family

top 5 things about being an auntie

i have nine neices and nephews–two on my side, seven on matt’s. i am the youngest of my siblings by a long way, and i honestly didn’t babysit that much as a teen. my experience with tiny humans was limited before my first niece was born.

i always thought kids were so sticky, you know? they always had jam hands {gilmore girls reference, anyone?} and were just…always covered in something. so generally i kept my distance and imagined myself the type of someday mom who just constantly douses her kid in Lysol spray and hopes for the best. but as the years wore on, and more tiny humans came into my life, things changed.

so, after nearly a decade of being an auntie, i bring you my list of the top 5 things about being an auntie.

you’re so fun.  the novelty of being a non-parent caretaker never wears off. you have the energy to play ten rounds of hide and seek {while your niece tells you exactly where to hide as she’s counting?} and watch countless ballet recitals in the living room. because you’re not changing diapers, pleading for nap time, choo-choo training pureed organic carrots into unwilling mouths, and prying fingers off of kitty tails, you have the emotional bandwidth to go along with *a lot* of pretending.

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two is better than one. or really, four is better than two. last summer, we took my niece and nephew to Disneyland, and it made things so much easier with four adults and two kiddies. while we stood in line, matt could run across the park and get fast passes for other rides {thanks, babe} arriving just in time to hop into the bobsleds for a swiss-alps adventure on the matterhorn. you can switch off doing everything: carrying babies {see below}, manning nap duty, grabbing some sweet nectar of the gods {diet coke, duh}, and standing in line for food/rides/the bathroom/characters/photos…i’m just realizing basically all you do at Disneyland is stand in lines, amiright?

if you’re nervous about taking kiddies on trips so young that they may not remember, keep in mind that you will.

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you get to be a confidant. let’s face it: no one wants to tell their mom and dad anything, really. but sometimes you do need an adult to give you advice abut adult-y things. aunties are like grown up sisters without the sibling rivalry of an *actual* sister. broken heart? been there. college essays? you can have mine.  parents don’t get you? i feel that. aunties can provide feedback {mostly} free from bias. hey, we’re not perfect.

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you feel a lot of joy. parents always talk about the unconditional love they have for their kiddies. i’m not going to sit here in my auntie ivory tower and tell you i *get* it, but i have fallen in love with a few tiny humans in my time {nothing weird}. from the hilarious things they say to the excitement on their faces when they see you after a long absence, it can be so rewarding to be a part of their lives. you have your own inside jokes, ongoing games, and secrets from mom and dad. because let’s face it, aunties let tiny humans get away with a lot. 

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you get a little practice for parenthood. ok, ok. i know parenthood is like a thousand times harder than taking a tiny human to the park. but one time, i caught puke in my hands in a moving vehicle. if that’s not parenthood prep, i honestly don’t want to know what is.

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