austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Take It Right Off For You, But I Haven't Got A Hat

So the whole immediate family, plus one aunt, got together for this event, threatening but not actually overloading my sister-in-law's house. Between the food on hand and the food my parents brought up we were well-stocked, except that the abundant hummus my father had made the night before was left in the fridge back home. Well, I did my part, in taking the bags my mother said were to go up; I just assumed that they contained all the things which were supposed to go up.

My elder niece was having a pretty good time, particularly as she was able to direct each of us into what we were supposed to be doing. Also, with the remains of Easter toys laying around she was doing a lot of hanging out plastic eggs for people to hold and not lose this time. She also proclaimed a miniature football to be an egg. I admit not being precisely sure where she was going with this, but, my brother-in-law blew her mind by casually swapping the egg he was given for a little toy chick. My (Massachusetts) brother more baffled her by passing the football off to another person and insisting that he'd given it to me, so that when my niece tried to track down where it went she was certain I was being silly in my claim I hadn't touched it.

The high point there was her grabbing a vuvuzela and having each of us blow it in turn. I insisted on holding it as a flute and ``playing'' it, whistling to my very modest ability, and falling silent when she put a (toy) cooking pot lid over the horn. She took it quite seriously when I blew till I got red in the cheeks and couldn't produce a sound until she took the lid off.

My younger niece, being about eight months old, was more occupied in activities like sitting up and trying to grasp things which she could put in her mouth and drool on. Everyone, me included, got turns holding her as well, and she seems to be doing pretty well as best I can tell. She also hasn't decided what exactly her policy is about my having a beard, but she's studying it further.

At the end of the visit my father took a moment to do something I'd never have thought of, but that I guess comes to the experienced parent. He congratulated my elder niece on how good she was in letting the younger niece have so much attention. She is four years old, and she ought to be thanked for behaving correctly, just as much as she'd be criticized for doing badly.

Trivia: Edgar Allen Poe married his cousin when she was thirteen. Source: Know-It-All, A J Jacobs.

Currently Reading: Experiment In Independence: New Jersey In The Critical Period 1781 - 1789, Richard P McCormick.


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