Yesterday was my parents’ 36th wedding anniversary. We went out for a meal with the family. Walking back to the car my dad and my little sister walked next to each other. My dad has gained a pound every year he has been married, my sister is nearly six months pregnant. The difference was hardly visible.
It is weird to think that in nearly 4 months I will be uncle Gerbie. I don’t think it sunk when they told me. All four grand parents were sitting in the empty living room of their recently bought home, they apparently waited until they came back home. I did congratulate them off course.
The good thing about a child is that one has plenty of time to prepare. Not that I have much preparing to do. I am just very happy for my little sister and her boyfriend. I am proud to become an uncle. And I think I will be a good uncle. I have always loved little children. Though I have to admit that little in my life usually starts at 3-4 years. I have worked several seasons at various campsites entertaining the children, but they have to be able to join the fun and games, to understand what is happening.
I did do some babysitting with very little children and I have to admit that this wasn’t a huge success. I remember a two year old who was great. His parents told me that all I needed to do was read him a story; he had a new nappy, so I could put him to bed after the reading. Not a chance. He was so happy to become the centre of attention that I ended up playing with his toy collection. When I tried putting him to bed, he became annoyed, so this status quo lasted for hours. When he was finally tired, he told me he had filled his diaper. I had smelled that earlier but ignored it. I had never changed one before, but had to give it a go. He made it easier by standing on all fours with his bum in the air, all ready for me to clean. I wasn’t prepared for this situation. Trying not to breath, in the meantime trying to stop the inside of my stomach to do some anti-peristaltic movements, I used some kitchen paper (the only thing I could find in their tent) to scrape the worst bits from his little behind. After that I carried him to bed and didn’t need to read long before he fell asleep. I was told by experts that the shit of your own child isn’t as bad. On another occasion I sat with a little crying child for hours, with all the neighbours on that field (camp site again) feeling sorry for me. Some bad examples.
I do think I am good with children though. On more than one occasion I found myself looking at a crying child (in bus or train or shop), their mother couldn’t possibly get them to stop, while a few funny faces on my behalf (deliberate funny faces, not the one I was born with) did the trick within seconds. I have enjoyed working with children on camp sites and at the football. I get on with nearly all children of friends and family. I am looking forward to being uncle Gerbie.
In the meantime though, it does make me think of my failure to hold a relation for a while. Not me, the oldest, but my little sister is producing my parents’ first grandchild. If I do not join the ranks of the reproducers, the family name will go lost. A heavy burden on my old back, perhaps I should be looking for younger women by now, to find a suitable receiver of the product of my loins.
By the end of October a new member of our family will arrive. My sister’s life will never be the same again. I think mine will be affected as well. From then on I will be uncle Gerbie.
(You asked for it, a series I started to give anyone the opportunity to tell me what to write. You want to tell me as well: leave a comment or mail me (email in user info). This was part 4, no requests waiting at the moment.)