“One Upped”

“It’s what my brother calls a ‘mankini,’” explained my nephew after approaching me in the garage looking very silly with his blue t-shirt rolled up & twisted to resemble just what he said – a boy version of a bikini.

Along with his 4 siblings that summer day, he was over with his Mom who was setting up a garage sale with his Grandma.

The day prior he opted also to come over while the rest of his family was out. To my astonishment, I successfully managed to pluck the 2018 kiddo from watching “Fortnight” long enough to treat the little guy to the tasteful wonders of a fantastic Fudgesicle. (Sidenote: Spoiling children is Aunt Amy’s cherished duty.) Then, following a rousing game of “Sorry” with his grandparents and me – in which misunderstandings & a lack of knowledge of the game’s rules by some created an excess of erupted & prolonged laughter – the night grew darker.

As his evening with us drew to a close, I found my nephew rolling in the computer chair in front of the laptop. In jest I asked the going-into-fourth-grade boy, “Was it more fun for you being in the presence of Aunt Amy or being around all the Fudgesicles?”

Despite the late hour bringing on obvious tiredness, my always-sharp nephew failed not to amuse.

 Using my own words against me, a little word switching was employed before the child’s shrewd retort:

“Being in the presence of Fudgesicles.”

 

THE END

By Amy

6-19-18

 

“The Tool”

MAX in Tigers baseball uniform 5-15-18

“You can’t start a sentence with ‘and,’” the multitalented student – who also plays baseball on a team named the Tigers in addition to possessing a very impressive knowledge of artists & lyrics sung decades before he even arrived on the scene – commented after coming across it in the pages he was reading. He made an identical remark about the word ‘but’ when that term began a sentence too.

Two weeks shy of turning 9 years old, my third grade nephew & I read the initial 5 chapters of an old book about a shark attack in 1916 he’d just checked out of the school library. Until he’d arrived home from school, I’d been at his house playing with his younger siblings, notably his brother of 4 when we played the matching game in which he’s a master as well as blocks on the carpet which we shaped into various animals. Snuggling his 1 month & 1 day old baby brother was a highlight too.

Back to the reading: Taking turns, I was thrilled to read & assist my nephew with every other chapter as we opened his new rental. Chapters 1, 3 & 5 were his & I read 2 & 4. He was becoming quite the reader! We came across a last name, something like “Oelirich.”

“When you see last names just sound them out however you think it goes,” I told him. “There’s so many different ones you’ll see. No one knows every word.”

“Isn’t it funny I can read the word ‘Philadelphia’ but I didn’t know ‘announce’?” he observed.

I explained phrases used in times of old, specifically “lad” for boy; “indigo” for a blue/purple mix; & “bathing costume” – when he’d bounce up & prance around his bedroom playfully striking model poses & grinning while saying things like “I’m fancy!” – instead of swimsuit.

At one point early in our reading time, I was thinking I’d grip his right knee as a nonverbal way to say stop, because I wanted to tell the youngster that he was an Exceptional Reader. Exceptional was my planned adjective. Planned, mind you.

When a pause arrived in the child’s reading, however, I ended up grabbing his knee while simultaneously saying loudly, “Stop!”

I needn’t have had such a shocked he’s-done-it-again reaction to the boy’s immediate song-savvy reply of a tune released a whopping NINETEEN YEARS before he was even born: 

“Hammer Time!”

THE END

By Aunt Amy

5.15.18

 

“Innocence is Bliss”

The first day of my spectacular visit with my friends Jessica & Aaron & their 5 children in Indiana confirmed that, yes, I am most definitely in the very vast minority of viewers who lack a liking of “The Greatest Showman” film. But alas, to each their own. Chugging right along, the weekend arrived next.

“I took a Motrin this morning,” I told Aaron Sunday morning while eating Corn Flakes.

“To stay limber,” he replied.

“Actually to stay upright,” I jokingly corrected him, albeit referring to the actually serious problem of my weakened left knee collapsing without warning on me a couple times lately.

5-7-18 Jess Our magnificent Monday Girls’ Day of just Jess & me began on just the right note with Dunkin Donuts coffee. Talking was the best part of our time together, discussing everything from you-don’t-need-to-know to you-still-don’t-need-to-know. Monday night I got to witness Jessica & Aaron leading their couples Bible study. The best part was watching my friends speak & pour their abundance of God-given wisdom into the lives of fellow group members. 

Before closing, let’s bring it back to Saturday night. Lily, 9, had just said she’d give five dollars to the person who spent it best. Her siblings & I spoke up as we sat in her parents’ car waiting to leave our current destination to drive home to bed to get up early for church in the morning.  

“I’ll give it to the poor,” Lily selflessly decided after denying her siblings’ ideas as well as mine on ways to use the money.

Instantly piped up her younger sister in a passionate plea to snag the dough: “I’m poor!”

The 4-year-old sought straightaway to gain $5 by defending her case of why she was a poor person – and despite being on the right track knowing that poor people can’t do certain things due to a lack of funds – the youngster isn’t yet aware that

  1. the particular thing she mentioned doesn’t quite fit the bill

&

  1. the simple fact that she yelled her case negated her very claim:

“I can’t talk!”

 

THE END

By Amy on May 7, 2018

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“The Sleuth”

“She wants to wash a germy dead bird & put it in Daddy’s office,” my sis told her oldest son about his li’l sis of just 2. My nephew, 8, had just returned from a field trip & was hearing about the deceased creature on their deck. Better times are comin’.

“I’m happy he went!” the third grader exclaimed about his Dad accompanying him on his field trip to LEGOLAND, a place in Auburn Hills with “family friendly fun” including rides & play zones.

His sister told me earlier in the day as we talked of campfires & the like at their house while her bro was away: “S’moring. That’s my Mom’s favorite word.” My niece, 7, confessed she liked burnt marshmallows & I agreed.

In the car later: “Mom can I have money?” asked their little bro of 4. “I can get it from Mies grandpa.” My young nephew was clearly interested in padding his pockets, & apparently had multiple sources to look into.

Rewinding to playing with the 4-year-old in the basement a few hours prior, together we set up his matching game which he excels at. Memory games & puzzles are his thing. Clearly, cuz he’s soooo good at both.

While playing we began discussing God. Upwards pointed the little fella’s finger to show me where God is. Right on!

I love hearing children’s – what’s the word? unique? interesting? amusing? – interpretations of things & subjects they’ve been exposed to thus far in their short lives. My nephew didn’t disappoint when he revealed to me his take on our Omniscient Heavenly Father:

“God is spying on me.”

 

THE END

By Aunt Amy

 5.10.18

 

P.S. Sliding down the stairs is one thing my nephew proudly showed me he does.

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“Yes Sir”

“That’s my toothbrush!” my niece exclaimed before her 2-year-old sister upon discovering her in their bathroom using her toothbrush.

In Aunt Amy’s defense when the little one asked for it, I had asked the youngster if the pink one was hers . . . apparently not. She liked wetting the toothbrush then sucking the water off the bristles in her mouth.

Then the day took a turn.

“You can’t lock the door!” he yelled upon barging into the bathroom, sans knocking of course. I was stunned, completely caught off guard by this explosive encounter in a room where most people prefer total solitude.

Looking back, considering the source of the shouting, the whole incident reads indeed like comical chaos:

Although my current clothing predicament was completely justified considering where I was & what I was doing at the time of the intrusion, the little rascal thought differently. Suddenly, just as quickly as he appeared came his abrupt exit, but not before my FOUR-YEARS-YOUNG NEPHEW delivered one last forceful bark to his ambushed aunt.

“And pull your pants up!”

 

THE END

By Aunt Amy

2-2-18

 

“Lego Skates”

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“Move,” the 2-year-old commanded as I inadvertently blocked her from continuing her present game of spreading Go Fish cards around the floor. “Leg!”

There I was, engaging in yet another pleasant day of nearly endless activities with my nephew of 4 & niece of 2 while their older siblings attended school & snoozing was the action of choice for their 10-day-old baby brother.

A puzzle of the entire United States, hide-&-seek in the basement where my nephew of 4 hid in the bathroom closet, the card games Go Fish & Animal Rummy, Legos where the boy used the trains as makeshift shoes & clomped on carpeted basement floor, the 2 youngsters taking turns singing while riding their black wooden rocking horse in the family room as I shot videos of them per their requests. A lot of fun was done!

Earlier when my nephew voiced his preference to play downstairs where we’d just gone to get games including Candy Land, I protested that it was too cold down there, wanting to bring the chosen toys upstairs. He wouldn’t have it. Too bad for you, Aunt Amy. The boy was unwavering in his decision to play right where we were.

Blowing off my complaints about the cold air without a second thought, the child then proceeded to divulge his own brand of mismatched deduction:

“You have long-sleeve pants.”

The End

By Aunt Amy

4-24-18

 

 

 

“The Blame Game”

“Do you want help with that?”

“Yes!” I responded gratefully to my thoughtful friend Claude as he pushed on my right shoe so I could Velcro the strap across my foot.

That came after tripping horribly – more like a GIGANTIC-I-can’t-believe-I-didn’t-crash MAJOR MISSTEP – in front of a fantastic group of friends after I rose to leave the room to grab some snacks to settle my increasing hunger.

Tired? Warm.

Full Fatigue? Getting warmer.

Pure total exhaustion? Ding! Ding! Ding! You’re on fire!

Connor, Paul & Claude were the group’s men in attendance. In no particular order, Kristi, Bonnie, Grace, Jen & I were the others. In our group Bible study meeting we learned that in the Lord’s Prayer, the phrase “Hallowed be Your Name” actually means praying for people to live their lives on this earth to always honor & keep the Lord’s name Holy, whereas before I mistakenly thought that phrase was a form of praise to His Name.

To show them how incessantly thankful I am for the rides they give me to & from our weekly Tuesday meetings, I gave Bonnie & Claude each a tasty homemade muffin. (Do not be misled thinking God gave me the gift of cooking; He did not. ‘Twas my mother who baked delicious gluten free walnut/apricot muffins.)

While Bonnie & Claude drove me home, I fished around my purse for my garage door opener to save time once we pulled in the driveway.

So we get there. Upon stepping out, helpful-as-can-be Bonnie grabs my right arm to balance me to safely walk over the ice on the ground. Ok. I’m standing there. Not slipping. Why aren’t we moving? I’m thinking. 

Still no sign to start walking as we remain at a standstill. Bonnie’s being a little too cautious, I say silently to myself. Move!

 . . . Finally I look over & realize it’s been ME ALL ALONG – albeit outside, my right arm is still hooked around the seat belt arm strap, which has been holding me back and preventing my movement this whole time! Bonnie had nothing at all to do with our lack of motion.

Turns out, we were both wondering why the other person wasn’t moving & confess to each other our own private thoughts of blaming the other person for not moving right along. We both burst into some serious late-night giggles all the way to my door.

My bad.

 

The End

By Amy

2-6-18

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