The Earth Will Be Saved By This Generation

, , , , , | | Related | August 18, 2019

When I was about three, my aunt and her then-boyfriend had just started dating. He was a notorious litterer and was always dropping garbage everywhere. My aunt would get onto him about it, but he wouldn’t stop.

One day, they took me to a local aquarium which I went to a lot, to give my parents a break.

This aquarium had what we called the Trash Tank in the lobby — basically a bunch of tires, plastic, and assorted garbage in an empty tank that simulated a river to tell people not to throw trash in the local river.

For some reason, tiny me was obsessed with this tank, and I would always spend as long as I could, playing I Spy, looking for weird things, etc.

When we passed the tank, I ran to it and began pointing out things in it and talking about not “being a litterbug” and always throwing your trash away. My aunt’s boyfriend was looking around awkwardly.

My aunt later told me that my now-uncle suddenly stopped littering after that day. I wonder why…

This Little One Knows How To Get Ahead

, , , , | | Related | August 14, 2019

(When my niece was born, I had a shoulder injury that prevented me from picking her up. Instead, I’d put my forehead to hers and say, “Headbutt!” Fast forward a few months. I make it through PT and am away a couple of months for business. One of my first visits is obviously to see this adorable little one. When she sees me, she immediately reaches up to show she wants to be picked up.)

Me: “Oh, hi, [Niece]! Aren’t you still adorable?! Have you grown bigger since I’ve bee– F****** s***!”

(As soon as she reached level with my face, she reeled back and then slammed her head into my mouth, headbutting me with all the force her tiny body could muster.)

Hugs And DVDs And Poop, Oh My!

, , , , , , | | Related | August 4, 2019

(I am visiting my nephews and telling stories of them when they were babies. They are teens now so they cringe when they hear the stories.)

Me: “[Oldest], you were probably the cutest. For whatever reason, you preferred to sleep on my shoulder to anywhere else, so when you’d get sleepy, you’d crawl away from your mom over to me so I would pick you up. Your mom wouldn’t let me see you for months because of that.”

Mom: *from across the house, while oldest cringes* “I still haven’t forgiven you for that!”

Middle Nephew: “What about me? What did I do?”

Me: “You… always liked to play with the DVD player.”

Middle Nephew: “Like… the remote?”

Me: “No… the DVD player. You’d crawl over and stand up in front of it. I had mine about–” *puts hand a little under two feet from the ground* “–about this high. So, you’d go to it, press the button, and giggle. But then the tray would come out, hit you in the face, and knock you down, so you’d cry. I’d pick you up so you’d stop and you’d go do it again.”

Youngest Nephew: *while middle nephew cringes* “Ha! That sounds just like him! What about me?”

Me: “Oh, you didn’t like me as a baby.”

Youngest Nephew: “Why not?”

Me: “Well… when you were a baby, [Ex] helped me babysit you guys one night. I took those two outside to play while you were getting your diaper changed. I came back in to check after a little bit and stood over you and said, ‘Bah!’ It scared you so much, you somehow sprayed poop and pee all over [Ex] as you cried. We cleaned it all up and she had to go home, change, and come back, but you wanted nothing to do with me until you got older.”

Easter With The Mansons

, , , , , , | | Related | July 20, 2019

(My four-year-old nephew has had some speech delay issues, part of this involving putting pauses in strange places in his sentences. On Easter at my in-laws, he comes up to me, very excited.)

Nephew: “Auntie [My Name], I know what I want to be when I grow up!”

Me: “Cool! What do you want to be?”

Nephew: “I want to cut people open–” *pauses for a good ten seconds* “–so I can help them!”

(Turns out he just didn’t know the word “surgeon” and had come up with a fairly accurate description to replace that word. And while I was ultimately relieved that he wanted to help people and knew about his delay, I have to admit I was internally asking myself if I was going to be interviewed in the future about if I knew my nephew was a serial killer of some sort.)

Training Her Mind With Sudokus

, , , | | Related | June 15, 2019

(I am making a day trip with my teenage niece. To keep her busy on the train, I bought a book with sudokus for beginners. Keep in mind that she doesn’t believe in herself and thinks she is bad at maths.)

Me: “Here you go.”

Niece: “Sudoku? Isn’t that difficult?”

Me: “Not really. And these are super easy.”

(I explain how sudokus work and she starts. She completes the grid in no time and with ease as if she is writing a letter. She completes a second and third one in under a minute, sighs, turns the book to the last sudoku and completes that one in record time, as well.)

Niece: “Auntie, this is too easy.”

Me: “So I see. You know what? I’ll buy you a new one for the ride home.”

(True to my word, I bought one that was one level under “expert,” and she happily worked herself through them. Those took a bit more time to be solved. I finished the super easy ones.)

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