01 July 2004

Just bein' an auntie

A lot of my scarce free time this past week has been spent with my brother and his family. Every time I see the kids, I remind myself that they are still very little (Michelle is 14 months and Jonathon is 3-1/2) and I cannot take it personally if they don't remember me very well.

So, last Friday, I went to see them at my father's house. When I walked in, they were watching Ice Age. Swell. Of course tv trumps real live people 9 times out of 10.

Well, I walk in and said, "hi, Michelle. Hey, Jonathon." Michelle was just waking from her nap and didn't care, but Jonathon sat up speedy quick and said, "Aunt Katharine! Did you bring that book with you?"

I had no idea what he was talking about. Finally, we ascertained that he meant Tacky the Penguin, which I had brought to him when we were all in Vegas for my mother's 50th birthday in March. That made me happy. It was cool that he remembered me reading that book to him so many months ago. Yay.

(Plus, I love that he loves books so much and that he automatically associates me with books.)

So, I have been busy hanging with Jim, Jenny and the kids. Today, we went to the Taste of Chicago and the Chicago Children's Museum. (I hope I can stay awake throughout my evening of work!)

A few memories I will keep:

Sunday, we were at a picnic in Union Grove, Wisconsin. There was a rodeo at the fairgrounds, too. Jonathon spent most of the day running around, playing with new friends he was making. After a while, he came to where The Boy and I were playing Trivial Pursuit. He played with us for a while. (My Ma walked by and said, "Oh no! Are you training another one?" Yup. That's how it starts!) The game was going slowly, though, so we went to the rodeo. He loved watching the cowboys ride the bulls. After that, we walked around and found him some cotton candy. On our way back to the picnic, we spied a mechanical bull. Of course, Jonathon wanted to try. So, after some coaxing from both Jonathon and the cowboy in charge there, I let him do it. SO cute! The cowboy gave J a cowboy hat to wear and made the bull go super slow. I got some great pictures.

Michelle has been hilarious and charming, by turns. She got me to dance for her in Old Navy (dance! me! I *never* dance in public!). She charms me by loving Pete Seeger's song "Clap Your Hands." I taught her that in March and she seems to have remembered. She holds my hands in hers and claps them together when she wants me to sing it. In the bath the other night, she starting stamping her foot in the water so I knew it was time to move to verse two. Her tantrums are hilarious: she plops down on her butt and pouts. If she is really mad, she might even lay all the way back on the floor. No kicking or screaming. Just immobility.

I have so much more, but this is already longer than I usually write and I do have to get some more work done. Hope you all are having happy days, too!

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