He knows there are boundaries in our relationship, but at the heart of it we respect and love each other - it's that simple.Three years on, my stepson - now one handsome teenage boy - has formed his own opinions about his mum and her behaviour over the past few years. As a result, Antonio recently delivered the ultimate blow to his mum: he would prefer to live with his dad and I full-time.
So, 'real mums', whine about us as much as you like, but we're not going anywhere.
And if you continue to treat us as something unpleasant on the bottom of your shoe, be warned; there may be consequences that are even harder to deal with than another woman living with your ex. 'The aircraft is old, and it just doesn't feel right. If you tell him the boys can't go, he'll have to listen to you.' I was taken aback.
I've seen Antonio change from a ten-year-old child who insisted on being tucked up in bed with hot chocolate every night, into the confident 13-year-old he is today; with more hormones surging through his body than I ever thought possible.
I know for a fact that all he thinks about are girls, computer games and what's for dinner - in that order.
What were her thoughts on bedtime, discipline, homework? Despite the fact I've been married to her ex for two years, we haven't exchanged a single word.
I know - and always knew - that he's not my child, and so wanted to show my respect for his mother's role. So far from being selfish monsters, in my experience it is the 'real mum' who is often the greatest source of conflict in a child's life.He has his own bedroom, TV, computer, and even his own tabby cat, Caramel.It's an arrangement that I am very happy with, though God knows it hasn't been easy.In last week's Femail magazine, mum of one Sonia Poulton attacked women who try to mother their new partner's children.Here, SAMANTHA BRICK explains why being a stepmother is the most thankless job in the world, while mother TESS STIMSON tells how she came to appreciate her husband's new wife.Next is a trip to the hairdressers for the six-weekly shampoo and trim. Well, no, except that Antonio, the boy I was collecting from school, singing along with Pink's CD and taking to the hairdressers, is my stepson. I've been stepmum to my husband's son for the past three years.