Once, I was completely astounded when Ethan who was barely 3 at the time, began calling his mother by her first name. It was such an odd, shrill sound coming from the small boy that it stopped me in my tracks. He over-enunciated every syllable and consonant so that it sounded something like, "Ra JEEEE nuh?!" (Only, an octave higher of course). I burst out laughing so hard that it startled him a little, and then gave him all the encouragement he needed to keep it up. I suppose it didn't help that I began imitating him between bouts of laughter and struggles for breath. Meanwhile, his mother was not so amused. But I have a feeling that when Ethan glanced at his fuming mother, and then at his hysterically giggling Aunt Beth, he wasn't so afraid of getting in trouble. It took his mother a while but she finally broke him of that habit, no thanks to me.
Another time, the 2 boys and I were eating breakfast and waiting for Uncle Eddie to wake up. I promised I would take them sledding, but we couldn't leave until Uncle Eddie was ready. This is when I gave the boys very, very detailed instructions. You'd be surprise at the amount of information toddlers can retain when it includes inflicting physical pain on someone. I told them, "Sneak upstairs, then quietly open the bedroom door, and jump right on Uncle Eddie's tummy!" I really hammered home the idea of jumping, tummy, and the element of surprise. They LOVED it! Eddie, not so much (don't worry, all his internal organs are fine).
To top it all off, it seems like every present I buy them is some kind of noise maker. I watched their mother's horrified face as the boys opened their Christmas gifts a few months ago....a drum, a tambourine, maracas, and a fart whistle. Yep, fart whistle (for 99 cents, that turned out to be the favorite gift).
Oh, there are many fond stories like this, and what makes these memories so special, are those two little boys. I'm proud to be their Aunt Beth.
|Zach and his drum set|
|Ethan and his fart whistle|
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