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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Crying is for babies

As my sister is getting ready for our trip to the store, she’s running around with my younger niece, holding her in her arms, while trying to get my older niece dressed. She looks a little frantic because she’s trying to do several things at once while getting nothing accomplished.

I’m sitting on the second-last step of her curving staircase, watching her go back and forth in the foyer.

"T, can you hold the baby while I get the other one ready?" she asks, brushing away some hair from her face.

"I don’t know," I reply. "Remember how it was with the other one?"

When my older niece was a baby, she didn’t like me. Whenever she was passed to me, she’d squirm, frown, and start to cry. I’d try to hold her close, but her little arms would push me away. After the rejection, I’d hold her at arms length to see if her crying would subside. It wouldn’t. The moment she was passed along to the next person, she’d stop. It was like a scene in bad sitcom. Being a spectator in the same room would make you wonder if I was pinching my niece under her clothing.

It was unsettling. She acted as if I was a stranger. It took her almost a year to feel comfortable around me. Until my older niece came into the world, every baby liked me and I liked them. The ick factor didn’t come into play when I had to change a diaper. Dressing them was fun because it was like I was doing it to a real-life doll (that pees and poos). Feeding them and playing with them didn’t bother me.

The crying, on the other hand, was when I had to pass them along to their respective parents.

"Come on, T," my sister pleads. "Can you take her, even for a sec?"

"Fine." I scrunch my face, waiting for the inevitable wailing that is about to commence. My sister unwraps my little niece, and turns her around.

She passes her to me and… nothing.

She doesn’t do anything. She doesn’t frown. She doesn’t squirm. She doesn’t cry. She just sits there, looking at me. Her expression isn’t quizzical. In fact, she opens her eyes to get a better look. When she opens her mouth, I’m expecting a wail. As it turns out, she yawns. I breathe a sigh of relief.

When my older niece is ready and waiting to go, my sister walks up to me – still sitting on the second-bottom step – and looks at the both of us. "See? She’s opening her eyes." My sister points to the baby’s face as she approaches. "She hasn't done much of that, yet. Maybe she wants a better look at what her uncle looks like..."

From that moment on, I don't mind holding my little niece. They grow so quickly, that each moment you have with them, you have to embrace because they'll never be that size, ever again. Their faces change shape, their limbs stretch and grow, and their mouths attempt to form words with their small lips.

Of course, the second she starts to cry, I'm passing her off to my sister.

Note: This Sunday is her christening. I hope she doesn't cry.

8 Comments:

Blogger Random Thinker said...

who's T?

I'm going to see my 2 new nieces this Sunday!

:)

November 30, 2007 12:17 am  
Blogger Sooo-this-is-me said...

So cute, until they learn to say NO! Mine! NOT GOING TO SLEEP! YOUR NOT MY BOSS!

Steven

November 30, 2007 12:24 am  
Blogger Lewis said...

I have a wonderful calming effect on children, seriously. They love me! ( And, I have to say, I love MOST of them too...).

November 30, 2007 10:17 am  
Blogger Anthony said...

But the best part is when you can make a child STOP crying! When they are just holding onto you with their little arms and it feels like they will never let go. That, my friend is th best part.

November 30, 2007 10:23 am  
Blogger about a boy said...

they grow way too fast! i cant hold my neice the way i did last year. :( but i still love her!

November 30, 2007 11:18 am  
Blogger Silly Billy said...

Oh geez, the joys of unclehood. Have fun at the christening.

November 30, 2007 12:18 pm  
Blogger Preposterous Ponderings said...

Babies are the best!

November 30, 2007 10:24 pm  
Blogger Spilled Drambuie said...

I was the same way with my niece. Now, I can't wait for the weekends so I can go visit her.

December 01, 2007 11:11 am  

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