I love my nieces and nephew, I truly do. I’ve enjoyed being back home mostly due to the interactions I get to have with them. Today’s post is about my youngest niece, perhaps the most angelic toddler ever. I’m not a fan of babies, I like kids when they’re old enough to start to show their own personality and be able to walk without imminent threat of randomly falling over. (I’m looking at you big-headed nephew! He’s fantastic for his own reasons.) But today is about my youngest niece, who looks like the purest of angels, at least until she flashes the most mischievously impish of grins. That’s when I truly adore her.
I know this first hand, and she does too, which is amazing since at 20 months her vocabulary can genuinely strike me speechless, and anyone who knows me realizes what a rare feat (and treat) that is. But she can. And she does.
A few days ago I watched her bounce across my parents’ sundeck, before she stopped to pick up a small ball and try to do a proper soccer throw-in, alas, she failed, as she kept dropping the ball behind her head but being supportive I commented, “you almost did it!” to which she responded with “I almost did it.” Speechlessness struck me then because… really? 20 months old and speaking in complete (albeit short) sentences? That’s impressive.
I’m more impressed with her ability to… stretch the truth. Her mother recently informed me of a situation that made me proud to be an uncle. My niece loves to draw, her parents have thoughtfully purchased an easel for her scrawl and scribble upon, her art is more Jackson Pollock than Picasso. Now, being only 20 months old she can’t reach the paper (“just paper”) without a footstool, naturally her parents supplied the required footstool.
Imagine my sister-in-law’s shock when SOMEone had scribbled in crayon upon the stool! She asked my niece, “Who did this?” My niece (with what I can only imagine to be the most sincere face this side Unadulterated Innocence) looked up at her mommy with eyes devoid of sin and answered truthfully, “Uncle Bye-on”.
(At this point I believe my sister-in-law struggled not with disciplining her child but with stifling the laughter bubbling up from such a brilliant answer.)
Having a subversive sense of humour, my sister-in-law played along and responded with the follow-up question of… “And what is Uncle Byron?”
An earnest nodding of the head accompanied the obvious answer of… “naughty!”
So there you have it, at 20 months old my amazing niece is able to implicate me and escape without punishment for a crime I didn’t commit. The A-Team (and Mr. T) would be so proud. I know I am.