I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Thank heaven for little girls

There is a connection some people have with children that can only be called special. It’s indescribable. They look into one another’s eyes and fall in love.

But, sometimes love starts off as something else.

When my niece was born, she was the size of a small bag of flower with a set of arms and legs, a tiny head covered with fair hair and a pair of eyes of indeterminate colour. In short, she looked like every newborn.

She enjoyed being passed from adult to adult, giving them warm smiles and the occasional spit bubble. When I held her, her disposition changed and the smile turned into a furrowed brow and the spit bubble became a scream of terror.

She hated me.

I became reluctant to hold her since she would cry, push me away and squirm in my arms. This went on for some time.

Then, things changed - quickly.

By the time she began to crawl, I would sit down and play with her. There was a change in dynamics. The furrowed brow smoothed out, replaced by the occasional smile and squeal. This was a relief to me.

Talking developed concurrently with walking. Her mother would try and teach her to say mama and dada, but the one that stuck (strangely enough) was Ti Ti – short for Uncle Steven. Why? I have no idea.

Upon visiting my sister, my niece would run to the door, point at me, smile and say, “Ti Ti,” while forgetting there were other visitors. Why? Again, I have no idea.

No one understood why my niece found me so interesting. Fuck if I knew.

The more she grew, the more I spent time with her. She became a living doll. We would play with her toys and dolls, look at books, and have me look for her when she disappeared in the corners of the house. It was like most relationships uncles have with their nieces.

Eventually, there began a time where I couldn’t leave the room without having her follow me. No longer could I watch TV, use the computer or talk on the phone, without having her tug on my arm and pull me away to do something with her.

Going to the bathroom became an excruciating experience. I would try and make as little noise as I could when I would slip out of the room, but her supersonic hearing located me in seconds.

While sitting on the throne, I would be fearful that she would find me. From the distance I could hear the tapping of her feet on the wooden floors. They would get closer and closer. I would squeeze my eyes tight and stop breathing.

“Ti Ti,” she would yell as she hit the door with her palm. “Ti TI! (bang bang bang)” she would continue. I could see the doorknob move as I looked at it in terror. Shit, I hope she doesn’t open the door. Please, don’t let her open the door and find Ti Ti on the throne, I’d think.

From the distance, I would hear, “Leave Ti Ti alone and come over here. He’ll be out soon.” If it wasn’t for that save, I don’t know what I would’ve done. Would a biology lesson be in order? Do infants understand the concept of the male anatomy?

These behaviours will pass when she gets older and her uncle - miraculously - remains the same age. She'll get taller and prettier (judging by her paternal side of the family). She'll also get smarter and funnier (if her maternal's wacky-ass family is a predictor of humour-filled antics).

But, that's for another day. Today, she is still my little niece. And, I'll take every day with her as it comes, for she won't be a little girl for long.

Thank heaven for little girls, for little girls get bigger every day...


Blogger tornwordo said...

That was really really nice. Thank you.

June 23, 2006 7:51 am  
Blogger Kevin said...

Very nice post, indeed.

But some people LOCK the door.

June 23, 2006 8:31 am  
Blogger Steven said...

Torn: She makes me want to be a nicer person... sometimes.

Six: Would you believe I initially wrote the ending with a note saying I have to teach her to how to lock the bathroom door?

June 24, 2006 2:31 pm  
Blogger whatsthebuzz said...

Aw...that's sweet Steven! I remember when she was being finicky, but I kind of figured she'd change her mind. Here's a weird little theory;

Sometimes I think a strong negative emotional reaction signifies that there is at LEAST strong emotion between you from the start. It almost bonds you because you were the only one she had that large a reaction to. YOU knew you loved her from the beginning, and now...the same emotional strength she had in fighting you has crossed over to the strong positive emotion that's bonding you.

June 26, 2006 10:25 pm  

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