not too shabby

Just to elaborate on the last paragraph of my previous blog post:

My 3.5 year old niece is a big fan of Minnie Mouse. There’s a tear in my eye loaded with pride when I say this. Our family is loyal to Disney, Lucas and Spielberg and I’d like to believe the new generation will carry on the devotion to Lion King, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Besides, the alternative to Minnie is typically Hello Kitty, which I consider an empty inexpressive poor excuse of a cartoon.

She also loves Shaun the Sheep… and Depeche Mode. She has been caught fangirling Dave Gahan by striping her shirt off in the same fashion she’s seen him doing repeatedly in some concert DVD. And then she threw it at some imaginary crowd, put on her pajamas and hopped into bed.

It’s not Sailor Moon or Dave the Barbarian… nor such phenomena will ever grace our television again. But Shaun the Sheep is not shabby at all!

auntie props

I can’t think of a deeper, more ultimate and selfless compromise than to commit one’s life to raise a child with all the love and devotion another human life deserves. It takes a lot of courage to give up oneself out of the sheer force of nature and set another human being into this world albeit our limited ability to provide our child with happiness. But who cares? Kids are just so cute…

Since my oldest niece was born, I’ve been basking in the glory of having all the baby and toddler mooshy pinkitude in my heart without having ever changed a diaper. (I’m trying to set some sort of record called “time elapsed in life without having ever changed a diaper”.) Being an aunt got me enjoying a very comfortable position: basically, I have a lot of fun and my siblings have all the trouble!

Let’s go over the reasons why nieces and nephews are such a good deal:

  • Nieces and nephews love you and you love them. (Come on, love is as awesome as anything can be.)
  • If you spoil them just right, you’re calling dibs on the cool uncle/aunt status. Having a dog really helps here.
  • Still, you also have a lot of room for unbiased proper adult guidance.
  • Despite being an active part in their bring up, you don’t have to loose nights nor put up with brat behavior.
  • You can take revenge for all the crap your siblings gave you when you were growing up. By the time they’re 4, I’ll make sure my nieces believe that when they cry out loud everyone can take a peek at their panties down their throat. Which means that first they have to grasp the concept of a digestive system, which is kinda cool for a 4 year-old.
  • You can trade favors for babysitting, if you handle the diaper part.
  • You acquire knowledge in the baby field without being overwhelmed by it. This means you can navigate the baby showers of your co-workers and friends just as easily as you mingle in cocktail parties with single people.
  • With a nephew and a niece in Ireland, I also saw my English vocabulary covering new grounds: pacifier, potty, sippy cup… Fascinating.
  • They get really good presents with which consumerist impulses tag along.
  • You get to shamelessly enjoy a lot of Disney movies while the parents are taking care of practical stuff or passed out with exhaustion in another room. The same applies to playing with Lego, inflatable swimming pools, sand castles… The kids are also a great excuse for trips to Disneyland.
  • Using an electric breast pump or cleaning up when the baby suddenly discharges its own volume in poop is only fun when it’s not happening to you and still you are close enough to watch.

My biological clock seems to have ran out of battery before the alarm ever even rang. Not complaining! It’s in fact quite convenient, since I’m starting to doubt that I’ll ever meet the conditions to have kids of my own. I say this without angst or urgency. It’s just what my life and my generation are. Thus, my nieces and nephew are not solace for my womb. They’re beautiful, bright, tender and promising children. If anything, they’re solace for life itself. I pray I’ll live up to them. And I pray for Disneyland trips too!