Thursday, 20 August 2009

Losing status

Just over 13 years ago I became an auntie for the first time.

I was only 13 years old so it was all incredibly exciting. My sister lived near Manchester and I remember travelling over with Mum and Dad to see my nephew for the first time. It would also be the first time I ever saw my sister cry.

Totally sleep deprived she was at her wits end with this small-ish (he was a 9 pounder!) red screeching thing that wouldn't sleep and wouldn't feed and just generally seemed awful. I was quite shocked. This wasn't what it was supposed to be like. Babies were supposed to be lovely and cute and adorable. Not aliens from the Planet Scream.

My Mum took control and sent my sister up to bed, took hold of her grandson and sorted him out, he quietened down and fell asleep and then he was passed to me.

I liked him much better when he was asleep and quiet.

And it was at that moment that I became a proud auntie.

I absolutely adored him and you know what? He adored me. I think because I was so young he could sort of tell that I wasn't like the big grown ups around him and was more like him in a way. He would come to me when he was upset, if I ever rebuked him he would burst in to tears and I would spend hours on the floor playing with Thomas the Tank Engine or dinosaurs.

Four years later the next nephew came along. I was 17 this time so was a bit more savvy, I knew what it was all about. His smallness (although again, not that small, this one came out at 10lbs!) and screechiness didn't scare me as much and I was less scared of breaking him when I touched him.

When I went to university in Manchester I was even closer so was regularly called on for babysitting duties. They loved it when I came round. I was officially a Cool Aunt. They would beg for me to go and pick them up from school and tell all their friends that I was their Auntie and I was at university and everything. It was a pretty awesome feeling thinking that 2 little people thought you were that ace.

However those little boys are now 13 and 8. And as they've got older, I've become less cool. I'm a 'grown up' now, I couldn't possibly do cool things - I have a job and everything now. The little boy that adored me when I was 15/16 is now up to my shoulders, has long hair and is beginning to grunt rather than talk. Nothing I do is ever going to be considered cool to this guy.

It's also a little difficult to relate to them. Having never been a 13 or 8 year old boy I don't really know what they like and don't understand the things they do like. Everything was much simpler when I could sit on the floor and build with blocks. Everyone can do that.

Mum's currently looking after them for a week during the summer holidays and they came over to have dinner with me and the boyfriend last night. I've gone from being the cool Aunt to being pretty redundant. My only use was making food and switching the X-box on. I can't even help them play the games because I don't know how to. I couldn't glue the bits of Warhammer figures together because I didn't know what I was supposed to do.

Enter....the boyfriend.

He immediately glued the scythe to the little metal figure and then set about impressing the boys with his skills on Guitar Hero.

I went and sat in the spare room and watched telly.

And mourned the loss of my status as cool aunt.

We took the boys back to Granny's later on and the youngest nephew came to me in the kitchen. He told me that he thought the boyfriend was really cool.

And it actually made me feel better. I might not be cool but at least I can supply them with a cool Uncle and that's good enough for me.


♥Rosie♥ said...

You will get back the status as cool aunt when they get over their teen years. It's quite normal for boys at this age to go around grunting and the world is all against them – I know and thank the lord my son came out the other end ok after a few years of growing up.

The Curious Cat said...

Yeah I agree with Rosie - don't worry! I'm sure there are other things you can be cool at too and when they are a bit older they'll remember the cool things they did with you in their childhood a bit more... they are just at an awkward age right now...