I had some family visiting from out of state over the
weekend. I’m going to be honest and tell
you that I wasn’t much looking forward to it.
I was nervous. My cousin who’s
the same age as me was coming down with her 3 ½ year old daughter, and I had
this idea in my head that I was going to be TERRIBLE with the kid and it was
going to make me even more anxious about our family planning.
We don’t have many kids in our lives. We both come from large families where we are
the oldest on at least one of the two sides (I have 21 first cousins and I can’t
even count Catch’s), but we’ve reached that stage where even our youngest
cousins are into double-digit ages. None
of our friends have kids. None of our
siblings have kids. (Mine better not
even be THINKING about it because they are WAY too young.) It’s rare that we have an opportunity to spend
any time with little ones, and I’ve found that even when we do have a little
one around, Catch is FAR better with them than I am.
My trepidation is odd to me.
I started babysitting when I was 13 years old, and continued until I was
probably 19. It was my source of income
through my teen years—and I loved it.
Not to mention that there is a big enough age gap between me and my
siblings that I have always been more of an aunt than a sister. I should be totally comfortable around kids—and
it’s probably all in my head that I’m not.
All of that is why I decided I was going to win over this 3 ½
year old if it’s the last thing I do.
Our plan was to meet up with them at Disneyland the first day of their
visit. We arrived at the park, and I
tortured Catch for a few minutes as I went from shop to shop to find the perfect
toy for our first meeting—something that would help with boredom in lines, but
wouldn’t drive her mother too crazy. Win
them over with presents, right?
I ended up picking out a bubble gun, and let me tell you—it was
a hit. She LOOOOVED it.
A few hours after the successful deployment of Operation
Bubble Gun, the 8 of us were standing in line waiting for Mr. Toad’s Wild
Ride. As we approached the front of the
line, my uncle and cousin asked her which of them she wanted to ride with and
she said (and I quote), “No—I want to ride with HER.” Is it stupid that I felt like I’d won a
My absolute favorite part of the day was when we were
waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean and she reached up and took my
And that was just Disneyland. I had so much fun with that little munchkin. I feel infinitely better now—although I wish
she didn’t live so far away!