“Ain’t Dat the Truth?”

Harrison, 3, on 6-7-17

“Aunt Amy!” my 3-year-old nephew called to get my attention. That was a hard thing to do because all 4 of my nieces & nephews over that day were playing different things outside – like tee ball, spraying the hose, dribbling a basketball – at the same time. My attention was divided.

The boy continued as I turned & listened. “When we were at the hacienda . . .” & went on to tell me something, I’m not quite sure what, about his recent trip to Puerto Rico. Try as I might, I sometimes have to just pretend I understand what the chattering youngster is saying.

My oldest niece & nephew, 6 & 8, set their creative minds in motion. Putting an orange measuring cup on the tip of the hose then pressing the lever so the water shot the cup through the air, was one exciting activity that was fun for me to watch them enjoy.

At one point I sat on my driveway in a folding chair, cheering on my 1-year-old niece trying to hit a plastic baseball from a baseball tee standing on the grass. It’s important to speak uplifting words to little ones so they grow up with self-confidence. So I did. Her brother of 3 had yet to learn that lesson, however, as he was also at the tender age where praise was imperative to help his attitude towards himself remain positive. Thus . . .

“Good job!” I exclaimed to my youngest niece, intentionally dismissing the fact that her teeny whack failed to hit the ball even a single inch across the yard. Instead the tiny swing from the tiny girl merely knocked the ball off its stand so it dropped to the grass below.

Thank goodness she was too young to understand the words her big brother, also watching, blurted! The 2-years-older boy stuck with the best policy. And “honestly,” we all know what that is.

“Dat’s awful!”

The End

By Aunt Amy on June 7, ’17

 

 

 

 

A Shorty but a Goody

BANG!!!!! Right into my lower legs crashed my playful 3-year-old nephew zipping around on his scooter. The trouble with that is, I have no balance to speak of & thus wobbled uncontrollably, but thankfully – & quite surprisingly too – the incident didn’t result with Aunt Amy toppling down.

I was over his house, & he & his siblings played in the driveway. His older sister rode her bike around the expansive area while his older brother impressed me with his skateboarding skills.

Armed with a mischievous grin, the little boy continued our “game” of conscious collision. Running into me a few more times was clearly thrilling for him, evidenced by his piercing howls of laughter that erupted after each intentional impact. Not too keen on the idea of smacking ungracefully onto the cement below, I “threatened” the youngster in a purposely childish way that was fitting for his age & level of understanding:

“If you hit me again I’m gonna fart on your head!”

Rather than the intimidation & “fear” I hoped to instill in my nephew of 3, his retort that followed was cute as can be. His mispronounced cliché was just so endearing.

“No way hosey!”

The End

By Aunt Amy

April 29, 2017

 

Monster, Anyone?

“Ow!” My 7-year-old nephew was watching a Pokémon show on his Dad’s cell phone. He inadvertently kicked over my 4-point cane so it smacked my bad right ankle on its way down.

I was at my sister’s rental house while hers got repaired. Earlier my 2 agile nieces & their 2 agile brothers showed me their moves on one of the house’s sets of stairs. For example, the oldest girl at age 6 hung upside down behind the steps – that had gaps between each one – using only her feet. Im-press-ive.

“I have Avascular Necrosis so part of my right ankle area is dead,” I explained to the listening boy why I yelped in pain. “As soon as doctors diagnosed me, they wanted to cut out part of the inside of my ankle. I wouldn’t let them. I wanted all of my leg.”

Also impressive was my oldest nephew’s quick thought process. That second grader sure has intriguing ideas!

“So you were dead then you came back to life then you were dead then you’re gonna be a zombie?”

“No, never.”

I sat sprawled out on his nice new white couch as the wheels in his clever cranium kept spinning. What I heard next on the subject were his final 2 overflowing-with-honesty declarations:

“I don’t want my aunt to be a zombie.” His voice was drenched with relief that was growing with each syllable the boy uttered. “I gotta thank God for that!”

The End

By Aunt Amy, 4-24-17

P.S. Then we played charades & I went first, walking slowly toward him with my arms outstretched just to freak him out. “A ZOMBIE!!!” he shrieked as he bolted. And that is how we roll.

 

“My Niece is the . . .”

To me there’s nothing better than a nice kid with a cool personality. And my beyond nice, energetic & entertaining curly-haired niece effortlessly slides the “person” into personality.

If only I could boast of having such pizzazz at her young age of 6! Over for a (thankfully long because she’s such a joy) visit yesterday, one segment of her stay found her dancing amidst the random craft items scattered around our kitchen while crooning “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!” – the famed “Hangin’ Tough” decades-old ‘New Kids on the Block’ tune.

“I’m Bob,” declared the active youngster while performing a bunny play after designing a colorful cardboard box theater with her adored Grandma. The creative kindergartner practiced in front of me while I ate a late dinner. “Hi, I’m Knolla” & a bit later “I’m Selena” were more made-up bunny characters engaged in an Easter Egg Hunt.

“Pea soup!!! I’m going to get some!” The always-enthused eater never missed a chance to help Grandpa polish off a plate. Never ceasing to joyfully bounce all around the house, she happily made a beeline downstairs after I made a comment about where & what someone she loved was doing.

Come to think of it, I can’t bring to mind 1 single unbecoming aspect I know of about my darling niece. Wait, she’ll even unknowingly assist me in ending this short tale.

One point of the girl’s visit caused this comment of mine – “That’s the bomb!” – to be exclaimed, but I’ll now use the spunky sweetheart’s immediate 2-word reply to

complete this story’s title AND tag her spunky self

in 1 fell swoop:

Bomb Diggity!!!

The End

By Aunt Amy    4.13.17

 

“Sharpedo”

By Aunt Amy on 4.5.17

“An All-in Aunt” – the day of the story

“Did you make one foeh huh?” the 3-year-old in potty training was inquiring if his creatively talented Grandma also sewed a purse “for her” (his little sister). Upon being shown the cute new bag sewn for his sister of 6, he never missed an opportunity to speak up on the youngest one’s behalf.

“You need to make one foeh huh.” His older bro is impressive too:

“I can’t believe your name only has 3 letters but 2 syllables,” the seven-year-old thinker declared.

“I never thought of it like that,” responded Aunt Amy. “That’s a clever way of looking at it!”

Continuing our conversation while he sorted his beloved vast collection of Pokemon cards, – a favorite of his inspiring this story’s title – he asked a question.

“Do you know anyone besides me & my sister who are homeschooled?”

I surprised the second grader by reminding him that I was homeschooled for eighth grade after being diagnosed with leukemia over the summer & too ill to attend my last year of middle school.

Furthermore, Max serenaded his littlest sis with the song “Step By Step” by the late 80’s/early 90’s hit boy band New Kids on the Block in the kitchen at one point. All 3 of her older siblings rallied around their tiny sister to make sure she ate her midday meal too. On to time spent with my 6-year-old niece.

“Then I’ll wash it,” she replied matter-of-factly.

We were watching America’s Funniest Home Videos’ “It’s Tough Being a Kid” episode on Netflix in my room during our afternoon rest time; her 3 siblings watched “The Lion King” with their Grandma in the family room.

I’d just told my adorable niece that birds are dirty animals after she said she wanted one after seeing a funny clip of one. She had more to say to me earlier in her visit, though:

“I don’t like you.”

“What’d you say?” I asked one-hundred-percent taken aback, startled to hear those words coming out of her mouth.

“Aunt Amy, I don’t love you,” she continued while holding her little sister in her arms.

Well, I guess all of my time spent investing in the little girl, playing her favorite activities like coloring & “Chutes & Ladders” & discussing an array of topics countless times, meant nothing. Wow. But boy, what I heard next told me I needn’t fear the true feelings of the delightfully whimsical child.

Now THIS is more like it.

“I super love you!”

The End

 

The Worm

“I was overconfident,” I explained to my nephew, 8, the reason I accidentally crashed cars playing “Car Chaos” on my Kindle. The game involves tapping cars to speed through a 4-way intersection to avoid colliding, hence the name of the game.

Yeah, overconfident,” he readily agreed with me during our competition, “so overconfident you looked at me while you were playing!

Boom! One day not very long ago, a year or two perhaps, the youngster opened his mouth & told of what he knew, & we in the family were all taken aback at his vast repertoire of knowledge.

Continuing on to today, the way my 8-year-old nephew’s brain can make connections comparing 1 thing to something wholly different, is astounding. He’s figured out things in school that defy expectations & absorbs learning like a sponge to water. No doubt, upon squeezing, the boy probably oozes instead of tiny droplets of water, little nuggets of knowledge.

Today was scaled down from the school stuff he knows to activity he does.

I asked him what sports he does now, thinking maybe he did basketball, baseball or karate.

Swimming,” he replied, which reminded me that he took swimming lessons Monday evenings along with his two-years-younger sister. He then described to his listening aunt that the butterfly stroke is the current task at hand:

Do you know what the dance the worm is?

I love the way his ever-expanding mind works.

It’s like doing the worm on water.

Doing “The Worm” on land

The End

By Aunt Amy

3-24-17

 

“Pre-Rain-Powerfully-Pouring Playtime”

“Man, my cards are magic!” came the overjoyed exclamation of my 7-year-old nephew after winning 100% of our Pokémon contests. The game we played outside on his patio table on the unseasonably warm February afternoon consisted of seeing which of our Pokémon cards in each match inflicted the most harmful “damage” on the other; I think “damage” might be the number on the right side of the card but I’m not even sure. But I am very good at nodding as if I know what I’m doing. “They made you paralyzed, burned, AND poisoned!”

I’d explained to the boy how I was paralyzed with facial paralysis (from the dreadful effects of cancer treatment, although there was no reason to bring up the causes of it at the time); burned, because I explained how I fell asleep with a hot water bottle full of boiling hot water & got 3 burns on my lower left leg; & last but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST poisoned, because of the 60 doses of the poison arsenic I was given at age 17 to try to combat my 2nd of 4 leukemia relapses.

Throughout all of our playtime (my nieces & nephews & me) engaging in things including the games Memory & Candy Land, spontaneous singing, & watching workers from the large front window doing their job in the middle of the street, my nephew of 3 never once stopped making sure his little sister of 1 was safe & sound. Brotherly love in abundance.

Earlier in the playtime my older niece gave me stickers & then offered to put the paper they were from onto my face to look like a mustache. (See picture.)  Soon after, I ate sliced apple I’d brought. Introduce again my niece. She’s 5 & right on point just like her brothers.

These children continually amaze Aunt Amy with their outstanding knowledge, aware of countless famous people, age-appropriate world happenings like the election of our new president, & common or well-known phrases as well. See?

“Do you like apples?” my sweet niece innocently inquired of me as I munched on my organic Gala standing to her right.

“Yes.”

“How do you like dem apples?”

The End

By Aunt Amy on 2-24-17