Transformation of the Children of the Corn

The following are sub-themes of the main theme,

“Transformation of the Children of the Corn”:

  • The Old School Children of the Corn
  • The Package Deal
  • The Real Red-Headed Step-Child
  • The Perfect Puzzle of Life
  • Rising Above Darkness
  • The New Age Children of the Corn
  • The Meet
  • Joy At First Sight
  • Fear Disguised As Anger
  • Crappy Dramas
  • The Unfamiliar Shade of Darkness
  • Round 2
  • The Miraculous Moments
  • The Summer Trio
  •      The Return of the Timmy
  •      The Blame Game
  •      A Little Negotiation
  •      Poopy Boxers
  •      Justice Served
  •      Truly Being Smart
  • Lessons Learned

The Old School Children of the Corn

The Package Deal

When my Korean mother married my American father, I became a part of his package deal, and my older step-sister, and two step-brothers (from my dad’s first marriage) became a part of my mother’s package deal. Along with their newly found love and excitement came…the “other” children. Of course, it would’ve been really nice if we were somewhat like the Brady Bunch…but we weren’t. I believe my dad was more accepting of me as a step-daughter than my mother was of her step-children, especially THE red-headed step-child (literally and figuratively), my youngest, older brother Rich.

Growing up, I heard my mother tell many stories, to whoever would listen to her, about how my Rich was a major pain in the ass. I don’t recall her saying anything about Sue (my older step-sister). Apparently, she only lived with us for a very short time, although I have no recollection of it whatsoever. My mother always did praise my oldest step-brother, Stan, and often repeated her favorite phrase, “Rich could do a lovable thing, but yet, he wasn’t lovable at all; but Stan could do something that wasn’t so lovable, but yet, he was lovable.”

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Stan had (and still does) good people skills and often smiled, laughed, and joked around. Rich, on the other hand, was the first one to come live with us when he was 12 years old…a very sensitive age. Understandably, he probably had a lot of resentment towards my mother, and even me possibly. Even though my dad and Rich’s mother had been divorced, in Rich’s eyes, my mother was probably still perceived as the wicked witch of the East or the evil step-mother. I actually giggled quietly to myself whenever my mother told her dramatic stories of how she suffered while living with Rich. To me, they just sounded like typical pranks that tween boys would play on people in general.

The Real Red-Headed Step-Child

A few times, he placed rubber snakes and lizards in certain areas of the house, and she would ending up screaming. Once, he apparently drew big circles all over the living room wall with a crayon, wiped burgers on them, and then blamed it on me. I do recall my parents arguing over who did it, and my mother pulling up the kitchen chair to show my dad that even if I had stood up on the chair, I would not have been able to reach near the ceiling. She added that I was only 5 years old and Rich was 12, and there was a big difference in height. Who knows who did it…I just remember looking at the wall in awe, probable because I liked coloring.

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Then, when my brothers became teenagers, they got into some trouble at school, for smoking and for using drugs. I recall my dad wrestling and beating my brothers up for screwing up that way. Then, my parents would end up fighting because of them. What added fuel to my mother’s fire of rage was when Rich brought different girls to the house to spend the night. To make matters worse, him and his girlfriend apparently put out bloody towels for my mother to wash. I admit, that was a bit overboard…like nasty and disrespectful. As much as my mother disliked my brother, she did admit that she had made him a peanut butter and bologna sandwich once by accident because she had just started learning how to make American food. She said that he yelled, “Yuck! What is this?” I’m sure in his mind, my mother was just being mean by making a nasty sandwich.

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The Perfect Puzzle of Life

The funny thing is, God works in mysterious ways. My mother held the longest grudge on my brother until life took an interesting twist. She would’ve never imagined that THE red-headed step-child would grow up to be the man/the big brother who would end up helping her one and only daughter during the most challenging of times. The last time she complained about my big brother was when I explained to her how he was there for me when nobody else was, and that I loved him like a real brother regardless of what anyone said about him.

My mother became speechless, which is unusual, and then she quietly agreed that she understood. At the moment, I thanked God for such an amazing, perfect moment and life lesson. My mother was able to experience unconditional forgiveness for someone she was angry at for so long because my brother chose to treat me, his step-sister, with unconditional love. He could have easily treated me the way he was treated by my mother, but he didn’t; I know that his soul knew that this was the perfect puzzle of life.

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Rising Above Darkness

The following is part of a message I had recently sent to my big brother Rich on Facebook when he mentioned that he was glad to be thinking positive thoughts that day:

“You’re one of the most positive people I’ve been around, and I’ve been around many people throughout the world. While I was living with you (when you welcomed me into your home and always made me feel comfortable like it was my home), I often noticed all the little things you did to make others happy with your thoughtfulness, kindness, humor, generosity, playfulness, compassion, open-mindedness, gratefulness and understanding. You’re like the sunshine that pierces through the dark clouds. Yes, we all have our “bad” days and our dark phases in life, but that’s what makes us who we are today. WE ARE EXACTLY WHERE WE NEED TO BE FOR OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH. IF WE BELIEVE IN A PERFECT GOD, THEN WE SHOULD BELIEVE THAT ALL THINGS HAPPEN PERFECTLY. The strongest people, with deep character, are those who have experienced much darkness (like you), but chose to heal from it as lessons learned and also chose to rise above darkness by becoming a more positive human being. It doesn’t matter who we were the very last moment of our existence. It matters who we choose to be in the NOW moment. I Love you and God loves you unconditionally.” 😉
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The New Age Children of the Corn

The Meet

My husband and I met through an online dating site while he was deployed. After several disaster first dates, I decided to discontinue the dating game when I happened to come across his friendly looking profile. He made it clear he wasn’t looking for a relationship, and his honesty caught my attention. I told him that I was done with the dating scene as well, and we both agreed to just chat and go with the flow. I thought, it’s almost the holidays, so why not send some deployed soldiers some home-baked cookies. The chats started out short and simple, and then we had a lengthy conversation that just felt comfortable, down-to-earth and fun.

Then, one day I got a nice little surprise at my apartment door. It was a delivery of two dozen red roses and a card. It was followed by the first phone call. The next thing you know, we were yapping like there was no tomorrow, eventually escalating to at least a few hours every day. We dated for six months online, and then finally met in person. Since both of our multiple pictures were current (unlike some other profiles), there was no problem in the physical attraction department, although we did have to get used to each other’s physical presence.

We were quick to move in together at my condo, and about a month later, my husband (still boyfriend at the time) wanted to bring two of his three children (two sons) to Hawaii to come visit us for the summer, and even live with us if they chose to. I was so excited to be able to meet his kids and spend time with them because I had always felt a void in my life since my two children from my first marriage were living with their father and his new wife at the time. My husband’s youngest child, his three-year old daughter Lea, was a mommy’s girl, and didn’t want to leave her mother’s side. I would eventually have the opportunity to spend the summer with her years later.

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Joy At First Sight

When I first saw Arin (oldest son) and Timmy (middle child/son), they were like cute little angels. Arin had golden brown curly hair, tan freckles on his nose and cheeks, and bright green, sparkling eyes. He kind of reminded me of a lovable duckling, with his pouty wide lips and raspy voice (due to a throat surgery). Arin was nine years old, and had such a big passion for dinosaurs that he could practically name all of them like the back of his hand. So I created a mini dinosaur land for their room made with fake grass, boulders, various dinosaur figurines, etc. Arin was very quite at first.

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Fear Disguised As Anger

Timmy was five years old at the time, and my heart melted because he was just so adorable, like a mini-me version of my husband. He had dark brown curly hair with chestnut-brown eyes, tiny dark freckles on his nose, and cute lips. The little man walked like he owned the neighborhood. I just wanted to squeeze his cheeks and give him a big, fat kiss!

Of course, I didn’t want to create an awkward moment or even scare them away. Timmy came up to me and suddenly shouted with a serious expression, “Buy me toy!” I chuckled as I bent down to his level and softly said with a smile, “If you’re good!” He immediately kicked me in one of my shins, ran away a few steps, turned around, and said through his clenched teeth and squinting eyes, “I hate you sooo much!”

I understood where his anger stemmed from…fear of losing his daddy’s full attention, as well as fear of losing any hope for his dad and his mother reuniting. His parents had been divorced for almost two years before we had met, and his mother even lived with her boyfriend, but Timmy still perceived me as the “other” woman who didn’t belong in the equation.

He was hurting inside, and sometimes, people (to include children) who hurt, don’t know better than to hurt others. Some turn their anger inward and become sad or depressed, and others turn their anger outward…like my brother did when he was a kid, and the way Timmy did. Plus, both Arin and Timmy were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), and were on medication. So I knew I would need to be above and beyond understanding and patient.

When we arrived at the condo, we showed them their decorated room and started our lives together. I told Arin and Timmy that they could call me Bobbie, and that I wasn’t here to try to replace their mother…I was just Bobbie. It seemed like we had an understanding at the time, but I realize looking back that it was mostly my wishful thinking.

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One day, we all stopped by the shoppette on post (like a convenience store) on our way home. My husband went inside to get us drinks while we waited in my jeep. I immediately turned around to start a conversation with the boys, and the air became thick real quick. Arin glared at me, spit on his right hand, and then wiped it on the back side of the driver’s seat. I couldn’t believe what he was doing. I asked him nicely to stop, and he shrugged his shoulders.

He then proceeded to do it again, and I told him to stop, and he shrugged his shoulders once again. When he was about to do it the third time, I raised my voice and sternly said, “That’s it. I’m telling your dad when he gets back.” To my surprise, he decided to be gutsy and did it again. So I told my husband when he returned from the store, and Arin got a spanking on the bottom when we arrived home. He ended up apologizing.

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Crappy Dramas

Timmy’s continuous negative behavior was all cute and humorous at the beginning of this wild journey, but then the fun roller coaster of life decided to take a deep plunge into a downward spiral of darkness that was a shade I wasn’t quite familiar with.

One day, I woke up and did my usual routine. As I headed for the bathroom, I noticed Timmy had their door open, and he was putting on a pair of pants.  I said good morning to him and walked towards the bathroom. The closer I got to the door, I got a whiff of an unpleasant odor. I fully opened the door and I thought I had entered the Twilight Zone. Our recently renovated and newly decorated bathroom was smothered in a graffiti of poop.

I was speechless, confused, and numb. As I gathered my thoughts to focus, I noticed that it didn’t look like an accident. I even tried to rationalize the scenario by convincing myself that maybe…just maybe Timmy missed the toilet while trying to go number two in a hurry. Well, that would’ve made sense if there was only a little pile of poop on the bathroom floor. No. The poop was smeared all over the floor and on parts of the newly painted wall. I walked over to their room and asked Timmy what had happened. He had a guilty, yet, innocent looking face, and he softly replied in an irritated manner, “I don’t know.”

In between major episodes of drama, we had minor ones, perhaps to balance things out. Once, as soon as I set Arin’s plate in front of him, he started yelling hysterically. I was so startled that I asked, “What? What’s wrong?” He pointed to his food and cried that his corn was touching his meat which was touching his rice. We calmed him down and we improvised until we went out and bought dividing rectangular trays, like the ones at the school cafeterias. Just eating a meal became a huge challenge because Arin was very picky about what he ate. Granted, he ate a lot of what he loved, which was mainly beef ribs and pork chops.

During the week, Arin and Timmy had to go to the summer care program while we went to work. We received calls sometimes a few times per week because of some misbehavior. They both couldn’t play any games with other children, because if they lost (e.g., a board game) they would throw a major fit, although we tried to teach them at home that games were just for fun, and that it didn’t really matter who won. And if one person happened to win, then it gives the other person a chance to experience winning. However, Arin apparently got up and kicked the cabinets and cried if he didn’t win, and it created a negative environment for the other kids.

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I’m grateful for some of the good times we all had during the summer, going to the beaches, swimming pool, exploring foods, going to Dave & Busters or the theater, fairs, etc.

The Unfamiliar Shade of Darkness

Once the summer was over, Arin decided to go back to his mother’s house for school, and Timmy decided to stay back and attend kindergarten in Hawaii.

I had always looked forward to being able to pack my kids lunch for school, so I was excited to do it for Timmy. His usual reaction was snatching it out of my hands and walking off.

It seemed like we couldn’t even go out without having some kind of drama happen. Once, while we were waiting to go see a Disney movie, Timmy saw a train set in a store window. He demanded that we buy it for him, but we told him some other time. He threw a fit, kicked my husband and took off running into the crowd of people. My husband went chasing after him, and I just stood there…exhausted.

One Christmas morning, while my husband was still sleeping, Timmy and I decided to open one of his presents, a Lego set. He asked me to make all the example models on the diagram sheet, so I made all six of them. He looked at them with disgust and said, “I hate all of them!” and proceeded to rapidly pull them apart.

He then looked at me and said with a straight face, “Do it again!” I gently replied, “No, Timmy. You just said that you hated them all. So why should I build them again?” He smiled a quick, fake smile, and said, “I was just kidding.” I then replied, “No you weren’t.” I never imagined that a five-year could be capable of such behavior; it was an eerie experience.

Round 2

The following summer, Timmy went to his mother’s for the summer. Then, both Arin and Timmy came back to live with us at the end of that summer. However, they ended up staying for only a half a year because my husband suddenly received orders to deploy again as a combat medic. Plus, I had orders to switch my job (that I volunteered for) from a crypto-linguist to an interrogator after attending training.

During that half a year, I experienced everything ranging from trying to teach them not to lie, sneak snacks into their room, and steal money from my purse. There was a constant battle of trying to get Timmy to wear training pants since he peed in his bed daily, but he refused for a while because he didn’t want to feel like a baby.

Although Arin was 10 years old, he still sucked his thumb. So I brought my concern to my husband, and we tried different methods, but none of them worked. I told my husband that I was also worried that Arin would get teased at school. Sure enough, Arin came home one day devastated, and was bawling his eyes out. I asked him what happened, and he said that kids were calling him names like, “Hand licker.” My husband and I sat down and had a talk with him. He finally broke his habit.

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One day, we got a call from the Before/After Day Care informing us that they had decided to kick Timmy out. Unfortunately, it was strike three for him. Him and this other boy had cornered a little girl and ripped her shirt. I couldn’t believe what had happened. Timmy gave his usual answer as to why he did half the things he did…”I don’t know.”

I talked to their mother about their behavior, but she managed to ruin our potential relationship. Once, she called to talk to me, and talked for nearly three hours. Yes, she’s a talker. I was happy to have a civilized conversation with her because my first husband’s wife and I get along just fine. Well, towards the end of our conversation, their mother started telling me about how great her sex life was with my husband/her ex-husband and all the sexy things he used to tell her, like, “Take off all your clothes.”

I then told her, “You know, I wanted to have a good relationship with you, since your my husband’s children’s mother, but you just blew it. I would never say something like that to my first husband’s wife. You obviously don’t have kind intentions. I don’t ever want to talk to you again.” She later sent me an apology e-mail telling me how much her kids liked me and that she appreciated what I do for them…like when I sent her a scrap-book I made with Timmy.

But during that time, even though I forgave people like her who hurt me (by not having negative feelings toward them, and not wishing them harm), I didn’t allow them back into my life. I finally learned recently how to love my so-called enemy in my post called, “Remembering to Love Our Soul Brothers and Sisters Disguised As Our Enemies.”

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The Miraculous Moments

It seemed like, with every dozen negative drama, there came a rainbow of hope. Once, when I hugged Arin and Timmy goodnight, I noticed that their hair smelled musty, even though they had claimed that they had taken a shower. Since I taught my own kids how to shower thoroughly, I thought why not teach my husband’s kids.

Of course, they thought it was a horrible idea at first…having the wicked witch of the East see them naked; but I assured them that it was nothing new, and that they had nothing to be bashful about, since loving our nakedness is natural. I had them show me how they used the loofah. They put like a mini pea-sized drop of bodywash and just scrubbed their chest and legs a couple of times and said that they were done.

I was like, “Oh no you’re not.” I told them that they had to gently scrub all over, especially the important parts, like in-between the bigger cheeks, their wee wees, their sweaty armpits and in-between their stinky toes, and not just let the soapy water run down their bodies. They even washed their hair the same way they washed their bodies, so I showed them how to gently scrub all over their head. One of the few happy moments I had with them (where I didn’t feel like they hated me) was when they excitedly ran up to me, after their showers, and asked me to smell their fresh hair. I was so proud of them.

One day, a miracle happened. After I picked Timmy up from his Before/After Day Care, and we walked over to my jeep, I realized that I had locked my keys in the jeep. I was so frustrated. Even though it was a soft top, it was a pain-in-the-ass to take off and put back on. After a long day at work, I just wanted to go home.

Timmy looked at me in an unusual way (without hatred for the first time), and said in a comforting and cheerful manner, “Don’t worry Bobbie! I got this! I’ll just go through this small window.” So, I unzipped it, and he effortlessly slid right in, got my keys, and smiled at me…it was a genuine, loving smile this time. I felt this warmth in my heart like everything was going to be okay.

One time, the little turds started arguing again, so I yelled, “Hey! No name-calling…knuckleheads.” To my surprise, they started laughing, and Arin said, “But you just said, “No name-calling.” I believe that was the first time that I saw them both laugh at my expense. I was so happy that I was able to make them laugh, and it wasn’t even planned. That was my true self/soul/Higher Self/Love/God working through me.

My favorite moments with Arin and Timmy were when my husband and I took turns reading bed-time stories to them. They looked so sweet and innocent, for a change, all bundled up in their blankets and being immersed in the stories themselves.

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The Summer Trio

Last summer, all three of my husband’s kids came to visit us for the whole summer. It was my first opportunity to meet his daughter, Lea, who was 9 years old. Lea was so pretty. She was a mirror image of my husband, but she had bright, hazel eyes and a chestnut-colored bob hairstyle with blond natural highlights. She was a cute tomboy who liked wearing boys’ clothes, playing sports, and wrestling with her older brothers. One time, Timmy challenged her after talkin’ shit and underestimating her wrestling ability, and he got his ass handed to him in front of a bunch of neighborhood kids. Our next door neighbor’s a jujitsu teacher, and he was kind enough to show all the kids some basic lessons, while giving them safety tips as well. He set up mats in his garage, and the kids loved it. Anyway, we were so amazed by Lea’s toughness. We were also very impressed by how well she could throw three-pointers in basketball.

Timmy was 11 years old, and Arin was 14 years old. I couldn’t believe how tall the boys grew, and they were both good-looking boys, as usual. Arin was taller than me, and almost as tall as my husband, and Timmy was almost as tall as me. I guess that doesn’t say much since I’m only 4’9″. I had high hopes that the summer would be fun because I figured the boys were older now, and that they no longer had those bad habits. Well, when we went to pick the kids up at the airport, Timmy didn’t even say “Hi” back to me.

My husband and I laid down the rules to the house, we bought season tickets to go to Six Flags, we had BBQs and home-cooking, went to the movies and the mall, went to the pool or water park, ate out often, played board games, etc., and life seemed so exciting…and then the clouds came hovering over the bright sunshine.

The Return of the Timmy

One day, my husband had a gut feeling that he should check Timmy’s room. He found snack wrappers hidden in his clean clothes. We told the kids that they could each pick two of snack choices, whenever we went grocery shopping. They additionally got family snacks that my husband and I picked out, like popcorn, baked goods and ice cream. There was no need to sneak food…AGAIN, like they did when they were younger.

My husband told me that as soon as Timmy said to him with a smile, on the first day that he arrived to our house, “I know all the rules to the house,” that he had a bad feeling. My husband had a long talk with Timmy, and told him that he was very disappointed in him, that he would say what he had said, and then do the very opposite. We took away his snack and computer privileges.

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We had told Arin and Timmy since they were little, that one of the house rules was, “No food in the rooms.” The rule stemmed from my husband’s prior experience with his first wife. He said that he would come home from a work trip, and would find things like molded or rotted food, spoiled milk, and wrappers in the closet, under the bed, etc.

His wife would be on the computer and phone all day, and let the kids go wild. There would even be melted crayons jammed up in the entrance of the windows or doorway of their brand new house. I agreed with my husband not to have food in the rooms because 1) they shouldn’t be overeating snacks, and 2) leaving food around the rooms would attract unwanted bugs.

Another rule of the house was to wash your hands before and after you ate. Although the boys had a very difficult time remembering this rule, possibly due to their ADHD, Lea became an expert at the house rules. As a matter of fact, she went above and beyond the house rules, and was even kind enough to offer additional help, like rinsing the dishes after dinner. She was so lovable, that I would just tell her to relax and watch TV with the family. She grew on me fast. Thanks to Lea, we offered all the kids additional treats, like more coins for video games at the movie theater or mall (their favorite) for positive behavior. It only worked for Lea.

The Blame Game

One day, I went to the bathroom to wash my hands, only to find a beige towel that had big blotches of red sauce all over it. I had a strong feeling I knew who had done it. I said to Timmy, “So, I see you forgot to use your napkin after dinner?” He looked at me with a frustrated expression and yelled, “What! I didn’t do anything!” I replied, “Yes, you did. I know it was you.”

Timmy unwilling admitted that he had done it, but then immediately blamed it on his ADHD. I told him, “No, I will not allow you guys to blame everything you do wrong on ADHD. I’ve been around others who have been diagnosed with ADHD, and they have symptoms such as inattention, forgetfulness and hyperactivity, but they don’t go around doing mean or disrespectful things to people.

So you need to stop using ADHD as an excuse every time you feel like lying, cheating, stealing, disrespecting, or just not being responsible. You knew exactly what you were doing when you wiped your dirty mouth on that towel instead of the napkin.” He was speechless.

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A Little Negotiation

Once, I was getting ready to take a shower, when Arin came knocking on my bedroom door. He said in a soft voice, “Bobbie, I accidentally broke your porcelain frog.” My intuition told me that it was no accident. I told him that I’d be right out. As I came out, I called Arin upstairs. I looked at him and said, “What were you and Timmy doing wrestling, when we specifically told you not to wrestle anymore, ever since Lea got hurt twice?”

Arin’s eyes widened with surprise, and then he said hesitantly, “I don’t know. I just stepped backwards, and accidentally broke the frog.” I knew that it wasn’t possible for it to break that way. I told him, “Remember when I told you guys not to lie, because 1) it’s not what honest people do and 2) I will catch you? I’m going to bring Timmy upstairs and question him separately. Your stories better be similar; otherwise, you’re both grounded.”

When I talked to Timmy, I told him that Arin had told me the whole truth, and that now it was his turn. I also told him that he wouldn’t lose as many privileges if he just came out clean. Timmy told me that Arin intentionally broke my porcelain frog by grabbing his (Timmy’s) foot and slamming it into the frog. I thanked Timmy for his honesty, and only took away some of his privileges. I called out to Arin as I came downstairs, and he jumped up from the couch and answered, “Yes, ma’am!”

He knew he had just gotten busted, because he never called me that before. I told him softly, “Don’t ever break anything of mine again, and don’t even bother lying to me again, do I make myself clear? I can flip your world upside down. You think losing your electronics and snack privileges suck? I can get very creative Arin. Don’t test me.” He gently replied, “Yes ma’am.” And I added, “And you don’t have to call me ma’am.”

Poopy Boxers

It seemed like Hawaii all over again. But this time, things would be much different…I was determined to be much different. One day, as I was getting ready to do laundry, I noticed, for the second time that one of the boy’s boxer shorts had a big poop stain on it.

I let it slide the first time, but this time things had to change. I asked whose it was, and Timmy said it was his. I reminded him to make sure he wiped his butt clean before leaving the toilet. He had a smirk on his face, and he nonchalantly said, “I guess you’re just gonna have to wash it.”

I turned to Arin and Lea and asked, “Would you guys like me to wash his mega, poop-stained boxer with your load of clothes? They both instantly shook their heads side to side and answered, “NO!” So I turned to Timmy and said, “Well, it looks like you’re gonna have to hand wash this, because I’m not washing it with any load.” Timmy had a look of disgust and said, “Nooo!” I was like, “Yyyes. Now take this and go in the bathroom and wash away.” He looked so miserable, but I never saw another one of his poopy drawers again.

Justice Served

One day, Timmy “jokingly” suggested to my husband and I that we should check Lea’s room for candy, since she had a bad habit of sneaking food into her room like he did. Apparently, according to both her older brothers, she misbehaved often back at home, which I found hard to believe. I asked her if they were telling the truth, and she admitted that she behaved badly. I then asked her why she wasn’t that way here, and she just shrugged her shoulders.

Well, my husband decided to check her room, and sure enough, he found Starburst wrappers in her closet; and Lea loves Starburst. We had plans to go out to a restaurant, and then to the movie theater, but that plan went out the door. Lea got teary-eyed and swore up and down that she didn’t do it. I actually believed her. However, my husband was adamant about her guilt, so he made them all go out and pick weeds on the sides of the house, until she confessed.

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Well, Lea, I learned, was pretty stubborn…just like my husband, and even myself. She refused to admit to something she strongly believed she didn’t do. So they all got grounded…but for Arin and Timmy it was…again. When my husband and I were alone in our bedroom, I said to him, “I believe Timmy framed Lea.” He looked at me like I was crazy and replied, “Really? Timmy framed Lea?”

I was like, “Yeah. I’m confident that she didn’t do it. And it occurred to me…why would Timmy suggest that we check Lea’s room anyway? Do you not see what he’s trying to do?” My husband then said, “I know it was Lea.” And I told him, “I get it that Timmy is your favorite, whether or not you want to admit it. However, you need to stop having favoritism towards your kids, and believe in them equally.”

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All three of the kids refused to admit who had eaten and placed the candy wrappers in Lea’s closet. This went on for two more days. However, I was determined to bring justice to Lea. She didn’t deserve to be grounded, especially when she’s been more than good.

So, one of those days, I asked them what type of punishment they hated the most. They all agreed that it was the “Dying Cockroach.” I learned that my husband, as well as their mom and step-dad, applied this type of punishment before. So, I told them that was what they were going to do, until somebody decided to fess up.

By the way, the “Dying Cockroach” is where you lie on your back with your legs and arms raised upward. As soon as they got into position, I noticed how miserable Arin and Lea looked. But then, I noticed Timmy’s very quick smirk. I thought to myself, “BINGO!” I told them to get back up, and had them sit on the coach.

As we sat there, I started gently talking to them about the importance of being honest and loving your brothers and sisters. I also reminded them that it was okay to make mistakes, as long as we learned from them, and chose to become better than we were the moment before. They all looked sad, but Timmy looked extra uncomfortable.

So I started focusing on him. I first told Lea that I definitely knew that it wasn’t her. Arin then said with desperation, “I swear I didn’t do it either.” I told him to relax. I then looked at Timmy and said that I was sure that it was him, and that I understand why he did what he did. I added, “You were just frustrated, right?”

I was just going with the flow, basically trusting my intuition, but to my amazement, Timmy broke down crying, and confessed that he had framed Lea because she had gotten him in trouble once, back at home. I told him that it was a mistake, and asked him if he had learned from it. He nodded yes. I then asked him if he had anything to say to Lea and Arin…especially Lea.

He turned to them and genuinely apologized that he was sorry. It was so sincere and touching. It was a beautiful moment. I shared the experience with my husband when he got home, and I could tell that he felt bad for not giving Lea a benefit of a doubt. I was ecstatic that the truth was revealed again, and that so-called justice had been served for Lea who was innocent the entire time.

One day, I got so fed up with Arin and Timmy, that I just lost it. I shouted, “I’m so exhausted from all your bullshit! I put up with your crap when you guys were little, but now you’re much older, and you know better! The next time you play this game of yours, where you think you’re being so clever, you’re hopping on a plane home, and you will never be welcome in my home again, do you understand?”

Truly Being Smart

I had caught Arin one too many times putting down Timmy and Lea, calling them “Stupid” or “Idiots” or saying things like, “I’m so much smarter than you guys.” So I pulled him aside and had a little talk with him. I asked, “Arin, aren’t you the oldest?” He replied, “Yeah.” I continued, “So I guess it would make sense that you are smarter than your younger brother and sister, true?” He started to get uncomfortable, “Yes.”

I then added, “Let me share a little secret with you. You see Arin, someone who is truly smart, doesn’t have to 1) brag about how smart they are to others and 2) doesn’t have a need to put down others who he feels are less smarter…do you understand?”

He got teary-eyed and replied, “Yeah.” I then said, “You, as the oldest sibling, should set an example for your younger siblings to follow.” He frustratedly replied, “It’s not like they look up to me to set an example!”

I replied, “Oh yes they do…whether you realize it or not, they look up to their big brother. Arin, you’re so smart. Teach your younger brother and sister what you’ve learned, rather than putting them down. That’s what real smart people do; they share their knowledge and wisdom, and help make others smarter too…to help this world become a better place. Do you understand?” He gently replied, “Yes.”

Lessons Learned

Towards the end of summer, while the kids and I were sitting around talking about life lessons again, I shared with them, “Look guys, I get it that you still see me as the “other woman,” “the evil step-mother,” or the “wicked witch of the East,” okay? Like I told you before, I’m not here to replace your mother, or even take away your father’s love. I’m just Bobbie.

Now, I understood why you hated me so much when you were kids, and I understood and tolerated a lot of your mean behavior, but not any more. You’re much older now…you know better. I’m not the enemy here. Your mother’s been living with and then married to your step-father since when you guys were little. Your father and I have been married for over five years. I’m not going anywhere, so ya might as well get used to me as well.

You may think I’m a nag all the time, but when your father and I try to teach you not to lie, it’s because we want you to become honest people, and we don’t want you to pick up a habit of becoming a compulsive liar that no one likes or respects (especially yourself). When we teach you not to steal (even something small as a piece of candy), it’s so that you learn not to steal something that’s not yours, because you wouldn’t appreciate it if someone stole something of yours, right?

Plus, if you become confident in stealing, you can end up in jail or in prison one of these days. When we tell you not to cheat, it’s so that you can learn to love and respect yourself, and realize that you don’t need to do something dishonest like that…you’re better than that; hence, others will respect and admire you as well.

Now, we can all get along, or we can continue to play these mind games. But like I told you before, playing this ugly game will not give you a chance to win. Not only have I been trained to detect deception as an interrogator in the Army, but I’ve also been blessed, like everyone else, with the gift of intuition, which is a knowing. No one likes to be continuously treated like crap. No one deserves that.” They sat there quietly and nodded their heads as if they agreed.

I asked Timmy what was one of the things that he wanted to improve about himself. He looked down and softly replied, “I don’t want to lie anymore.” I asked, “Why not?” He replied, “Because I want people to trust me, and to think that I’m a good person.” So I replied, “Okay then, then that’s what will happen. Every moment, you can choose to be a new person.” What I loved most about Timmy, was that when he chose to be good, he went above and beyond. He was the most well-mannered of the three musketeers…always saying “Thank you” and taking the initiative to do things, like helping to clean up my dog’s poop once, when he decided to take a wet dump on the dining room floor, which he normally doesn’t do.

I then asked Arin what qualities he liked in others. He said, “People who are smart, funny, and nice.” I further asked, “And what other great qualities would you like to have for yourself?” He became frustrated and answered, “I don’t know.” I said, “There’s no right or wrong answer Arin. You become whatever great qualities that you love. So if you like kindness, just be a kind person by saying and doing kind things. Like that one day, when I came out of my room, after getting ready to go out for dinner, you said to me so sincerely, ‘Bobbie, you look really nice today.’ Or when it was my birthday, and you went out of your way to look up how to say ‘Happy Birthday’ in Korean,…that was very nice.” He replied, “Oh.”

I asked Lea what she didn’t like about people, and to my surprise, she said that she didn’t like ugly people. I explained to her about different perspectives and about the beauty within…that what one perceives as pretty, may not be pretty to another, but that it didn’t make it ugly nonetheless. I then added that she was blessed to be pretty, but she would be even prettier if she chose to see the inner and outer beauty in others. She seemed to understand. I’m confident that Lea will do just fine. She’s so lovable, often trying to tickle me and her brothers, and dancing around like the free-spirit that she is. She’s also very thoughtful and giving, even with her nightly hugs and kisses good night.

I am grateful for this life experience with my husband’s kids. They have enhanced my experiences of patience, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, wisdom, trusting my intuition, assertiveness, confidence, giving, self-respect, self-love, sharing, teaching, learning, and last but not least…loving unconditionally.

I hope that they were able to have some meaningful experiences with me as well. I don’t expect them to ever love me, but I just wish that they would no longer hate me so much. I have a feeling the kids and I will continue to have these “darkness and light” roller coaster life experiences until one day, when we finally love one another unconditionally. Many times, I’ve felt like giving up…it was just too much. I already felt like I had been hated by my mother growing up, and these type of experiences made me feel like I was reliving it again.

But then, I’m reminded by that still, inner voice within me (my true self, my soul, my Higher Self, God, Goddess, All That Is, Source) that everything’s going to fall into place perfectly, like that perfect puzzle of my mother and stepbrother’s experiences. I believe that my so-called Children of the Corn (Arin, Timmy and Lea) will grow up and transform into great people, like how my step-brother (an ex-Children of the Corn) became.

Note: Image on right by

Note: I used to call my soldiers, “My Children of the Corn” while I was in the Army, because I told them that they were often a major pain-in-my-ass; of course, they were lovable at times…but that’s another story. Anyway, that famous name contributed to my decision for the title of this post.


~ by Bobbie on August 30, 2012.

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