I don't have kids. I hope that this is not always the case, but for now my parenting skills seem to be limited to a neurotic, slightly schizo cat that I leave alone for 3 or 4 days at a time, who terrorizes my houseguests, and who seems to have forgotten how to use the litter box after nearly 9 years. Rather than pat myself on the back, we'll just file that in Twitter under #petmomfail.
Still. I love kids. And they seem to - at least on occasion - love me. I am particularly good with little girls - especially if I am sporting some sparkly eyeliner and have extra on hand to dot on their eyes as well.
Anyways, I had the massive pleasure of spending 2 and half days with my not-quite-4-year-old nephew last week over the Thanksgiving holiday and here are my random, in no particular order takeaways and observations:
* Life with a not-quite-4-year-old is a neverending question of: "WHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHY?" As in..."Monkey - it's time to get dressed." "Why?" Or in reaction to watching me heat up a bowl of stuffing for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving - "Why?" (Um - for the record, because it's my traditional post-Thanksgiving breakfast and because it's so damn tasty.) Any and every action and/or remark was promptly met with: "Why?" It's endearing that he's so inquisitive but OMFG I also wanted to smash my head against the wall on occasion. My SIL assured me that after a while, you just get used to it.
* Candyland is. The. Most. Awesome. Game. Ever. Colors. Numbers. CANDY. I'd like to get lost in Lollipop Woods forever. Or the Chocolate Swamp. PS I was totally grinning like a not-quite-4-year-old myself when I actually managed to win a game.
* Baking with a not-quite-4-year-old is messy. It's also exceptionally rewarding. And while caramel cream pie with crispy rice topping is not exactly the most kid-friendly dessert, my nephew helped make the graham cracker crust and he is a champion whipped cream whipper.
* My nephew was served cranberries at his school. He didn't care for them. He wasn't going to eat my cranberries at Thanksgiving but he wound up trying them. And asking for seconds. Melt my heart why don't you kid?
* There's nothing quite like listening to a not-quite-4-year-old sing "You can't always get what you want" and then announce he's on a hunt for a Rolling Stones CD. It's even better when he follows the Rolling Stones with "Go Go Gadget Go" and then emerges with a Fiddler on the Roof CD starring Zero Mostel.
* I love reading bedtime stories. However - I learned the hard way not to improvise. Not-quite-4-year-olds are very particular when it comes to traditional nursery rhymes. Also, if you screw up unintentionally, they will totally call you on it.
* How to make lasagna according to a not-quite-4-year-old: pasta, pasta, pasta, pasta, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, pasta. What else? Meat sauce, meat sauce, meat sauce. God I LOVE this kid.
* My nephew was in the throes of a bad cold. God bless whoever invented Boogie Wipes (Really - that's what they're called. GENIUS MARKETING). Also? I've never seen so much snot in my life. Also? I plan to wear a Haz-Mat suit next time we get together. #germophobe
* It's always a treat when a not-quite-4-year-old emerges in no pants. Really. If he'd been wearing his rainboots too (which had been the plan), my ovaries might have officially exploded.
* I am amazed at what a not-quite-4-year-old can imagine and what will keep them entertained. Seriously. All week my nephew seemed to be engaged in everything around him. And while he had plenty of *real* toys and games to distract him, it was the make believe that killed me. The Clumsy Waiter (long story - blame Dad) was a particular favorite of mine. Also? We had a whole 10 minute thing that involved the long foam rollers used for stretching only they were trees. Maybe you had to be there.
* The vivid imagination is manifested vocally by a neverending high-pitched squeal. It's charming for the first 30 seconds. Then you may wish you had earplugs.
* Wednesday night at dinner I gave my nephew a kiss. He didn't wipe it off. Apparently it was the only kiss he hadn't wiped off in a while. Once again, I say melt my heart kid.
* My nephew travels with 3 different kinds of toothpaste. I don't know why but I think that's awesome.
* Watching my nephew fall of a chair was scary. Then again, I turned my back for a minute on Friday morning and my brother pointed out that had he not been in the room, my nephew would have fallen off a different chair and landed on his head. Ok - so clearly I am not quite ready to be a parent.
Still...that scrumptious face gets me every time:
Me and Monkey. Ignore the red nose. He'd been spewing massive quantities of snot for the last 6 days.
Me and my SIL as photographed by Monkey. For realz, yo! My not-quite-4-year-old snapped *this* photo. He's a fucking genius.
An inconvenient truth
4 days ago