[Editor’s Note: This weekend, the blog author, her husband and cute Luke enjoyed an overnight trip to College Station. While they were living it up, eating bon-bons, rubbing shoulders with other extroverted former yell leaders and humping it (not what you think if you’re a non-Aggie), they left the “bigs” in the care of relatives. Uncle Daniel is our guest blogger today. And, now the gene pool connection will become totally apparent. Take it Daniel…]
As an uncle I must live by a set of standards. Call it the Uncle Creed: have fun and parent them just enough to avoid an ER visit. Over the last weekend my wife and I took on a simple task, continue to be parents to our child (encouraged) whilst taking care of two little boys that share a branch in our family tree. It started on Friday night with a simple trade-off of said nephews followed by a trip to Whataburger. (Subsection A, article 2, paragraph 1 of the Uncle Creed requires nephews/nieces to be fed sugar, fatty foods and/or a combination of the both.) Task complete: feed children.
I then took the eldest offspring to a flag football game while Aunt Mandy took our baby and JP to prepare for a night’s slumber. I stood by watching my nephew in sub-freezing temperatures (<70 degrees in TX) as his team stumbled in OT for a tough loss. At least he earned a W in the character building win column. I reminded him the Cowboys have a LOT of character this year. Soon we all nestled fast asleep and the evening faded into morning with a small six-year old voice finally breaking the silence with a tap on my forehead and a question about the Lego Star Wars game being played on my Xbox. (Subsection F, article 1, paragraph 5 of the Uncle Creed requires uncles to have cool toys that parents would otherwise not allow.) After (semi-safely) cramming the two boys, baby and accompanying accoutrement into our not-so-family sized sedan we trekked to the nearest eatery to join the other siblings and g’parents for some much needed coffee and bacon-wrapped breakfast. Five minutes after our arrival we were informed of the following information. 18-wheeler wreck. 20 firetrucks. 3 major Austin roadways shut-down. 0 g’parents. 3 kids. 1 uncle/aunt. The numbers were stacked against us and fuzzier than a 2000 Palm Beach county voting booth.
Our day could NOT go off-track because due to family lineage this was considered failure and would require us to wear a scarlet-colored clock. We HAD to make this work. Eventually our breakfast arrived and I realized that giving a 6-year old carte blanche to order off the menu is ill-advised. Chocolate and pancakes are NEVER a good idea. Neither is syrup. Ever. Malnutrition began to set in with the eldest nephew after eating a meager breakfast of 4 pieces of bacon, toast, eggs, fruit and 5 face-sized pancakes…the virus is called PTHD (pre-teen hunger disorder). That’s when the wheels completely fell off. The adult contingency weakened when the aunt was forced to powder her nose and make a few trips to the car (for what I presume to be a flask), I was promoted to alpha adult status. She came back to a table that would make a busboy shiver. Food covered the floor, juice painted the table in a glossy orange glow and napkins were strewn about the table. As a former food-service member I put our humpty dumpty table back together again and made our way to the front door…victory would be ours. I then saw panic fill my wife’s eyes.
She kept murmuring the word keys?!?! and frantically searched through everything: purse, diaper bag, waitress’ apron, fellow patrons bags, chef’s hats and under her chair (as if the keys had become part of some random door prize and were taped to the bottom of the chair). After being told multiple times it was my fault for losing them I calmly walked to the car and found the aforementioned keys sitting in the passenger’s seat. Relief filled the air and we were publicly allowed to take our signs off that said, “It’s our first day handling more than one kid”. Also left behind…our syrup + orange juice covered dignity.
Lesson learned: The easiest way to get a child’s attention. Sit down and look comfortable.