Their mom, your new bride, will introduce you and tell them about some of the other families you’ve be a part of in the past. Then she’ll invite you up from the couch to address everybody. Open with a joke.
“Who’s your daddy?” say with a smile. It’ll get a polite titter from the older kids who were alive when that was a thing, but the younger kids will look at each other, unsure of whether they’re supposed to answer. One of the older kids will raise his hand with a question. Call on him.
“Yes, Louis Howard, with the Howards 13 years. Can you tell us a little bit about how you plan to steer our family so that we’re profitable enough to move out of this two-bedroom apartment before the summer?”
Explain that if things go well you should be promoted by March and the salary bump would more than cover the relocation costs.
“Sally Howard, eleven years in family,” Louis’ sister will say. “I have to tell you this isn’t very different from what we’ve heard before. Lots of promises depending on a whole lot of variables completely out of your control. In my experience, when a stepdad says he’ll be getting a promotion by March it means he’ll be getting fired and beating my mom by February. Care to respond?”
Break out the powerpoint with your company’s corporate structure showing the number of vacant positions above you, as well as the email from your boss telling you to “hang tight and we’ll take of you.”
The shorter boy, Brad, will pipe up next.
“When you get drunk do you get yell-y?”
Ask him to define “yell-y." Brad will do his impression of one of your new wife’s former husbands. He’ll raise his voice and growl, "Who put these emmereffin toys in the living room. Trip on the G-D toys every time I gotta take a S. You’re all nothin but trash!”
Reassure Brad that when you get drunk, most of your anger turns inward, at yourself and your own failings.
“If I ever yell, I usually do it at pictures of my own dad. I wouldn’t really be interested in you kids and what you’re up to, so you won’t have to worry about that.”
They’ll seem to have been appeased by your answer. Finally, Sabrina, the youngest, will raise her hand with the hard-hitting questions.
“Can we have a puppy?”
Tell her, “Funny you should ask, sweetie.” Then reach into the box you have hidden behind the couch and reveal the golden lab that’s going to buy you at least a four month stretch before they start stealing cash off your dresser.
Happy Everyone’s Got Their Hopes Pinned On The New Stepdad Day!