What Happens At Auntie Ellen's, Stays At Auntie Ellen's
Isn't he the cutest little boy you've ever seen?
I'm a little biased, because I am his auntie, but I honestly think that he is the cutest boy. Truthfully, before the Pea was born (that's what my sister calls him), I didn't really get the whole "boy" thing. Women would talk gaga googoo about their sons, and I would nod along accordingly, but secretly I thought, "What a poor sad deluded woman. What could possibly be so interesting about a boy?" There is no pink. There are no rainbow sparkles. There are no Baby Lulu matchy froofroo dress sets. There are trucks. And Thomas the Train. And sweater vests.
But then the Pea was born and now I totally get it. I now understand that it is possible to love a boy. They are so totally different than girls, but still awesome. Anna would turn everything into a baby doll. If she had no baby doll, she would turn a truck into a baby doll. The Pea is the opposite. The baby doll becomes a truck. Or simply an implement for destruction and beating floors. Anna practices her fairy princess butterfly voice; the Pea growls like a tauntaun from Star Wars. Anna can snuggle for hours. I'm lucky if I get two minutes with the Pea.
So on Friday, I was charged with watching him all day. Yes, 12 straight Pea-filled hours. I have no idea why they trusted me with his care because I am terrible. When he is being naughty or howling, I tell my sister, "Oh, but he's so cuuuuuuuute. Let's give him a cookie." I'm just terrible. Here he is getting spoiled rotten:
He had more Puffs and cowboys on Friday than is probably allowed by law.
It was good for me. I was completely beat by the end of the day. I forgot about... toddlers. How can they be so squishy-wishy adorable and yet so darn exhausting? The Pea's favorite things to do that day: 1) Climb on the couch and stand up. Wait for Auntie Ellen to say, "Please sit down, Pea. You will fall and hit your head." Plop. Grin. Shuffle to next chair. Repeat. Fifty times. 2) Stand in his diaper at the water-filled sink with a handful of plastic frogs, with Auntie Ellen holding him to make sure he doesn't topple off the stool. Drop a frog on the floor. Wait for Auntie Ellen to pick it up. Throw the frog in the water. Laugh. Drop a frog on the floor. Wait for Auntie Ellen to pick it up. Repeat. Fifty times.
But I also remembered things I really miss about those years. Making their little toddler lunch, and spooning yogurt in their mouth. Being thrilled when they say something new (the Pea said, "Up, please!" and I was like figuring out who I could call to tell about his amazingness.) Seeing their face light up when they see somebody they love (the Pea loves Anna with a passion. I only realize how much he simply tolerates me when I see his face when Anna walks in the room.) Those toddler years are tough, but there are constant little bitty rewards.