Friday, September 24, 2010

Uncle Rish Once Again

So, my sister had another kid this week. It seems like just yesterday she had her first one (and just a week before that, she was twelve).

For the longest time she thought it would be a girl, and was told she'd be able to have it, er, traditionally. But it turned out to be a boy, and she ended up getting a c-section. Fun.

It's hard to decide what to say about my new nephew. I don't like babies, under pretty much any circumstances (god, those awful day trading commercials with the semi-CGI babies . . . shudder). This one was particularly crimson and odd-looking, and the first thing that jumped in my head when I looked at him was "Why does it cry, Smeagol?"

My sister accused me of being afraid of the baby, since I was the only one who didn't want to hold it, and maybe that's true, but it was just so darn grotesque, and so darn fragile, and so alien (as if I could know what it wants or be able to appease its inhuman appetites). I'd rather wait until it mutates into human form.

But I was able to help, in a way. For three days this week, while my sister was in the hospital, I took care of my nephew. My older nephew, I guess, now that I have two. I had him at my place, and took him along with me wherever I went (preventing Big and me from recording on Monday, but ah well).

The two year old and I get along pretty darn well. To say that babysitting him--while a bit inconvenient and tiring--has been a pleasure is an understatement. The adoration I feel for this child is nearly overwhelming, and some kind of odd pride, as though he were my own, instead of belonging to my sister. It doesn't hurt that he's a hundred times better than your child.
We went out to eat together--the boy adores ketchup--got ice cream, played with those big blocks that are like Legos, went for drives, caught fish, shopped, went to the pet store, took him to and from the hospital a couple of times, sang karaoke* together, watched one and a half horror movies, and of course, tended to the turtles.

One of the highpoints of the week was when I put the boy on the toilet to "go potty," but I didn't pull his pants down far enough, and he ended up peeing into his pants instead of the toilet. Then, instead of setting those pants afire, I put them in the bathtub, promptly forgetting about them until the next day when the bathroom smelled like a men's room floor at a bloody truck stop. Whoops.

On Wednesdays I go to Jeff's for dinner and abuse, and I selfishly brought the child along. He fell asleep during the interminable drive to his house in the Middle of Nowhere, U.S.A., and I just laid him on their couch while we ate, and then chatted, and then watched a couple of shameful hours of "Glee." The boy woke up after almost three hours and came upstairs and ate chips and watched "Chuck" with us until after midnight. Then, instead of falling asleep on the drive home, he was alert and happy and looking at the lights and the full moon (there were even some deer on the side of the road and we stopped and looked at them until they tried to kill us for watching THE RING in 2002).

When we got to my place, he simply wouldn't go to sleep, which didn't bother me much, as I figured the later he stayed up, the longer he'd sleep in. He wanted me to make him bread with butter on it, so I made him toast, and he threw it away, so I guess he doesn't like it toasted. He then wanted pancakes, even though it was one in the morning. I had some Eggo waffles, so that was acceptable.

After that, he wanted to sit on my lap while we watched TV (JAWS 2 was on, but it was horribly Pan & Scanned, almost unwatchably so), and soon fell asleep there with me holding him. As I got up and took him to the little bed I'd made for him on the floor (basically an extra pillow, blankets, and kitten bones). As I sat him down, I had this strange sensation of accomplishment and pride that I felt truly alive in a way I don't often feel.My nephew is my favorite person in the world (even edging out early Eighties Phoebe Cates). And if I end up digging the new baby even half as much as I did the old one, well, I guess I'll love it quite a bit. Stranger things have happened.

Uncle Rish Outfield (he's your uncle too)

*On one of our days together, the child kept singing, "She wears t-shirts, I wear t-shirts," which I just plain didn't get, until I realized there's a Taylor Swift song that sort of goes that way. I found it on the Karaoke Channel, and tried to sing it with the boy, but he still only knows the t-shirts line. And before you accuse me of lying about not knowing a Taylor Swift song, I honestly didn't have "You Belong With Me" for some reason. Still don't.

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