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  • Writer's pictureRenese


My family left last weekend. Back to Chicago, they went. My mom, sister, niece and nephew departed after spending a true week with me. And when I returned to my little Valley apartment, I was sad...


I kid, I kid. I really was (am) sad.

My Mom and sister are OK, but my niece and nephew? The coolest!

Seeing a Thomas the train tent on the side of my loveseat; Cars the movie on top of my DVD player; and a Fisher-Price ABC kiddie computer make me miss the little ones already.

Kai is a 2 1/2 year old boy. Vivacious. Smart. Handsome. Persistent.

Nila is in the twilight of her 3 months post-womb. Inquisitive (She intently scrutinizes the iPhone when it's in her face, mmmkay?). Beautiful. Smiley. Breast Milk Lover (Obviously).

I realized that we adults could learn a thing or a million from little people like them. Here are 3 things they taught me.

1. Never Give Up When Someone Tells You "No", even when they say it 59 or More Times.

Kai is the Master Splinter of persistence. He was determined to use my computer. Every time he either asked or reached for it, I met him with, "No, Kai. You can't use my computer, but you can get on Gigi's computer (Gigi = His Grandma = My Mom)."

You see, I wasn't worried about Kai messing up my computer. He's gentle with and knows how to navigate a computer better than any old person, but I said "no" based on principle. "Auntie Jen" couldn't give Kai everything that he wanted. Yep, that's the kind of Auntie I am.

2 computers under one roof. He got to use one but not both. And guess what? He would still try to get his hands on my computer in one way or another. He would come sit next to me while I'm on it and say, "Auntie Jen, what's that?" and sneakily "point-touch" my screen OR he would simply ask, "Can I watch MerPup on your computer?"

He didn't succeed at getting his hands on my computer this time, but I respect his efforts.

The next time someone says "no" to me, I'll completely ignore it and keep pressing the issue. Eventually, my efforts will land me into "yes-land."

2. If someone can't offer you what you want but insists on being in your life, find a place for them and keep them there

My niece Nila found me utterly useless. I know that, and I have accepted that. When she is separated from the milk maid aka my sister aka her mom, she demands to be "on the move." And I know this because she indicates how useless I am by crying her little head off when I picked her up.

She relegated me to being her walker. And I was happy to oblige. She kept me in this box the whole time she was here, and I respect her for it. I was good at walking her around. THAT'S IT.

There are a handful of people I like, but I am just not sure "what to do with them." And they're good people, too! I'll take the Nila approach by figuring out "what they're good at" and keep them "there".

3. When You Have Nothing To Do, Just Pillow Fight

"Auntie Jen, let's pillow fight," said Kai. "Okay," replied I.

As I was thrashing my nephew, I thought, "Why haven't I done this more often as an adult?" It instantly bonds you to the other person. The solution to all of life's problems might be pillow fighting!

Want people to stop fighting global wars? Challenge each country to pillow fight each other. Imagine Iran and The U.S. going at it in a pillow fight battle! Epic.

^^^ This is pretty serious, but're substituting guns for pillows.

Want to fight child obesity? Subsitute gym period for pillow fight period. They will automatically increase their heart rate and lose a little here and there.

Having trouble paying your light bill? Challenge a rep from the LADWP to a pillow fighting match!

The best thing about this kind of fight is that you end up really liking the person when it's all over. And you can't help but laugh!

Kai and Nila gave me these critical life lessons, and I am passing them on to you. Be enlightened, my darlings! Be enlightened.

#aunt #auntie #ForAunts #ForAunties #ForAuntsOnly #ForAuntiesOnly

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