From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds by Amy L. Peterson
Driving in the car today, a realization became clear. Infidelity and the dissolution of marriages are still on the rise. There isn't one day the radios don't bring it up, or the newspapers don't write about it. Reading this book then becomes a relevant topic. It's very likely to happen to you; to find yourself falling in love with a divorcee with four kids. And if you do, this is definitely the book for you. Even if you don't, there's plenty to uncover about life, in general. The dating scene. Meeting the family. Getting married. Loosing yourself in the mass chaos of it all. Somehow, though, learning to keep a strong levelheadedness and strong sense to maintain your wits about yourself. This book is definitely one of those books you should read if you have spare and free time.
Amy is a 30-year-old woman who spent many years polishing an unapproachable outer shell and maintaining a long list of reasons why not to have children. She keeps a canoe on her front porch, a mountain bike in her kitchen and a balance in her checking account.
Mark is an older, divorced man with four kids. He sleeps on an Army cot and eats out of pots and pans given to him by his therapist. He has a Ph.D. in stream ecology, a VW Rabbit with 285,000 miles on it and enough fishing tackle to sink a small boat.
Amy falls for Mark hook, line and hundreds of dollars in sinkers.
You can read this book in one sitting, you can read it over an extended period of time, or you can pick it up and choose which part you may want to read. There are these tips that you find along the way through the book. They are themes, if you will, about the events in the book (I've listed them below). But you really have to read the book to really know their true power and wisdom.
Another great aspect of this book is also that you don't have to relate to all of it to get something from it. You can just relate to the first part of the book, or merely the end. Either way you'll find yourself realizing that the 'tips' are really truths of life we all encounter in one shape or form.
Without further mumbles.... here they are.... read them, tell me what you think, and hopefully go and read this book. It's a worthwhile read.
The wisdoms of life that you might as well know, be reminded of, or be acquainted with:
1. Behind every successful stepmother is a man with at least one child
2. Take time to ponder where you are now, and compare that to where the man in question might take you
3. Use your friends to find out all you can about your potential beau
4. If you have something important in common with a guy, you might be on to something
5. Learn everything you can about a guy early on - you know, before you fall for him
6. When a man with children first asks you out, spend a day to read the rest of this book so you know what you're getting into!
7. First dates are like trips to the dentist: if you survive, you might walk away with a crooked smile
8. If he hunts, consider hunting, too.
9. Plan your first meeting with his kids on neutral territory, using any method other than mine
10. Avoidance is the next best thing to confrontation.
11. If your first meeting with the kids doesn't go well, rest assured it won't be the last thing that won't go well.
12. There is no dictionary of common toys children play with, or a book of common responses when, say, dolls are sick. Relax and trust yourself to blunder through.
13. When in the company of children, do what children do to get your way.
14. Kids are bluntly honest, so be blunt back
15. As the girlfriend of a man with children you will become a role model by default.
16. You can only be a good role model if you believe in what you're doing.
17. Not everyone will be happy about your choice of men
18. Most people come around sooner or later. Some sooner than you'll want.
19. Siblings are less pt to worry (or care?) about your choice of men that your parents.
20. Avoid introducing your man to your family members in the company of strangers.
21. Expect neither consistency nor logic fom a teenager.
22. A teenager can say, "I love you, I hate you, you're cool, you suck," in one breath to the same person. And mean every word.
23. When teenares aren't around to question everything, you can get a lot done.
24. If you get as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield, you'll have to teach the children respect.
25. If you must be Top Dog all the time, you're barking up the wrong tree.
26. When at last you are number one, remember, it doens't last long.
27. When dating a man with children, any dreams you might have a week-long romantic getaways may remain as much.
28. Most men think a woman nodding means agreement; most women think a woman nodding means they're just listenning. Be careful when you nod around men.
29. There will be times when a teenager and your man change roles.
30. What's obvious to an adult will never be obvious to a teenager.
31. Look for moments to bond with a teenager, even if a moment passes quickly.
32. When your man acts like a teenager, expect trouble
33. Tell your man you won't get married until he asks your father (or anyone else you choose) for permission.
34. If your man is like most men, he doesn't fumber very often, so enjoy yourself.
35. If you told him you won't move in with him until you have a ring and a date, be ready to stand your ground.
36. Anyone who says that you have no idea what you're getting into, is right.
37. Children have no sense of time or space.
38. A woman's desire to get rid of junk is directly proportional to a man wanting to hang onto it.
39. There's no time to unwind when children await you at home.
40. Getting kids to do simple things usuall isn't simple.
41. Over time, you will see what part of the kids' lives you can impact and what you can't.
42. Sooner than later, you will get to be alone with children.
43. All kids test Darwin's theory. To be the "fittest," set boundaries and stick to them.
44. You cannot trade a bad child for a good head of lettuce.
45. Whinners can be politely beaten into verbal submission
46. If you don't know your limitations, you will discover them.
47. Equipped with a certain warped sense of humor, all times alone with your man can be good ones.
48. There is a direct correlation between the amount of space a stepmother has and how she'll treat her stepchildren
49. Good parents can be counted on even when their children can't count.
50. Kids love suprises.
51. Sooner or later you will have to meet his Ex.
52. Make a good game out of Ex counters and stay one-up on them
53. Ex-spouses can do what they want with "their" money.
54. Do not go looking to make friends with the Friend of the Court
55. You WILL get the Ex-wife blues. Deal with them with humor, and, perhaps, a few twisted thoughts.
56. You can't get a refund just because you're not having fun
57. You may become grateful that holidays only come around once a year.
58. Every stepmother should take a least one acting class.
59. Include the kids in your wedding, even if they are more photogenic than you.
60. Beware the salesperson that says your wedding is the most important day of your life.
61. Designing a wedding cake is a fun way to express yourself.
62. You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than finding a man who cares about the details of his wedding. But, be sure to ask.
63. If your man can turn a photographer into a camera, marry him.
64. While planning a wedding, some things will go better than others. Make the best of the "others."
65. Wedding plannning is the most over-rated and underpaid sport on the planet.
66. If you leave honeymoon planning up to your man, be sure to pay attention when he tells you about the plans he's made.
67. Good partners will always help each other reach each other's goals, regardless of how ridiculous they might be.
68. Men are generally competitive by nature. Getting one-up on them makes a marriage more enjoyable.
69. Try not to let your first trip with your new family turn into a family reunion with your "old" family.
70. You won't be able to predict what the kids remember, or what they'll like the most. So try to enjoy it all.