I took the day off from all things computer (from all things Kelly, actually!) to watch my niece yesterday. She’s four years old and it was our very first all day, just-the-two-of-us day.
Let me say this: I am very glad I got my child rearing days out of the way when I was younger!
We started off our day with a quick stop to watch the two Blackhawk helicopters that bisected our route. We got out of the car on the side of the road and watched them fly. It was very cool.
Afterwards was a stop to Wal-Mart. Now THERE’S a fun thing to do with a child on Saturday morning….bumper carts in a busy superstore. Yee hah!
We finally made it to my house in time for a bathroom break. I never thought about the bathroom door having a lock. Shoulda. I finally was able to explain the workings of the lock to her from outside the door and we decided it was lunch time.
Lunch consisted of popcorn chicken, some kind of crunchy that boasts ½ serving of veggies per 16 chips (never let it be said that Aunt Kelly isn’t all about nutrition) and juice. While I cleaned up the lunch dishes, she decided she wanted to check out the John Deere tractor website. I got her set up with that, turned away for a couple minutes and turned back to find her rearranging my desktop icons. I’m still not sure if that’s ALL she managed to accomplish but after hearing some of my sister’s stories about child-induced program issues, I’m almost afraid to find out!
With the computer shut off, it was time for swimming! Bathing suits on. Towels. Pool toys. Water camera. I feel like a pack mule and we’re only going out back. Unload at the pool. She doesn’t want to get in the water. What? The water: a balmy 80 degrees…..perfect. Once I’m in, her mind changes and she decides it might be fun, after all. I lift her in and set her down.
Being in, on or around water has always been one of my great loves. Somehow my sister has birthed a child who doesn’t like getting her face wet so when the girl trips over my outstretched legs and face plants in the water, I’m expecting major problems. I set her back on her feet and wait for the cough, choke, and sputter. Nothing – she stares at me with those big blue eyes like I’d kicked her.
“Did you hold your breath?” I ask.
“No,” she answers.
“I think you must have or you’d be gagging about now,” I tell her. I clap and cheer and tell her she was such a good girl to hold her breath when she went under the water. She looks at me as if I’m mental. I probably am by now.
Before we finish with this round of swimming, I get the first phone call from my sister. I’m surprised it’s taken her this long to call, actually. I convince her that I haven’t harmed her child – leaving out the locked in the bathroom thing and the going under water thing.
When it’s time for a break from the water, we go in to make cookies – never mind that it’s nearly 90 degrees. “You promised!” Silly me…so much for my daydream of her on a stepstool, flour on her nose, looking all cute while we create the perfect cookies. She plays with cars and trucks outside with her uncle while I sweat into the batter.
I finish the baking to hear her say “I’m hot. It’s time to go swimming again.” SHE’S hot? The little deserter.
We swim some more. I’m back in heaven and she’s adorable again.
Next step is to eat cookies and “ride” on uncle’s motorcycle. She’s starting to drag and so am I.
“Can I take you home now?” I ask.
“No,” she answers. “Now I need some private time. I’ll be inside.” Private time? What, pray tell, does a four year old know about private time? Turns out it’s code for “I’ll be all alone in here bothering the ferrets….and the cat….and the dog…and the guitars…and the television….and the….”
“Can I take you home NOW?” I ask. “I’m putting your car seat back in the car.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Yes, I am.”
“No, you’re putting my BOOSTER seat back in the car. I’m NOT a baby.”
We had a good day. It ended with “I love you, Aunt Kelly.”
Yep, a very good day.