Sunday, September 12, 2010

What I Love About Being an Aunt

Logan John slid into the world today weighing in at 8 pounds even. Heidi's smallest babe yet. He is healthy and perfect. He has lots of blonde hair which Heidi already was styling, incredibly long lashes, and what appears to be the Hardeman toes gene- sorry bud.

Emma and I brought his big brothers to the hospital and maybe one of my favorite moments ever is seeing them react to their new bro bro. Vander, in typical adorable and affectionate fashion, gently hugged Logan. Huddy, who has always been pumped about babies, was ecstatic about his very own baby and immediately welcomed to the family by giving him a noogie. Logan will soon learn that in our family, that is a sign of affection.

Heidi and Dan got a glimpse of what life will be like with three crazy boys. As the attention was all focused on Logan, Huddy grabbed two suckers and he and Vander slipped into the bathroom to play and closed the door behind them. We heard giggling and then a toilet flushing and when Dan opened the door, Vander had the "caught in the act" expression and Huddy just laughed as he continued to dip his suckers in the flushing toilet. Heidi really is super mom though because when she heard the toilet flush she said, "I bet Huddy is dunking his suckers right now." The now middle child really is hilarious.

Heidi is superwoman. Literally. She makes labor seem like a piece of cake. I got this text this morning from her: "How was your run? Have epidural and haven't felt any contractions but am having them:)" I can't think of many women who include smiley faces in their texts and ask about other people's days WHILE THEY ARE IN LABOR! I also can't think of many women who deliver a child and look like they just stepped out of a magazine in a hospital gown. Hair curled and styled, make-up perfect,... I felt a bit self-conscious walking in looking like a mess after my run. Afterwards I was in the room when the nurse was giving her pain medication. She asked her on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain ever, what Heidi was feeling. Heidi paused, considered, and said, "Oh about a 3." A three. This of course made me think of this bit by Brian Regan.

So in honor of Logan's arrival, here is a list of things I love about being an aunt.

* I can tell my nephews ANYTHING and they will believe it. The other night Vander was sharing my milk because I told him it was magic milk. But I said he could only share if he didn't backwash. He then asked me what it means to backwash. I realized that if I told him the truth, he, without question, would spit his food in my milk. Thus the lie. I didn't realize its effect until I heard my mom:

"Vander, stop it! What are you doing? Katie, why is Vander putting his hand in your milk and rubbing his back?"


* I get to play in ways that are socially unacceptable if you are not accompanied by a kid. I can climb trees, swing on the swings, and slide down slides without looks of disapproval. I get to do cannon balls and swan dives and wear goggles and have tea parties without fear of judgement. I get to hang out under the kitchen table eating marshmallows and toss water balloons at imaginary dragons and no one bats an eye. I get to dress up in costumes and have sword fights and no one doubts my sanity. I get to hide in neighbor's side yards without worrying about them calling the cops and run around fountains playing chase without fear of raised eyebrows.

* I get to watch cartoons without feeling judged. I do still watch them on my own but I notice the lifted eyebrows and mocking condescension. Phineas and Ferb is certainly a favorite of the newer brand of cartoons but I also found a Care Bear DVD which I bought for the boys...or really for myself but I watch it with them. What better excuse to watch the Care Bear stare and Loony Tunes again than doing it "for my nephews."

* I don't have to do any disciplining. Maybe I'm supposed to but I don't. Sometimes I even tattle on them and they get spanked. It's awesome. (Okay stop judging me- I only tattled once and Vander was disobeying my mom so I told Dan about it. My mom was not happy with me. Apparently it's true- nobody likes a snitch.) When Vander doesn't do what I tell him to, I just threaten to stop playing with him. Works like a charm.

* I get to feel like the coolest person alive. Whenever I need a self-esteem boost, I go see my nephews. No one else cheers when I enter a room. It's always a little awkward when Vander tries to get others to share in his enthusiasm upon my arrival- "Hey guys, Katie is here!" The downside of this attention is that everyone always knows when I'm in the bathroom. If I manage to escape his attention for a moment to sneak to the commode, I instantly hear, "Where'd Katie go?" knock, knock, knock. "Katie you in there? Can I come in? Hey guys, I found her- she's in the bathroom." Thanks Van.

* I rarely change diapers. I know what you're thinking- your sister must secretly resent you for this. I really don't think she does. She doesn't seem to. I can count on one hand how many times I've changed them. Once I put Huddy's diaper on backwards and another time he rolled around in his poop. Maybe that's why Heidi never asks me. When Vander was being potty trained we were playing in the "jungle" on the hill in my parents' backyard. We were squatting as we hid from the bad guys and he kept ripping 'em so I said,

"Vander do you have to go potty?"

"No. Let's just keep playing."

"Okay, but if you poop your pants, I'm not cleaning you up."

He laughed.

Then he pooped his pants.

I did not clean him up.

He loves telling that story. He also LOVES telling people the story of when he fell and I picked him up but then took one step and slipped in a puddle and fell on top of him. My ankle is literally scarred from that fall so I can never forget about that very embarrassing evening when my mom thought I broke Vander's foot.

I love these little boys more than I thought possible. I love playing with them even though they suck the energy right out of me. (Heidi has taken numerous pictures of me passed out on the couch after just an hour with them) I love snuggling them, swimming with them, and reading to them. I love teaching them new things like how to make a water balloon and do the "worm." I love watching them grow and change and pray and play. Heidi and Dan are incredible parents and they certainly have been blessed with three absolutely amazing boys.

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