This semester has been awkward for me in terms of my family life and my role in that scenario. Wasn’t a problem last semester but just with my schedule and commuting to campus from the Rez. I’m tired always. It’s just exhausting trying to stay on top of things. And I know my house projects are piling up as I put them to the side because I have class or a paper to write. I just know I’m missing out on things happening at home.
I’m a best of both worlds kind of guy. I want to be here on campus doing my thing although I also want to be at home hanging out with my two year old niece, and you know just living my life. I mention my niece right away because it is the main relationship that I know is getting neglected. She has a bedtime so she needs to be asleep when I’m still awake. And I’m out of the house by the time she is up. She knows I’m at school; everyone tells her. But she still asks, “Where’s uncle?”
So when I do finally get time to spend with E-girl it is all fun. I try to keep it fun. Easier said done. I try not to get on her bad side, but there is nothing to stop what they call the “terrible twos.” She gets mad from time to time. But who doesn’t? A lot of times it’s because she didn’t take a nap all day, and if everyone is up then she’ll fight her sleep till the dad has to come in. And she just wants to be up with everyone else. It’s so cute because she can use her tone and words in the most pleasing way. The way she says “please” when she wants something. She makes my heart melt, that innocent voice. I could never be mad at her.
A few weeks back during Spring Break I got the chance to spend more time with her. My Mom and I were watching Elexis while her Dad was out and about. Elexis and My Mom have their little connection too. Grandma time. So like I said E girl can be very sweet and her ability to use language right after we teach it to her is like magic.
So it’s a Saturday evening and she asks if she can drink her cup of milk in the living room while she plays with her toys. I don’t have a problem with that. I trust her. But this wasn’t my call. I said, “Ask grandma.” And I’m not sure if my mom ok’ed the milk in the living room. But Elexis did get to have her milk on the living room carpet, somehow because she was being careful and I knew she would be ok. So she was in a good mood and I was happy to be home and with her. She was doing it.
I leave the living room for a second to get something in my room. And then I hear that innocent voice say “Uncle I spilled my milk.” Like she spilled it right when I left the room.
I felt my head spinning. Not because I was mad about the milk. I was baffled by the honesty. I know she is only two but if I was in her position I’d probably be running around trying to clean it up. Or keep it a secret, hide it from whoever. Of course someone would probably tell on me so I do get how honesty is the best solution. I just expected E-girl to be the terrible two’s child making a mess and not asking or apologizing for it. But instead she confesses because she has recognized that notifying an adult is the right thing to do. I don’t know, it just made me not understand her for a bit. Like I was unable to comprehend her motives. She was like an alien from another planet. She impresses me with her choices and her joy for animals but the unpredictability is what intrigues me the most.
But then I stared to think about her approach to the situation. She didn’t tell her dad, or her grandma. She told me. She went to me with this two-year old dilemma. Maybe she knew I wouldn’t get mad or that I would understand. I didn’t want to get mad. Putting my self in that situation. I began to think of it as if I was the wild kid that spilled milk on the carpet. I’m pretty sure I would get in trouble or scolded.
Although the times have changed. I’m on the other end of the scenario. I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. Big fricken’ deal. Get over it. Again analyzing the situation too much maybe. I started to think of how my brother the dad would feel with this problem. Of course he might give a lecture about why we don’t take our drinks into the living room. How the drinks should stay on the table. Again I’m not in that role. I’m the fun uncle and we are going to act like it never happened. I don’t even need to tell your dad. And deep down inside I’m hoping that this is the reason why E-girl told me first. She knew I would handle things smoothly. Yeah right. I wanted her to know that I’ll always try my best to show her things that she might need in her life. But if I have to get mad it’s only because I care.
The food idiom of the post is “It’s no use crying over spilt milk.” It matches perfect to how I felt about the spill. Some things in life are not always worth getting upset about. And as the uncle this saying is like a mantra for analyzing situations like this. Is this something worth getting mad about? Could I tell her in another way to be more careful? But who doesn’t spill a drink in their life? I’ve spilt several drinks, most of them probably in my adult life. Pobodies Nerfect.
Growing up is knowing where to draw the line. I hope someday E girl will help me cover up my spilled milk. She will probably say, “Quit your crying.”