Raising a Red-Headed Stepchild

There are few things in life that have challenged me more than the Marine Corps. The Marines made me strong willed, stubborn, and mentally tough. They taught me to do many things in life that I never knew I was capable of, but there are a few things in life that you just have to take as they come. I never thought that I would ever be challenged by another human being more than I was challenged by my Drill Instructors.

Then came Charlize.


Charlize is literally my red-headed stepchild. When I met my future wife, she told me before we ever went on our first date that her kids were a handful and that I probably would run away before we ever got serious. Well, here I am telling you about my little family.

The first time I ever heard the saying that redheads were evil was in the Marines. Sergeant Curless that was the meanest son of a b*tch I ever met in my life when I checked into my unit. He had hair redder than a fire truck and a temper like a pissed off bull. I just thought at the time people were making up stories about red hair, but my little Charley has proved to me time and time again that the stories are far from fiction. As I sit here at my kitchen table and type this little window into my life for you all, I’m fighting with Charley about why it isn’t cool to say “what the f*ck”.

That just shouldn’t come out of a toddler’s mouth, you know?

On a regular basis, she also wakes up in the middle of the night and stands in the doorway of her room at the end of the hall and looks at me like one of the little girls from the shining until I wake up. I fight with my fiancé about whether she may be possessed by demons on a regular basis and most of the time the fight ends with her saying “Oh, shut up, she’s just a 2-year-old”, which I take as her excepting it as a reality and refusing to lose the fight.

WHAT THE F- I mean, can you go back to bed, sweety?

Maybe they’re all the same, or maybe I actually do have a possessed child, but regardless, I feel like I’ve joined another brotherhood since becoming a father figure in these little girls’ lives, and that brotherhood is the brotherhood of freedom loving Americans that are now starting their own little families. It seems that I was mistaken when it comes to my little Charley being possessed. My brothers in arms and newly gained brothers in fatherhood have helped me understand that Charley isn’t possessed, she’s just a 2-year-old (but I am convinced that her red hair does make it worse).

So, to all of you out there struggling with a possessed 2-year-old that sometimes you fear may kill you in your sleep… your are not alone. We’re all in this together and I’ve got you’re six!

Know what we're sayin fam?

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