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Monday
Jul282008

How a Prince Should Conduct Himself So As to Gain Renown 

Today, Will The Baby Nephew becomes Will The Small Child NephewHe is two.

Sometimes he sits in his high chair; sometimes he grabs my hand to direct it to a picture of an orange cat.  "A tiger!"  he'll say.  Curious George gets "A monkey!", and all trains, model or actual, are Gordon.  (Not to re-open the jagged wound which is  The Great Thomas The Tank Engine Debate of last January, but aunting gave me the opportunity to view a Thomas music video, and I was treated to ten minutes of cheerful British children singing about "accidents and incidents" as engines crashed through station houses and railcars burst into flame.  It was about as soothing as a nice glass shard massage.  Is this an England thing?  I mean, if I were only two generations removed from Nazis lobbing V-2 rockets at my major city, I suppose my bedtime stories would be less ponies playing in fields, more smallpox epidemics.)

I took time to just sit and watch Will today.  It helps that I am laboring under some sort of phlegm-throwing allergy thing, and to move requires immense forethought, so beholding a two-year-old who insists upon pitching himself upside down in my lap was precisely my speed.  ("'Side down!" he says, hurling himself over my legs and head-first at the floor.)

When Jim The Small Child Nephew was born, he was the first grandchild on either side of the family, so all the adults would arrange themselves in a large crescent of admiration and behold his existence. Not so with Will, who arrived in the midst of several cousins and a brother who knows enough to watch his back.  I flew from Florida to Ohio on a last-minute ticket when my godchild was born; Will, choosing to enter the world as I taught a summer sprint class, was greeted from a Daytona Beach apartment as I held down the pause button on a Texas Instruments game I'd just rescued from eBay.  It's not that I love him less.  Of all people, a fellow second child understands:  He is the continuation, not the novelty.

Will's aunt is a toner-stained wretch, but The Prince is a quiet man of action, an iceburg of concentration as his older brother shrieks about sock fuzz nearby.  He is loved for himself, but serves as a two-foot foil of The King:  "He's talking more than Jim did at this age."  "How old was James when he transitioned to a booster seat?"

As a result of his position as "the spare," Will is left with the toys his brother is coerced into tossing his way, the used high chair, the divided attention.  He combats all of this via extra cuteness and stellar aviary identification skillz.  Every family ought to have a Will-- but you can't have mine.

first presence at an actual nephew birthday party at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (4)

Congratulations to Will :-)

July 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

How sweet! I can't wait to be an aunt! I have a godchild, who I barely interact with, sadly, but my sister is as yet unmarried, and claims to want 4 children when she and the 7 year boyfirend eventually do get married.
I am an aunt by marriage but my neices and nephews live in TN and don't even call me "aunt" Kris. It's a southern thing, apparently. Or maybe it's just a weird "their family" thing.
Hope you're feeling better soon!

July 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKris

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

August 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Thanks much, Alex-- and welcome :)

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB
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