Small People

Today is my niece’s fifth birthday.  When she came along, I became an aunt for the first time, a role I have been pleased and tickled to fulfill ever since.

I like kids a lot, at least in moderate doses.  (What can I say, I live by myself.  I’m accustomed to great whacks of peace and quiet, on demand.)  My niece, whom I often call Pig-Tail Girl because she often wears her hair in pig-tails, is one of my favorite people, and I believe I can honestly say that I am one of hers too.  She has never failed to be excited and happy when I come to visit, and that makes me happy too.

So Pig-Tail Girl had her party last Saturday, including a number of her friends from pre-school and their families, plus some other family and friends with their kids, ranging from 6 down to about 2 1/2 years old.  My sister-in-law throws wonderful parties for my niece — my brother helps, but his wife is really at the center of the awesomeness.  She had games planned, a fun craft project for the kids, a rockin’ hand-decorated cake, floaty balloons, tons of food.  She puts so much work into making everything great, and it shows.

I was tasked as documentarian for the first stretch, taking snapshots with my sister-in-law’s camera (did I mention she’s an awesome photographer too?  I hope I did justice with her camera, because I certainly didn’t do as well as she would have).  Sack races, pin-the-nose-on-the-tomato (perhaps you had to be there), crafty-works with paint and glue and felt, opening presents.  Then a lull, while my brother got to work on grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, the adults chatted, and the kids started playing with various toys, both new and old.  I put the camera down and wandered, but not for too long.

Two of Pig-Tail Girl’s pre-school friends, both of them sweet blonde-haired girls, got hold of a toy which, if I spotted it correctly, was a shark’s head on a wand with a trigger mechanism that would open and close the shark’s mouth.  I have no idea if it belongs to Pig-Tail Girl or came along with one of her friends; regardless, these two nice young ladies decided they would nibble on all the adults in turn with their wee sharky accomplice — no serious damage, let me be quick to assure you, just kind little love-bites.  They confronted me in the kitchen, all grins and giggles.  “Hee hee!  We got you with the shark!”

Little did they know who they were dealing with.

Aunt Crispy the Instigator immediately swung into action, both hands forming shark-mouths, chattering away at the Dastardly Duo.  “Ha-ha!  I’ve got two sharks, and they’ve got both of you!”

With a squeal, the girls were off, me in hot pursuit.  They dashed down the hallway to Pig-Tail Girl’s bedroom, running around the bed to hide in the corner.  I dove across the bed, peeking over the far side and poking the girls again.  They were up and out of the room, me in chase-mode once more, until they turned at bay and I was caught, one waist-high blonde enforcer on either arm, dragging me back to the room I had just chased them out of.  I was summarily dumped in a corner and told I was “in jail,” which I protested loudly and incredulously, before taking my chance to make a daring escape.  More squealing ensued, more chasing, more grabbing my arms and attempting to drag me in various directions, with me sometimes letting them pull me along, sometimes pulling them.  More of the kids took notice and joined in.  At one stage Pig-Tail Girl, the Dastardly Duo, and one of their young gentlemen friends all undertook pushing me out into the front yard, for I know not what dire purpose — because as soon as we reached the front yard I turned the tables once more, pulling them all around, getting into tug-of-wars with me acting as the rope, grabbing and tickling anyone who got within reach, whooping and carrying on in a most undignified, enormously fun manner.

I love being an instigator aunt; I love having the chance to be ridiculous with a pack of kids.  I love presenting them with things they don’t expect and then seeing how they react, like turning the tables on the Dastardly Duo rather than saying the anticipated “oh yes, you got me!”  If I dare admit it publicly, where parental-types might read this, I love winding them up and being wound up with them, going shrieking around the house and yelling for no good reason.  One benefit of not having to take any of the small people home is that I don’t have to worry about conserving my energy, and sometimes it’s great fun to take advantage of that. And sometimes, it’s just plain fun to go yelling around for no reason. How often do we grown-up sorts get to do that?

I love being an aunt, getting to play with the small people.  Happy Birthday, Pig-Tail Girl, and here’s to much more ridiculous fun to come.  I hope neither of us ever completely grows out of it.

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3 comments so far

  1. enallagma9 on

    I love how you write about your life.

  2. sherlock1973 on

    I do the same thing with mum’s foster kittens. Ah, the fun of winding them up, then going home *bg*

  3. […] weekend Pig-Tail Girl and her family came up to our area to celebrate a wedding in the family. The wedding was Saturday, […]


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