You know when you’re so tired that your eyelid does that thing where it twitches up and down. It feels like it’s vibrating. I get that when I’m really tired and I’ve got it right now.
I confess I jumped the gun a little bit with my last post about being bored staying with my brother, sister in law and soon to be 2 year old niece.
Although at that time, I was bored and mystified by everyone’s obsession with my niece’s every move. But of the 4 days I was there, by day 3, things had started to change.
My niece wanted to play with me. Me! ME!! And she was quite insistent about it as well. I’m terribly awkward with small people so this was a big moment. In fact there were a couple of them over the time I was there.
There was a moment when we went out for a walk. And she was wobbling along as usual then as we paused to decide where we were going next, she grabbed my hand and pointed in the direction she wanted to go in.
Ice – consider yourself broken.
On the way to the train station, I really wanted my brother to sit next to her in the car in case I inadvertently upset her or she kicks off about something. Once again, not a child person and no idea how to handle that sort of thing.
But I somehow ended up next to her anyway. She was eating something and dropped a bit on her belly. I went to pick it up and poked her on her belly as I was doing so. This provoked a giggle.
And so I poked her again. And again. I bloody loved that giggle. I couldn’t stop. It’s like when I make adults laugh – a feeling I can’t get enough of.
Finally, when I went to the train station to leave. Everyone was all like ‘ooohh say goodbye to your uncle’ as they normally do. I usually I give her an awkward high 5 or a dismissive fist bump.
But this time I thought, screw it, I’m going to go all in. So I picked her up and gave her a cuddle. It was reciprocated.
And the day after I got back, I was going about my business in the morning and found myself thinking about her and what she might be up to.
I found that I… I missed her?
Now, I cannot convey strongly enough to you how out of character this is for me. If you’d ever seen me around a child, you’d probably wince and cringe. I’m just the most unnatural person in the world.
But having put in some effort over those days, I was rewarded. When everyone was being all cooey and I was like, Jesus this is so boring, I wanted to go back into my shell and let everyone get on with it.
But then I thought, look, this is my niece. She’s not going anywhere. This isn’t a random kid I’m never going to see again. Let’s go the opposite way and get involved.
And I’m glad I did.
And now I find myself looking forward to seeing her again.
Now, does that not just make you sick?
Me – being all cooey and gooey over a baby. That’s not who I am, that’s not who I’ve ever been. So, what in the name of all that is holy is going on here?! I never saw this coming.
I still maintain that I don’t want one of my own though. Absolutely not.
But if I can make the transformation from distant, niece indifferent and baby hating to actually missing one then, well, all bets are off. Any bloody thing is possible.
I don’t even know who I am any more.