Aunt’ing Ain’t Easy

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Posted on Facebook May 24th, 2017.

Today was our day with the boys as Lynn Huggins Blackburn is at a conference and Brian Blackburn was working. I usually take 1-2 days off a year to keep the kids for various reasons. There are reasons why my sister asks me to do it (conferences, appointments, etc) and reasons why I do it (I love them, I want them to feel like we are an important part of their lives and I want them to know that they are an important part of ours, and last but not least, I am going to be old one day and I will need James to check me in to a nursing home…I want him to pick a good one) Moving on.
Today is that day, and for the first time, Uncle Josh is off work with me. The boys are incredibly excited about this, as am I, because I mistakenly think “I will have help”. No. This is not what happened. What happened was that I had a 39yo, 8yo, 6yo boy to keep up with today! We started the day off with me picking the boys up and heading back to the house. They REALLY needed to see Piper and Maggie. Unfortunately, Maggie didn’t not share their enthusiasm and immediately hid in her crate. I told me sister this, who texted me back that sometimes she wants to hide too….what have I agreed to? Maggie was lured out with treats and we watched the Jungle Book while we waited on Uncle Josh to get back from somewhere so that they could discuss baseball/football cards.
The Jungle Book. One of my all time favorite cartoons and now one of my favorite “new” movies. In the first scene, Mowgli is running through the jungle. J is quiet while D loudly proclaims “he is SOOO good at that”. I start to wonder if I will be blamed for my nephew running about the yard in minimal clothes, attempting to swing from trees. I figure there is a good possibility this will happen. I shrug to myself and think that if that happens, I will play dumb and pretend complete ignorance. I find that planning ahead for “surprises” is important! We watch on. If I hear one time I hear 20, “when are we gonna hear the Bear Necessities song?”. Hmmm IDK…after you see the big bear. If you can’t see the bear, I doubt that song is close. Not rocket science. (I start to wonder if I’ve had enough coffee)– I am also peppered with questions regarding who exactly is going to die in this movie. I say, nobody, about the time that Sheer Khan literally THROWS a wolf over a cliff. 2 little heads turn to me and say, “where did that wolf go”. Dear God, where is the Bailey’s to go in the coffee. I explained that the Tiger threw the Wolf over the cliff. Silence. Quietly, we watched on. Where is Uncle Josh? Who even knows. Finally, Josh is home. It is time to discuss baseball cards. Of course this happens while the Bear Necessities song comes on, so I sit on the sofa alone and sing along. Uncle Josh usually trumps Aunt Jennifer…until they are hungry, hurting, or tired:)
Now, before we head to Gravitopia, we need to run to University Ridge to try to obtain a permit for a septic tank. I will spare you the details because if you have ever been to County Square, you don’t want to relive it. Comment from the boys: “maybe next time you need to go talk to the government people, you could do it on a day when you don’t have us!”. Maybe the next time I need to talk to the government people, I’ll take a Valium first.
I am also painfully aware that Tornado warnings are bouncing off of every radio tower in the Upstate. Im trying not to go there with the boys. Until they figure it out. I am asked if I am worried. I lie and say “nope!”. I pray to the God above that if we have to survive a tornado together today, I will need a level of superhumanAuntskills that few possess. I tell the boys that we will go to the basement if necessary. I silently wonder if this is where we are really supposed to go. I think that I am going to be responsible for a catastrophe when the radio announcer says “you should go to a basement or interior room”….thank God for WESC telling me how manage my emergency preparedness. Moving on.
Gravitopia! I think 30-45 minutes tops. But because they are home schooled, we got a discount! And an extra 30 minutes. Sweet Jesus, Yay! SARCASM.
I get hurt within minutes. D was DYING to trapeze into the foam pit. So I think, whats the big deal. So I trapeze myself straight into that pit, on my stomach, somehow stretching some sort of spine muscle that should have not moved that way. I crawl awkwardly out of the pit and shake it off. we still have 89 minutes to go and we played for EVERY MINUTE OF IT! Basketball, Dodgeball, Ninja Course. Yes, while teaching them to be “includers” and arranging a game of dodge ball with the one little boy who desperately wanted to play but had no friends, I managed to hit D straight in the face with a ball. He shook it off, but looked at me like I should be glad that he will likely not be asked to pick my nursing home! I felt bad, I really did. I was AIMING at UNCLE JOSH. I PROMISE!! Anyway, I had to drag all 3 boys kicking and screaming out of there! Note to self. Uncle Josh does not keep up with the boys. I think he has one and I have the other, nope. He has NOBODY. I explain to him that bad people lurk in places like Gravitopia (doubtful, but possible) and that we must be on our A game. He looks at me like I am the biggest helicopter aunt on the planet. They will not get hurt on my watch (unless I do it do them with a dodgeball to the face!).
Next up: Chik-Fil-A. I ate a salad and contemplated the fact that I think I burned 36,700 calories and will likely not be able to get out of bed tomorrow. Also, they no longer eat kids meals. When did THAT happen?! They eat adult food. My sister better sell ALOT of books just to feed them!
Then we RACE home to meet E off the bus at 315. J is getting anxious about my timing, but I assure him we will not be late (wonder where he gets that). We make it with time to spare. The boys, E, and I lay around like lazy slugs watching Star Wars until Brian gets home. The boys deem it a “really fun day”. Except for that government thing. That was not fun at all. No one was (seriously) injured. No tornados happened. I can breathe and sleep well tonight.

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