The Family Tree’s Branches Can Get A Bit Twisted

, , , | Related | October 7, 2019

(My nephew is three and is just learning to talk and understand. My dad is playing catch with him.)

Me: “Dad, we’ll be back.”

Dad: “Where’re you going?”

Me: “To the market, Dad.”

Nephew: “Hey! Dis is grampa! Not Dad!”

Me: “He’s my dad and your grampa!”

Nephew: “No! He’s your grampa!”

(Guess we should work on the family tree explaining later. Though, to be fair, I recall thinking my mom’s name was Mom and my sister’s name was Sister as a kid.)

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The Only Thing Cuter Than A Puppy Is a Meet-Cute

, , , , , , , | Related | August 31, 2019

(I am watching my niece for the afternoon. I work from home, so on days when her parents can’t get someone to watch her, they ask if she can play in my living room while I work. She’s very good about not disturbing me without asking, “Can Uncle can go on break?” so it works out. After I get off early for the day because of working too long the day before, I decide to take her to the park for how good she’s been. While there, we run into a neighbor with a service dog.)

Niece: “PUPPY!” *runs to pet it*

Me: “[Niece]! Stop right there!”

(She freezes.)

Me: “Sweetie, do you see how that dog has a vest on it?”

Niece: “Uh-huh! It’s cute!”

Me: “Sweetie, dogs with vests on them are special. They’re working dogs. That means that the dog is working right now.”

Niece: “Oh. So, I shouldn’t bother it while it’s working?”

Me: “Right! Not unless it’s on break. Just like Uncle [My Name].”

Niece: “Okay!” *walks slowly up to my neighbor* “Excuse me, boss lady. Is it okay for the puppy to go on break so I can pet it?”

Neighbor: “Oh, my! What a little cutie! Yes, sweetie, and call me Miss [Neighbor]. The dog is [Dog]! [Dog], you are now on break! Sit!”

(The dog sits down and looks at my niece.)

Niece: “Yay!” *pets the dog and gives him a hug* “Okay, [Dog]! Time to go back to work! Thank you, Miss [Neighbor]!”

Neighbor: “Oh, no, sweetie. He needs a longer break than that. You keep on playing with him. [My Name], who is this little sweetheart? And why haven’t you introduced us before?”

Me: *explains the situation* “And I just happened to get off early today, so we came to the park. It’s about time for us to head back so her parents can get her, though. [Niece], are you ready to go home?”

Niece: “Okay! Can I walk next to [Dog] and watch him work?”

Neighbor: “Of course, you can! [Dog]! Time to go home!”

(As we walk back, I get a call from her parents who let me know that they are running late, and ask me to give my niece dinner if I can.)

Me: “[Niece], sweetie. Mommy and Daddy are running late so you’re having dinner with me tonight. What would you like for dinner?”

Niece: “I want Miss [Neighbor] to have dinner with us!”

Me: “I.. bu… wha… I guess if she wants to? But we still need to figure out what to eat. Do you want spaghetti?”

Niece: “Okay!”

Neighbor: “Oh, that sounds lovely! Can I bring some wine over?”

Me: “Only if you’re okay with cracking it after she leaves.”

(And that is the story of how my niece chose who was going to be her aunt.)

 

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Mickey And Fairies And Elsa, Oh My!

, , , , , , , , | Related | August 29, 2019

(My girlfriend recently moved in with me. She used to live in New Jersey, but left because she didn’t feel she had reason to stay there. Her family lives across three states, and her friends were always too busy for more than a text conversation. Despite this, she still misses NJ — she lived there all her life — and is depressed for a while after moving in with me. Eventually, I convince her to get out of the house for a while and I take her to the Disney Store, one of her favorite places ever. It works! She leaves happier than she went in, and she buys an Elsa doll. Before we return home, we stop at my brother’s house to get my niece and take her to her grandma’s. Unfortunately, my brother’s mouth runs faster than his brain.)

Brother: “Hey! Did you buy that for [Niece]?”

Me: “No, [Girlfriend] bought that for herself.”

Brother: “What for? Isn’t that stuff for little kids? She should just give it to [Niece], anyway. I mean, what is she going to do with it? People will think she’s some sad person who never grew up. Everyone in the neighborhood will talk about her.”

(My girlfriend has seen my brother only three times — this being the third — so she feels too shy to really speak up and say anything. I just want to leave, so I ask where our niece is and my brother calls her to the door. She hurries with her backpack and, of course, immediately spots the Elsa doll.)

Niece: “Auntie, you got Elsa! Grandma bought me Anna! Want to see it? It’s at her house!”

Brother: “[Niece], grownups don’t play with dolls. Cartoons are for kids like you. Grownups don’t care about that.”

Niece: “That’s not true! Mommy was Wonder Woman for Halloween! And Grandma likes Mickey Mouse! And grandpa likes Superman! And Uncle–” *referring to me* “–likes ponies! And Auntie–” *my girlfriend* “–likes fairies! And I like all of them!”

(My brother seemed like he wanted to say something, but just told us goodbye and we left. I want to think he was embarrassed that a six-year-old was more open-minded than he was, but knowing him, he probably blew it off and only said nothing because my niece said it. She’s the only one he has a filter around since she’s a kid. On the upside, my girlfriend found it funny and appreciated the inadvertent defense. She started smiling more after that day.)

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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…

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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.)

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