2/29/2020
Nice fuzzy

Apparently it's been a tradition on this blog to write something on this extra day in February that comes every four years, so here I am, even if I wasn't really planning to write anything. And I say that because it's been a relatively busy day, because I spent it with Shalla's folks, which means spending it with her nephews.

One of them is five, and is my godson. We spent half an hour or so playing Super Smash Bros. on the Switch, finally figuring out how we can play together as a team, only to have him spend most of the match flying away from the opponents rather than actually fighting them. At least he doesn't fly high enough to kick himself out of the stage.

And then her other nephew, age 2, wake up from his nap and sees us playing.

"Wala na," my godson says. He knows what's coming.

The two-year-old would come to the Switch and pretty much demand that he play it. "Hawak! Laro!" he would say, while simultaneously taking either one of the controllers or the unit itself. I would hit pause as soon as I can and try to manage the chaos, but then, this chaos is not something you could manage. A persistent kid is a persistent kid.

And ultimately, he's a kid. He's playful and mischievous. He doesn't treat me as an uncle, but as a playmate, so I come prepared to have my face pinched or my belly stepped on or have my eyeglasses swiped. But then, that's how I play with little kids, I realize: go down to their level, literally.

Some have said that I'm so patient with kids. I think it's some of Shalla's former colleagues, when I got tagged along to their team's "family day" and I spent the whole afternoon pretty much babysitting. Well, I always thought it's a privilege when a kid chooses to play with you. Is it because I have some sort of smiley face, because my eyes are small and all that? Maybe. But then they've chosen you, and so you should return the favor by being the best playmate they have at this time. Although that does mean Shalla's two-year-old nephew treats me more as a playmate he will always outsmart than as an uncle who can, and will, tell him off if he's becoming too much to handle.

One advantage I do have is my size. He's a small toddler, and so when he's starting to get fussy and the timing is right I'll just pick him up and bring him outside. It was a hot day - there were no indicators it was going to rain - so we walked to a more shaded area and babbled to him, for some reason, about how trees bring shade and about why you shouldn't cut down trees unless you absolutely have to and about why you should replace the trees you do cut down. Of course it flew past the kid's head. He was just looking around - at the other kids playing, at the adults fixing motorcycles across the street - and then he slumped his head on to my body and fell asleep.

It's a nice, fuzzy feeling, having a kid fall asleep in your arms.

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