Cuba Libre in Old City and I remember just sitting there smiling politely on the outside to hide the fact that on the inside, my brain was shouting “KIDS!  KIDS?  KIDS???”

It’s not that I don’t like kids—I have nearly 200 students under my charge this year—but I’m 26.  I’ve never dated anybody with kids before.  I used to get messages from men with kids all the time on Match.com but I never responded (except to say, “No thanks and best wishes,” because really, what business did I, a self-confessed serial dater, have dating anybody with children?)

I picked at my guacamole until there wasn’t any guacamole left and then excused myself to the restroom so I could text one of my girlfriends from grad school.

“He has KIDS!!!” I punched into the phone.  “KIDS!!!!”

She freaked out, I freaked out and I remember thinking, “There is NO way I can deal with this.”  But I agreed to a second date, and then a third, and on that third date I asked the man in question to accompany me to a friend’s wedding in Boston and he—brave soul that he is— said “yes.”

So here I am, several months later: T-11 hours until I make my debut as “dad’s new girlfriend.”

I’m worrying about what to wear, what to say, how to act and, most of all, whether or not I’ll be able to remember their names.  I’ve heard them a hundred times and I’ve seen pictures but whenever I’m involved in introductions of any kind, my brain just shuts off and I say things like, “This is my roommate from college, ummm…. Sorry.  You know that I do actually know your name, right?”

Hopefully it won’t come to that tonight.  And hopefully I won’t totally suck at bowling or ski ball or laser tag or whatever The Wedding Date has planned…

PS: Check out the South Philly Review for a lovely little write up about Yours Truly 🙂

12 Responses to “Dad’s New Girlfriend”

  1. The Prof

    Don’t try too hard as they will see it a mile away! Just be your lovely self and you will be great. Enjoy yourself!

    Reply
  2. Katie

    Well, I didn’t have any advice when you first wrote about it, and I still don’t have advice now. I don’t “get” kids, and kids don’t “get” me. Yet usually, we all get along just fine. Probably because I don’t really treat them different than anyone else. So… like The Prof said, just be your lovely self. 🙂

    Reply
  3. susan macbride

    nice article in the South Philly Review. Good luck with the kids. If you are yourself, they will love you.

    Reply
  4. Mark D. White (@profmdwhite)

    However they react, Kat, it will likely have little to do with you, and more to do with their relationships with their parents (and their parents’ relationship with each other). So like the previous commenters said, just be yourself.

    Reply
  5. Zak

    Kids suck. They make you fall in love with them and stuff. And then they do things like fart in front of you, which you used to think was rude from adults, but you find yourself laughing with them and recording the sounds to send to your friends who laugh at fart sounds. And they make you get all nerdy and play with lightsabers in the front yars. And they make you want to do science fair projects again.

    And… be warned!

    Reply
  6. Landlord

    Just breathe and know that this is only the FIRST time you are meeting them, you will meet them more times in the future and it will get easier. Remember not to use your pre-school voice 😉 Treat them to an ice cream or something while you are out with them tonight, its not over the top, just a nice little, “Hey, my treat, what kind of ice cream do you guys want?”

    Reply
  7. chauffeur

    Do not put too much pressure on this first visit, like Landlord said, there will be other meets.
    FYI, it is skee-ball, not ski-ball. and if you beat them, they would know you are not a wuss.

    Reply
  8. Chicago-Style Girl

    I’ve dated men with kids before, and they’re always more curious than anything else. The only way they’d be openly hostile is if they’re teenagers, have been pre-programmed by their mom to hate, or have had a bad experience with a previous girlfriend. Based on how nice the Wedding Date seems, he’s probably raising nice kids. And if you do that “I fo know your name” thing, it’ll probably just make them laugh. I’m looking forward to hearing what happens.

    Reply
  9. lipstickandplaydates

    Dating a guy with kids changes everything. And agree with the above poster. My advice is don’t “push” yourself on them and let things unfold naturally.

    Reply
  10. Lost in France

    Did I miss an earlier kids announcement, or has this news only just been released.
    Just resist the temptation to teach them

    Reply
      • Lost in France

        very discrete.
        They are after all part of who he is and part of the overall package.
        Trust things are going well

        Reply

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