Thursday, September 30, 2010

4 1/2

i got to see my niece this weekend, who i hadn't seen in weeks.  i took some photos (as usual) and  uploaded them to flickr the other day.  while putting them in my "baby" album, i realized how many photos of her i have, and how much she's changed since she was an actual baby.  she's over four and a half now, almost five.  talking to her this weekend really drove that point home.  she's suddenly become super-verbal, and tells you what she's thinking and comes up with weird little ideas and theories on her own.  we were talking about the babies at her daycare when she told me how much she disliked them because they want to play with her toys and they (gasp!) drool on them.  she was seriously horrified by their bad manners.  i pointed out that sharing is nice, and that someday her mama might have another baby and she'll have to share with that baby.  she said mama could get the baby their own toys.  i pointed out that even if the baby does, maggie might have toys that the baby would want to play with anyway.  she thought about it for a moment, then told me she didn't need to worry about it because she's the baby, and mama could only make one in her belly to begin with, and maggie was that baby.  "mama already made her baby, and i'm it."  i pointed at grammy and said, "yeah, but grammy made two babies; mama and me."  maggie just smiled sweetly at me and said again, "but i'm the baby."  you can't really argue with that.  so i asked her, "what if i have a baby? would you share with my baby?"  she said she wouldn't, but that was okay too, because she was my baby.  "you can't have a baby, i'm your baby."  then she does this thing that is infuriating and adorable, where she puts her hands on both sides of your face, then leans in super close, so she has your entire attention.  "mama's not going to have any more babies."  case closed.  if my sister ever does have another child, maggie's world might be rocked. 

it was a sweet weekend, though.  four is not the easiest age (two has nothing on four!), but she was a cuddly monster, at least.  one morning we were all lying in my mom's big bed, and maggie got in the middle (she likes to be the bologna in the sandwich), and she was rolling around in there, and telling us how much she loves us.  she looked pretty blissed out; right in the middle like she likes, warm and cozy and happy.  we played with some flashcards of famous/historical places, and she got really excited about the pyramids.  she told me everything she knows about mummies, and how she wanted to go to egypt to see them.  "we'll go to the pyramids and visit the mummies," she tells me.  i tell her that you can't see them in the actual pyramids, you need to be an egyptologist or archaeologist for that.  she tells me that the mummies are just in there, walking around, they can come out and see us.  i gently suggest that they don't actually walk around like people anymore.  "there are people in there, under all the toilet paper."  yes, but maybe not live ones.  this throws her for a loop, but she went with it.  she decided that seeing mummies in the museum might be enough, and that if she wants to study them in college, she can go inside the pyramids then.  i made a mental note to buy her some kid's egypt books.  i want to encourage any nerdy goodness that comes my way.

it might not be obvious here, but i really like being an aunt.  looking at all the hundreds of photos of baby i've taken over the years, and T and H and all the boys, and i think, "man, this is a good gig."  kids that keep getting sweeter and funnier and smarter, and i get to buy them books and have conversations with them, and feed them treats.  who could ask for more? 

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