I spent this weekend down in New South Wales indulging my auntness.
I used to squirm at the word aunt. It's so... inept. It makes me think of elderly spinster women living together in dim houses, staring intently at their crochet work through tiny round spectacles perched on their sharp little beaklike noses.
And niece and nephew? Just as awkward. Those two words don't begin to describe the amazingness of knowing that this tiny laughing girl and this little sleeping koala of a man in a tiny blue Bonds suit are a part of my family, for now and forevermore; that, even though they're not mine by the laws of parentage, they are mine in a small way by the wondrous claims of aunthood, a claim I am determined to exploit to the uttermost.
I hope this kind of coolness is one that I'll never get used to. I haven't so far; things just get more fun as the kiddies get older.
The little wombat that is my niece is seventeen months old now -- not a baby any more, and suddenly busting out with hilarious and random interactions that prove she understands pretty much everything that's going on around her. She's enamoured with her new little brother. When baby gets up from one of his (frequent) naps, big sister's little fish-mouth starts working in a bizarre kissy motion and she's not content until she's planted a little smooch on the fuzzy round head.
She also loves books, which makes me all kinds of happy. "Wanna read a story?" I say. "Yeeeeah!" she says in this little American accent that she's picked up from nowhere. So we read. Mostly Miffy but sometimes A to Z Down on the Farm and occasionally a lift-the-flap book whose single repeated word is 'Peekaboo' ('Rhubarb,' anyone?). It's fun, we finish, and then she says "Mmmmore?" We read some more, and I am perfectly content. I am working on getting a reputation as The Book Aunty as well as The Crazy Aunty.
The little lad is turning into a pork pie. In the five weeks since his grand entrance into oxygen, he's gained a solid kilo. It's all chub, and it's adorable. I think it makes him snugglier, for he's very good at snuggling. He's also good at looking at the world through big deep blue eyes and contemplating life as a (very likely) redhead. I look forward to discovering his thoughts on the subject in the years to come.
Babies are super. Now to return to the real world and wrap my head around editing.
Sarah -- yes, definitely get some Piper into you! At first his books feels like hard work (well, they did for me) but then his words grow on you. So much meat!
Staish -- Spurgeon is da man.