For instance: I watched my brother get married to his first love who happened to be a complete mentalist, only to end up divorced a few years later and never speaking to his father again – Note to self: Do not do that when grown up
For instance: I watched my sister climb the corporate ladder and get a very high powered job – Note to self: Do not do that when grown up (I’m not cut out for the hours that are required from that kind of position!)
But mostly I have picked up a litany of parenting tips. My first nephew was born when I was 13 so I’ve had a long time to slowly absorb things and file them away. I learned the best tactics for changing nappies, how to deal with temper tantrums, how to deal with whingey whiny snotbags and the importance of keeping up to date with your Maths skills to help with homework.
Last weekend I went over to my Mum’s to meet up with my brother, sister-in-law, youngest nephew and new niece. My niece is at a delightful age, 12 weeks, she’s no longer just a small baby-sized lump doing nothing but sleep and scream and is now smiling and interacting with the world around her. Everyone likes baby smiles.
My youngest nephew is two and a half and has now entered a phase where he actually likes me. There has been a long time where he would just bury his head and have nothing to do with me, mainly because I didn’t see him enough for him to know me, something which my poor little heart has struggled with. But now he knows me, knows my name and seems fairly happy to sit and play with his cars with me.
After a while my nephew went to lie down on the settee, exhausted by an afternoon of completing jigsaws and pushing cars about the floor and terrorising Fred and Lily. I was passed the baby and sat content in Auntie role, marvelling at how small her hands are and how long her eyelashes are and general baby-related nonsense.
My nephew suddenly sat up on Mum’s settee.
“He looks very pale” remarked his mother.
“He’s just tired” said my brother.
And with that, my nephew vomited all over the settee and himself.
There was a stunned moment of silence as all of us looked at him and then he did it again which galvanised everyone into action. My brother was instructed to take him upstairs, my sister-in-law started cleaning up and Mum started filling up the washing up bowl to start sponging down the settee.
There was a fraught 15 minutes or so as people took care of nephew and the cleaning operation (which had to be extended from the settee as my nephew had thrown up again as my brother was carrying him up the stairs, spraying walls and stair carpet).
Me? I was the rather smug member of the family who wasn’t obliged to do anything because I was fortunate enough to be holding the baby at the commencement of vomiting.
Note to self: Keep hold of the baby at all times when a toddler is also in the picture, they are bound to be less trouble.
(Extra note to self: When toddler is vomiting, don’t take him upstairs, remove him swiftly to the kitchen sink where there is at least laminate flooring.)
GRATUITOUS BABY PHOTO!