Quick summary... I've been with my partner for 3 years or so. He's got 3 kids from a previous marriage aged 5, 7 and 10. I'm 29 and he's 41. I have no kids and am trying hard to fit in with his. We don't live together yet but we'll probably move in together in the next few months. My partner has them every second weekend and goes over to spend an evening with them once a week, goes to their sports events etc etc. He's a fantastic father and absolutely adores his kids. I'm slowly integrating into the routine with the kids.
We're taking things easy. I don't want to put any pressure on the situation. I go over for dinner or a movie on Saturday evenings when he has them and it's all gone pretty smoothly so far until this weekend.
It's Father's Day today in Ireland so last night, I baked some biscuits and brought over some coloured icing / chocolate chips etc so the kids could decorate them for their dad as a present. They loved it - there was sugary mess everywhere!!
After that, we decided to take a walk and the 10 year old ran into some nettles. When I was rubbing some doc leaf on the (small) wound, he commented that his mother told him how to make an ointment to heal it. I said that although I didn't know how to make an ointment, we could look it up online and see or put some lemon juice on it back at the house. He said "My mom would know how to do it". His attitude generally changed. He seemed suddenly upset and irritated by me. The conversation went on to other things he's interested in. I was talking about different things that I know fascinate him but when I asked if he'd like me to get him more information on it, he got quite short with me. 'No' was the answer. This kid is usually absolutely lovely. He's well mannered and polite and chatty and friendly so it was a surprise to say the least when the mood changed.
When we were alone, the 10 yr old turned his back to me and said nothing at all. It's out of character for him but he's obviously upset that I'm on the scene and the connotations of that.
I know this isn't a big deal and kids will (and are entitled to) act out sometimes. I also know that when kids run into nettles, they want their mom to make it better. What's bothering me more is that I didn't know what to do or say. I don't think I handled it very well. I told my partner that he was upset and what was said and I said I was going to head home and let them talk. Perhaps I should have reassured the boy immediately that I'm not trying to replace his mother and ask him how he's feeling about the new set up. But then I'm not sure if that's my place or if I should leave it to his dad. Himself and his dad have a very strong, open relationship and he has talked to him about it. I know he's arranged to keep his son for an extra night tonight so they can talk some more in private without the younger siblings to distract.
Again - this probably isn't a very big deal but I'm new to the whole kids thing and finding it a bit upsetting. None of my friends have kids and I can't really talk to my parents about it. I will talk to my partner about it but wouldn't mind getting some other opinions from women.