Where’s the off switch?
Earlier this week, I had the delight of spending a couple of days with my niece, who is three (“my Mom says almost four”) years old. I would have posted this sooner, but I needed a full day to recover.
It started off great! I picked her up from daycare and she was excited to see me. Excited! Oh, how wonderful it is to be an Aunt. She chattered all the way to the car. Yep, this is great. Still chattering. Isn’t she cute? Just chattering away like a cute little blonde headed electronic monkey. This is sure nice. Of course it is! I mean, I don’t get to spend time with her very often. Not quality one-on-one time. Just the two of us. Alone. With no one else to intervene…um…interfere. Chatter, chatter, chatter.
So we were having a good talk, and then Amanda wised up about where we were heading. All of a sudden like. She wanted to know if she was going to wake up at my house tomorrow. I answered, the very image of perkiness, “Yes, I’m borrowing you for a few days.”
“You can’t borrow me.” This said in a dry, matter-of-fact (my Mom says) I’m a Big Girl tone. My mind was immediately crowded with visions of Upset Niece, demanding to go home to her Mom who she is Extremely Attached To. I quickly assessed my options and, if I do say so myself, I handled it very well. Like a grown-up.
“No you can’t. You can’t borrow people. You borrow things.” I was clearly in over my head, and we hadn’t been together an hour yet.
But it went pretty well in the end. She was a good girl and so was I. We both had fun. We played indoors and outdoors:
We had a constant stream of movies playing in the background. Of which, she usually watched the first 30 minutes or so, seeming to concentrate as though her life depended on it. Then she would suddenly lose all interest. When it was over, she’d invariably ask, “Did I miss it?” (Invariably. Without variation. Every time.)
I read a blog a while back about a little girl who asks many, many questions, particularly during movies. I chuckled my way through that blog. So cute.
Until it happens to you. Amanda’s favorite word is, “Why?” “Why did he do that? Why does he look like that? Why is he sad?”
At least once (or five times) I caught myself just short of crying out in desperation, “If you’d just stop asking questions for a MOMENT, you wouldn’t have to ask me what happened. Are we watching the same thing? What do you mean, ‘What did that man do?’ You just watched him do it.” But I would gather my patience and be a good Aunty. After all, she’s just three-almost-four.
My sister said that asking “Why” is just Amanda’s way of making conversation. I, of all people, can’t fault her for that.
All in all it was a good visit. Yep, it was great! She was happy. I was tired.
But a good tired.
I truly loved having her over to visit…and I loved turning her back in.
Can so borrow people.