Aunty hush up, she said, whilst wagging her tiny finger towards me. She then burst into one of her sweet little laughs and ran off, plopping her thumb back into her mouth. I shake my head. I was not even saying anything. Hush up was her new thing, of late. Well settled into the terrible two phase, this little miracle’s personality was coming through; a combination of sweet and feisty.
I should have know that a holiday weekend with those two would look like. A lot of saying don’t do that, and no jumping on the furniture. A lot of request to watch Peppa Pig by my niece or in the case of my nephew, Super Why, because ‘Peppa is for girls.’ (I secretly prefer and enjoy Peppa, so maybe it is for girls). Mind you, he cried to see that mouthy little pig up to six months ago. Kids!
There would be no meetups for lunch or coffee that weekend, as is the plan most weekends, especially extended holiday weekends. And my plan to hit my favorite running trail was effectively canceled the moment I said yes to taking my sister’s two and four-year-old for the long holiday weekend.
Instead, I spent the weekend being asked why for everything, being told to hush up when I wasn’t speaking, having my back poked and my face slapped, thanks to the bad sleeping patterns of my two-year-old niece. I would sweep more crumbs that I thought a slice of bread could produce, and have my four-year-old nephew correct me in the way to pronounce words that began with a th. You’ve got to put your tongue between your teeth, aunty.
I would be tired and beg them to be quiet for five minutes. I would wish there was a battery I could pull to shut them down for fifteen mins so I could have a little peace and quiet. I imagine them unwinding and gently collapsing, like blow up dolls whose plugs have been pulled. Hey, I love them, but toddlers can be exhausting.
But I would also be smothered in kisses, and heard ‘love you, aunty’ more than I could count. And I would be told by my nephew that I was the bomb.com and auntie’s boy. I would be an active participant in pillow fights and peekaboo sessions all weekend long and tickles whenever I tried to get them to rest for a bit.
On the last night, long after the rambunctious pair wore me out, they fell asleep. I watched them, snoring deeply, looking ever so peaceful. My nephew’s hands and feet splayed over his ‘gwamma’, (he can’t or won’t say ‘grandma’) my niece sucking her thumb, snoring lightly, looking like an angel with an invisible halo.
This.is.love. This is the life. This is happiness, to me. These are the moments that make life worth living, special. No coffee or lunch date, no running trail could compare. Ever.
I thank the Divine for my blessings and for a rich, textured, varied life comprised of people and moments that matter. I also give thanks for the miracles of their births and the joy they’ve brought into our world.
I kissed them lightly on their forehead and say a little prayer for them, for us all. I try to go to sleep. They’ll be up soon again. And a noise-fest would ensue along with fighting for each other’s toys, making mess, jumping on the furniture, hitting each other, hugging and kissing each other, shouting for the sheer fun of it, marching through rooms in mock military style, asking for stuff to eat then saying they no longer want it when they got it, trying to ride the dog, asking for muddy puddles to jump in like Peppa, and refusing to sit and be quiet for a few minutes.
And in the midst of the frustration and the exhaustion, aunty will be secretly loving it all.
Shh. Don’t tell them that.