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Friday, July 1, 2011

My Nephew, My Uncle

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Karen is not a teacher, but she hopes to be one when she grows up. If she ever gets around to it. In the meantime, she enjoys life in Southern California, spending her free time at Disneyland, and watching the Angels play baseball. Despite her proximity to Los Angeles, she prefers gazing at the stars in the sky to the stars of Hollywood, and her blog A Peek at Karen's World, is as random as she is.

The Nephew will be 6 in a few weeks, but most days you’d swear he was closer to 40.

Since I have no children of my own, it has long been my mission to become the undisputed Favorite Aunt. The fact that he doesn’t have many to choose from is beside the point.

To firmly secure my position of favored relative, I recently spent an entire day with The Nephew, in which I learned a valuable lesson. The lesson being that he has now come to that age where he’s decided that if you don’t agree with him, it’s because, clearly, you didn’t hear him.

(It’s scary how much this kid and I have in common.)

We were in the car. I took him to a movie. Part of my quest to be the Favorite Aunt included introducing him to his first Jim Carrey flick. Sadly, he didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. But at least he liked the penguins.

As we were driving, we passed a miniature golf place that also has a few roller coasters perfectly visible from the freeway.

“Whoa! What’s that place?” His eyes were wide with wonder.

“Scandia,” I answered, thinking that he might still be too young to have any real fun there.

“No it’s not,” he said. “That’s the berry place.”

The berry place?

“What berry place?” I asked.

He started to hum something that reminded me of a TV commercial.

“Are you talking about Knott’s Berry Farm?

“Yeah,” he said. “That’s Knott’s Berry.”

I smiled at him and shook my head. “No, buddy. It’s not Knott’s Berry Farm. That place is called Scandia.”

I thought his five year-old sensibilities would know I was telling the truth, but he was sure he knew better. It’s weird because stubbornness doesn’t run in my family AT ALL…

He insisted that it was, indeed, Knott’s Berry Farm even though he’s never been there and has no idea what it looks like. “You aren’t listening to me,” he said. “That’s Knott’s Berry Farm. You don’t even know.”

It should be noted that I was perfectly aware of how silly I sounded, arguing with a boy fresh out of kindergarten. But he needed to KNOW that he was WRONG.

Finally, he said, “Okay, it’s not Knott’s Berry Farm.” I sighed with relief. “It’s The Mountain.”

He was referring, of course, to Magic Mountain. Which is some 60 miles away and another place he’s never been.

“[Nephew], listen to me. That is not Knott’s Berry Farm. It is NOT Magic Mountain. You are wrong. It’s called Scandia. I don’t know why we’re even arguing about this.”

Silence overtook the backseat. He stopped talking and I was relieved to think he had finally understood and started to believe me. And then I heard singing. I glanced into the rearview mirror to see him sitting there in his booster seat, feet kicked straight out in front of him, his hands crossed over his chest. He rocked back and forth, singing:

“What’s wrong with Kaaaa-ren?
Why isn’t she listening to me?
Does she even HEAR me?”

I heard, all right. Loud and clear.

He may be nearly 5 going on 40, but I’m 34, going on 4.

Maybe I should start calling him my Favorite Uncle…


Roberta said...

Oh Karen---You'd be the perfect school bus driver! I have 72 little arguments like that on a daily basis. And I'm 55 going on 6!
(Nephew) is lucky to have you for an auntie! Great post!

Janet said...

Yes, it's interesting to me that kids have a completely different perspective on "truth" at this age. Great post Karen! I say you can cross that item off your list.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's what nephews are for - to mess with at every opportunity!

Emily said...

Karen, I love your stories about The Nephew. They are so funny. What a fun aunt you are!

The Story of us said...

Great post Karen! Scratch off that one from your goals:-)

Karen Peterson said...

Thanks so much, everyone!

Teachinfourth said...

Ah, the conversations with a boy only one digit of age...

So. Cal. Gal said...

I'd watch out for your nephew. He's gonna be a holy terror when he turns 14. No wait, that's girls.

I had a recent episode of my own. My family LOVES to tell stories, and they tell their own version all at the same time. It was my story and a relative started telling his version (which was wrong) and I told him so. He kept talking and I kept saying, "You're wrong." Someone else told me to 'let it go' but I wouldn't...because he was wrong!

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