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Knowing No Peace With Her For A Niece

, , , , , | Related | April 22, 2022

Because of the large age difference between me and my brother, my niece is significantly older than my own son. While normally having a default babysitter is a blessing, it would be better if she didn’t remember my own behaviour as a young twenty-something and wasn’t egged on by her dad seeking revenge for when I was her babysitter.

When my son was a toddler, he had an intolerance for dairy, and therefore wasn’t allowed ice cream. She got him sherbet.

When my son was struggling with his reading, I said he wasn’t allowed to watch Pokémon until he read at least two books on weekends. She got him the Pokémon novel set.

When there was a heatwave, I said my son wasn’t allowed to play outside because he’d already gotten heatstroke twice. She took him to the ice skate rink.

When I had to take back my promise to take them both to the movies because I was stuck working multiple shifts in a row, she took him to watch the latest Marvel movie without me. (And then they both spoiled the whole thing for me.)

When I tried to block naughty websites, my son worked out how to bypass my nanny filter. She blocked the sites for both of us.

I grounded my son because he wasn’t participating in English class. She showed him how to find the “inappropriate” jokes in Shakespeare’s plays. Now he participates too much.

My son is now nearly an adult. He is considering becoming a lawyer. It’s her fault, I’m sure.

Kids And Ice Cream — It’s Not Rocket Science

, , , , | Related | March 10, 2022

My family is absolutely nuts about ice cream. We will eat it anytime and anywhere — yes, even in winter. 

One year, my family gathered at my parents’ house for the holidays. My younger son wanted ice cream following dinner. I told him if he didn’t stay in the kitchen to eat it, then he must take it to the sunroom. I knew he would pass my brother’s two young sons on the way. As he left the kitchen, I counted down out loud.

Me: “Three, two, one.”  

Nephews: “ICE CREAM! ICE CREAM!”

Brother: *To me* “Did you just count down?”

Me: “And you didn’t?”

We’ll Also Gloss Over What Happened In His Thirties

, , , , , | Related | December 24, 2021

It is Christmas and my five-year-old niece just learned about baby Jesus. She is the only kid at the table; the rest are tweens or adults. Although my niece is mostly very well-behaved, she doesn’t always feel the need to sit and be quiet when it is required.

Aunt: “[Niece], you need to be good now, just like baby Jesus.”

I mutter very quietly to my dad so the little one doesn’t hear.

Me: “Didn’t he go missing at the age of twelve so that his parents had to look for him?”

Dad almost choked on his food.

Some Children Don’t Understand “No,” And Some Adults Are Worse

, , , , , | Friendly | December 24, 2021

After a family emergency, I’m asked to look after my little nephew. I decide to take him to the seaside to keep him occupied.

He has a great day. We walk the beach and the pier, go on rides, and have lunch. On the way back to the car, we walk past a sweets and ice cream shop.

I agree he can buy something small for later. Unfortunately, he spots a massive peanut butter cookie cake sitting by the till. He’s tired and wants sweets, and he starts to get a little upset when I tell him he needs to pick something else that’s smaller.

Something too big would make him sick, he’s not allowed peanut butter, and we agreed on a LITTLE something.

Cashier: “We have smaller cookies in that style.”

Me: “Actually, what other flavours do you have?”

Nephew: *Getting more upset* “But I wanted that one.”

Me: “Look! They have lots more over here; this one is your favourite.”

Nephew: “I want that one.”

Me: “We’ve been over this; you need to choose another one. Look, they have cookie lollies over here.”

From behind us, this old woman chimes in.

Old Woman: “Oh, just give him the one he wants, for Pete’s sake!”

Me: “Look, this has nothing to do with you. You’re confusing him.”

Old Woman: “Fine, I’ll buy it, then!” *To my nephew* “Can’t have you going without, cutie.”

Me: “Don’t you dare. Mind your own business.”

By this point, my nephew is confused and more upset than he would have been. I order him a few different flavours and cheer him up with a promise of one more ride.

We go outside. 

Me: “How is your cookie?”

Nephew: “Mmm, good!

Me: “I’m sorry you couldn’t have the one you wanted, but you know your mum doesn’t like you having it.”

Nephew: “I know. It just looked so good.”

After several stops to look at stray caterpillars, retie shoelaces, etc., the old woman catches us up.

Old Woman: “Here you are, cutie. I bought this for you.”

She tries to hand him a paper bag, but he hides behind me. I open it up to see a single peanut butter cookie inside.

Me: “Seriously? I’ve told you to mind your own business. He can’t have peanuts. How hard is it for you to mind your own business?!”

Old Woman: “Oh, nonsense. One little cookie won’t hurt.”

Me: “Yes! Yes, it will!”

I thrust the cookie back at her and left in a hurry. She started to shout after me that I was a bad parent, something about allergies being fake, and other nonsense. Thankfully, my nephew seemed to not be as bothered and the rest of the day was salvaged.

He’s Just Not The Cat’s Pajamas

, , , , , | Related | November 27, 2021

I’m getting my four-year-old niece ready for bed to give my sister a break, and she’s very excited to show me her “new” pyjamas.

My sister lives on a small cul de sac that coincidentally has a lot of children of similar ages. For example, there are three other girls in my niece’s nursery class on her street. All the parents get on as well as the kids. To help each other out, when one child outgrows some clothes that are still in good condition, they’ll be offered to other parents that have smaller or younger children. My niece’s new pyjamas came from one of these trades.

Niece: “Look! It’s a unicorn made of stars! [Friend] gave me these.”

Me: “That was nice of her. I hope you said thank you.”

Niece: “Yes.” *Pauses* “[Nephew]’s friends never give him clothes.” *Dramatic sigh* “I guess they just don’t think of him.”

Me: “Do you think maybe it’s because he’s taller than his friends?”

Niece: “Nope. My friends just like me better.”