The Big Belly Crew
The Big Belly Crew
Never a Dull Moment
I wish I could say I’m spending my summer teaching my niece how to swim and ride her bike without training wheels and how to make homemade popsicles with yogurt and real fruit. That’s the kinda Auntie I usually am but lately, I’m lazy. Either that or maybe my niece just wears me out.
Right now I’m sitting inside my mom’s swamp cooler-ed mobile home typing this and at the same time I’m watching my niece outside through the window. She’s showing me how far she can spit cherry pits. She’s pretty good. We had a contest yesterday and she totally beat me.
Every other minute she shouts, “Auntie I HAVE to tell you something!!!!” or “AUNTIE!!! Can you help me with something?!!!” When I give her my full attention she can’t remember what it was she wanted to tell me or what she needed my help with so she makes up something random like, “I HAVE to tell you that it’s really important that…” and then she looks around her for something to tell me about, “It’s really important that you don’t step on the end of the purple rake, cause the handle might spring up and hit you in the head.” “Okay Rapunzel, whatever. Can I go back inside and drink my iced tea now?” “No! No! Auntie! Let’s do something special together!”
And on and on it goes… I know later when I’m all alone at home and she’s far away, I’m going to regret that I didn’t make up something fun to do with her. But it’s just that we spent all yesterday doing special stuff and I just want a minute to myself before I go insane. Plus I read somewhere that it’s good for kids to get bored so they can build their imagination skills. I know I spent plenty of long summer days being bored out of my skull when I was a kid. It’s got to be good for you.
On the flip side when I do get a minute to myself and she’s quiet, I worry because no noise usually means trouble. I rouse myself and go find her. Thankfully she’s usually not into something too terribly bad besides eating my flavored chap stick or picking the peaches off the tree before they are ripe. When I find her, we start our chattering bartering banter all over again. Was I like this when I was seven?
Sometimes she really cracks me up though. Earlier (when I was ignoring her), she came inside with a perfectly straight face and the plastic bag that the cherries were in on her head. The plastic is pulled down over her nostrils making her nose squash down. She says to me, matter of factly, “You don’t have to worry about me suffocating Auntie, because there’s holes in the cherry bag and I can breath just fine.”
Oh Rapunzel Rapunzel Rapunzel… it’s moment’s like these that camera’s are made for. Because someday I’m going to enjoy this.
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She has made some progress with swimming. My mom’s neighbor’s kid taught her how to kick off from the side and swim for one second under water. This is huge since before she would scream bloody murder if she let go of the side. It’s all in her head. She can swim, she just doesn’t know she can yet. By the end of the summer she’ll have gills and webbed feet.
Here’s a quick little quicktime movie we made together to mark her great swimming progress.