after the almost constant whining and out of control mood swings of the 4 year old nephew that characterized my SIL's visit, i was naturally a little apprehensive about how my 3 little nieces would behave, or, more to the point, how the occasionally-melty-downy 4 year old niece would behave. turns out my fears were unfounded - other than the occasional moods brought on by delayed nap time or hunger pangs, 4, just like her sisters (2 and 6), was a delight.
first day here, all three of them jumped straight into the pool, the younger two in water wings, the oldest proudly showing her not inconsiderable swimming skills sans any kind of floatation device. the pool and hot tub were definitely a most favourite item on their vacation menu. unlike my nephews, who barely dipped their bits into the pool and then only buoyed by various inflatables and/or parental cajoling, these three little chicks took to the pool like proverbial ducks to water.
and watching them eat! i wax rhapsodic and cannot tell you how my heart sang when 6 came back twice for more helpings of roasted brussels sprouts, hoovering up salad as fast as i could make it, eating fish and shrimp with gusto, and routinely asking for spicy soup. no pre-cut nibbles or dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets for them: each one, including 2, got a plate filled with grown-up food that they then proceeded to devour. i swear, i grinned like a fool each time we broke bread! they turned up their noses at store bought toaster waffles leftover from the nephews' visit - one taste and a polite but firm no thank you. 6 took one bite of a krispy kreme donut and pushed her plate away, moving on to polish off an entire large bowl of fresh berries all by herself. 2 grabbed a container of carrot sticks from mr. monkey's lunch bag and hopped all over the backyard crunching them like a manic bunny. (in case you think all this is too good to be true, they also love skittles. LOOOOOVE skittles. god knows why...)
we did a bit of travelling and a bit of hanging around. we spent 4 days in galveston and on the way home from the cold and windy beach weekend we played multiple rounds of "guess the animal." it went something like this:
(my animal: hippopotamus - in polish, hipopotam)
6: is it a land animal or a water animal?
moi: it's a little bit of both, but you could say it's a land animal.
4: is it a fish?!
6: NO! she said it's a LAND ANIMAL!
4: oh.... is it a beluga?
6 (rolling her eyes and sighing dramatically): no!!!
we went on in this vein for a while. it was becoming clear i'd stumped them.
4: is it a camel?
dad: it begins with the letter H.
4: is it a hamel?
all: (laughing) NO!!!
dad: it ends with "tam".
4: a TAMEL!!!
6 (more eye rolling): grrrrr!
several turns later:
(my animal: dog)
6: is it smooth or furry?
moi: it's furry.
6: how many feet does it have?
6: does it live on land or water?
4: is it a chicken?
6: NO!!!!! IT HAS 4 FEET! HOW CAN IT BE A CHICKEN???!!!
4 (shrugs, clearly not giving a sweet fuck): is it a fish? is it a beluga?
6 (at a loss for words): !!!
my stomach hurt at the end of the trip from laughing so hard.
if i sound a little bit in love it's because i am. they are fierce, sweet, cuddly, joyous, adorable, rambunctious, warm, funny, cheeky (especially 2!) smart, kind, loving, beautiful, active and brave, and i am absolutely tickled to be their aunt.
they left this afternoon and the house is nice and quiet and in dire need of a thorough scrubbing but i miss them already. they're going to grow into some seriously kick-ass women one day (though it's unlikely that 4 will find a successful career in either marine biology or poultry farming) and i sure hope i'm around to see it. postpone the apocalypse.