Upon The Niece

What, you didn’t think my trio of Things were the only kids in my life, did you? No, I have a niece. I have two, in fact, and one on the way, but I sadly don’t see the other one much because her parents live across the frackin’ country from me.

Now, The Niece I speak of, I have been actively involved in her life from Day 1. Day 0 I was a no-show because her mother was in a really bitey, scratchy mood after pushing The Niece out. The Niece loves me just as much as I love her, and every time we see each other she has a happy flail-fit, complete with gleeful screaming, and we must hug and snuggle. Best of all, I was absolved from diaper duty since Day 1, a promise her parents have faithfully kept (although I’ve done my share of potty duty these days). She is two.

This child started her Terrible Twos with a bang. As a matter of fact, once her birthday party was concluded, the shit-fits started. And they haven’t stopped since! I can reason with her to a degree, as one of the things you’ll most often hear me ask at home is “Why is this tantrum-worthy? What is all this FUSS about?” and the Things usually get their acts together because they are intelligent little creatures and no one can make you feel sillier about throwing a tantrum than Miss Adventure, let me tell you. But The Niece doesn’t always listen to reason. Which means WE HAVE MELTDOWNS!

One of my failings as a pseudoparent is sadly that if I can’t resolve it easily by food, drink, cuddle, or diaper change, I have no sweet idea how to handle meltdowns. I usually just FLEE. This works with the Things because when they melt down, it’s often because they want attention, and fleeing means they don’t get that attention so they knock it off. But with The Niece, she’s often legitimately upset about something, even if it’s tiny, and I have no idea how to handle it. All I know is, things are probably going to get worse when The Baby Niece appears soon.

Also, The Niece has decided to wear out my name. Quite literally. Now that she knows saying my name gets my attention and I will usually respond with “Yes, dear?” she is determined to have my attention at all costs. She will babbletalk, and then say my name, as if demanding me to respond to what she just said. Her mother thinks she’s trying to hold a conversation. I think she’s just in love with the syllables that make up my name. Most of them, anyway. My real name has three syllables but in Niece-speak it gets slurred into two. So imagine this, at all times: “Vennn-cha?” (Since she can neither fully pronounce my real name nor Adventure.) And of course, whenever such horrid injustices such as NAPS! or BEDTIME! or ANYTHING SHE DOESN’T WANT HAPPENING RIGHT THEN! she will scream my name. Yes, dear, as if that will help. I may love you and I may let you hide in my arms when you’re upset a lot, but your mommy and daddy still get to make all the decisions around here, missy.

Her mother often jokes that she’s obsolete whenever I’m around, and that she and her husband could just take off and The Niece would be perfectly happy. I must say, it’s quite the sweet feeling, knowing that someone’s sun rises and sets on you while you’re with them.

But I’m still happy she has to nap every day. Because “Vennn-cha?” eighty thousand times a day makes me want to go shred pillows. Is that bad of me?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Reading (and chickens)
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 00:10:13

    My son is completely and totally in love with his aunt, and I imagine the situation is much the same as you have with your niece. They love each other to pieces, but naps are around for a reason.


    • Miss Adventure
      Dec 14, 2011 @ 00:36:00

      Okay, I am going to flail. Just a bit. Because ZOMG one of the cool people I admire and read is my first ever commenter. *flaily fangirl*

      Naps are wasted on the young. I feel that children sap us adults for our energy, and the only way we ever get any back is by putting them down for naps so they stop draining us. Little energy vampires.


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