I know seven pregnant ladies right now. A month ago it was eight, a week and a half back it nearly dropped down to six only to sneak up again to seven when I wasn’t looking, and by the end of summer the smoke should clear, leaving a rather paltry four. I’m thirty now, which has me counting pregnant ladies like a vulture leering across the desert at a barren horizon. Fortunately, my siblings have had the decency to procreate, and I just added a godson to the small band of nephews and nieces that think I’m a Rockstar. We all got together this past week and weekend to celebrate the latest birth and baptism, so I thought I might take a break from my usual inanity to pull out some more inanity: the tiresome Aunt routine. Basically, my siblings have the cutest kids in the world and I want to boast about them.
This is not entirely bias speaking (though, admittedly, “in the world” is a little hyperbolic). They’re all Gerber-quality darling, as most of them were chubby babies and every single one is still smiley with big eyes. Even better, they’re all absolute stinkers.
For example, the oldest, a four-year-old, has put me in jail at least two times a day since I’ve come, though it’s not a bad gig – I lay on the couch while he chops me up with a fake knife. Apparently, I pushed someone off a building and killed them, so I definitely had it coming. Still, when I later had the audacity to offer to read him his stories for quiet time, he quickly corrected me: “People who go to jail don’t GET to put people down for quiet time!” Grandma did it instead.
At two year’s old, my brother’s daughter is just starting to put sentences together. She refers to herself in the third person, and rumor has it that the other day at breakfast she farted and then declared, “Mama toot toot!” Mama was not in the room at the time, but it’s still a good indication that my niece is already learning how to pass the buck.
The next one in the lineup is nearly two herself, and my sister’s only daughter. She’s got one word in her repertoire: no. And by “no,” I mean: “NO!” Add a headshake and couple that with either a mad-dog expression or a knowing grin, and that’s my second niece in one perfect visual.
(Bonus story: from all appearances, she and her cousin are getting along like gangbusters. This morning I tried to go the bathroom, only to find the door closed. I knocked, it popped open, and two girls stood grinning at me from inside, both holding measuring cups. The oldest – her hand still on the doorknob – explained in simple terms as the door slowly closed once more: “Bye bye.”
I took the long walk down to the basement bathroom.)
And finally, the nine-day-old had the good grace to quiet for me in church. He’s a pretty calm baby and generally easy to soothe, but he protested his baptism with the rage of the old Adam drowning – or perhaps he was just trying to help renounce the devil and all his ways. Either way, I had the good timing to be holding him when he finally angered himself into a coma. I’m his godmother, so as far as I’m concerned the two of us already have an understanding worked out that he’s supposed to make me look good.
Someday I’d like to boast about my own batch of stinkers, but for now these will do quite well. Which is fortunate, as I have a dating policy that looks a little something like this:
So really: until the day comes in which I don’t call the guards over, they will do quite nicely indeed.