SO, *C* and her son *D* and I were at a restaurant tonight, and *D* says to me, "Gregry (he's taken to calling me this instead of "Greg"), are you coming home wif us tonight?"
It was so touching, because he really does love me, and he gets upset on nights when I don't visit (which is rare). And when I do spend the night and sleep in the guest room, he rushes in there the next morning to wake me up.
Also tonight, I was distracting him at a bookstore while *C* went off to buy him a Christmas present and go hide it in her car. So I sat down on the floor next to him, and he right away just plopped down in my lap and asked me to read him the book he had picked out. It was so cute. And he's so smart that when I finished, and he wanted to read it again, I turned back to the front page and he started reading it to me! Okay, he wasn't really reading it... he had just memorized the story I had just told him, and he was telling the story back to me (in his own words) as we turned the pages. But still, that's pretty smart, huh?! Hmmmm..... I'm starting to sound like a proud father, aren't I? lol.
I've also taken to the fatherhoodish role better than I thought I would. I mean, I change his diaper (um, Greg, he's a big boy; he wears Pull-ups now!) without a second thought. I always remember to ask him if he needs to go to the bathroom before I put a fresh pull-up on him. Well, usually.
I've even learned to discipline him in a way that (I believe) doesn't over-step my role as a faux parent, but still teaches him that he can't get away with bad behavior just because I'm NOT his father. Not that he has many bad behaviors. His main behavior problems are not listening when you tell him to stop doing something, and throwing a fit if he doesn't get his way. He tries my patience sometimes, and it only makes me admire *C* more knowing that she had to deal with him by herself for so long. But she's done an amazing job with him, to keep him so loving and sweet and really just a good kid, without completely losing her mind. lol.
As for *C* herself, we are doing great. Our relationship only gets better, and each new (or for a while, recurring) issue we have seems to become less of an issue everyday. Like I mentioned before, the fact that she's the type to tackle any problems head-on has kept things from silently building into serious threats to our relationship. I'd say in that respect, she has helped me change in a way that I've always needed to, but never been able to. Now if I feel hurt or angered by something she does (or, more likely, doesn't do), I talk to her about it. Even if it means one (or both) of us will get hurt, it works out a hell of a lot better than allowing a slow resentment to build in my heart.
And on that happy note, I guess I will go to bed. Goodnight.