An interesting thing happened tonight that really pushed me deep into thought about the relationship between myself and my mate.
(As a note to avoid confusion, as this sort of thing is just reality in my family, the people I mention in the story as 'my mate' and 'Teo' are separate personalities sharing the same body. My mate is what tends to be known as a 'multiple')
Let me start off by explaining that we are both furs who are going to be celebrating our 10th anniversary together next Friday. When we first met we were just kind of your average young furries with many similar interests. As the relationship intensified and grew stronger we began to acknowledge the reality that we would be life mates.
At some point early in our relationship I discovered babyfur. I was still fresh into the realm of adulthood and felt quite experimental so I kinda dove in on it. I made some wonderful friends and discovered a wonderful part of me I thought I had lost long ago. Unfortunately it became a point of contention with my mate, almost ending our relationship. We persevered, however, and came to an understanding... But for a long time after I shied away from AB stuff.
Now fast forward to a year or so ago when I rediscovered my child side and started to crave regression again. I rekindled some wonderful friendships (one of which blossomed into a very strong AB family bond) and started doing babyfur art again with more regularity. Another thing happened, however. I discovered that my mate had a littlefur persona.
At once I was excited but also nervous. Most of my interaction with other, let's just say babyfurs in general to save the word tangle, had been online or in person with people that were, for the most part, strangers or acquaintances. It was a reality that I more or less just acknowledged and supported without getting so deeply involved. After all, Teo already had a family online.
But then things went really south for the poor little guy. His daddy turned out to be a terrible monster and broke his heart. It threw my mate and his child persona into an incredibly deep depression. It was a trial to be certain.
In the past year or so, however, I have thought to make a stronger effort to be a caretaker and playmate for Teo. They are aware of my babyfur leanings and that I act both in a cub and caretaker capacity for many friends and my furry family. Teo is still very gun-shy about accepting another as a parent or sibling, the scars from his last caretaker relationship still very sore. Still, however, I thought about it.
I found it difficult to interact earnestly with Teo, as much as I wanted to, because he was also my life-long mate. It is a thing my brain, for some reason, still has trouble being comfortable with. As it stands today I still aspire to take time for regressive playtime with Teo not to mention a desire to be his live-in daddyfur... I just get too embarrassed and shy.
But tonight what happened really showed me the reality of Teo being here and reinforced my desire to shed my inhibitions and care for this cub. My mate was making cookies for himself and Teo (although it might be possible that Teo was doing it himself or with, I wasn't paying super close attention at the time) and I heard a terribly loud crash behind me. They had dropped the mixing bowl they were using and it shattered on the kitchen floor! Glass and cookie dough went everywhere and all I saw was him standing there, paralyzed.
I asked if he was okay and got no response so I dropped what I was doing and (carefully) hurried over. He was just standing there, whimpering, frozen. Eventually Teo's little voice came out, meek and quivering, and he was holding his head crying that he broke the big bowl. I tried to make sure he wasn't actually physically hurt and then tried to reassure him that it was just an accident and that we can get another bowl, but he was so scared and upset... He just kept whimpering and crying like he had done something horribly wrong.
It took me some time to calm him down and get him to the side so I could clean up all the glass. In the end he calmed down and they were still able to enjoy the cookies, but seeing Teo just standing there out in the open crying... Just a little lion who broke the big furs' mixing bowl... I was very, very aware that I want Teo to know that I will be his caretaker in this home.
So I ask other people on this forum who are, in fact, caretakers to ABs in a real-life capacity, how do you overcome the intimidation? I know it's entirely on me to be bold and look a bit beyond the face of my adult husband to see the lilfur side of him. I just feel so inadequate that I can be a daddy/mommyfur online at the drop of a hat but when it comes time to be a real caretaker to a real AB in my own home, I choke.
Please if there are any experienced caretakers (or even ABs with live-in caretakers in a relationship) I would love to hear from you. I know Teo seeks my affection and he does like when I spend time with him.. I just have a real hard time letting go of the person that is his partner so I can be the person that is his three-year-old playmate or is his caring daddy.
(Note: Later in the evening I talked to our babyfur brother who kindly ordered us a new set of mixing bowls, and apparently a toy for Teo, so the bowl has been graciously replaced)