Today I walked into Mr. Pie's castle, and my heart immediately turned to mush. He looked up from where he was playing with his mom in the middle of the living room, grinned, pointed at me, giggled, then threw himself onto the floor, crawling down the hall declaring, "I got you! I got you! I got you!" Clearly I was meant to follow him, until I caught him, and announced that I'd caught him. So I dropped my bags, fell to my knees, and followed him down the hall. 'Cause duh!!! He giggled more and more loudly as I caught up to him, and by the time I'd reached his room, he was a huddled heap of giggles at the foot of his bed. He reached for me, I picked him up, he wrapped his arms AND legs around me, patting my back rapidly, still laughing from down deep in his belly, and said "Memee!!!" That sound you hear? That's me melting, just thinking about it again tonight.
And later after his mom had left, I sat him down in the huge office chair and tuned into YouTube so he could watch his favorite song from Cars, and that wretched Mickey Mouse Hot Dog song, back to back, again and again. Because he wanted to, that's why! (And I know this, because he told me. "MACK! MOUSE! Please?") He was riveted through them all. Irrelevant, the number of times he's seen them before. (Puts a way, whole 'nother spin on my appreciation of Life is a Highway as written about way back here, by the way.)
After that we chased each other around the house again on our knees for good measure, and every time I picked him up - which was a lot - he threw himself backward so that I could catch him before he plunged to his death, each time - if it's possible - giggling more wildly than before.
And then? Because I was not yet quite in a coma of exhaustion? I took him to the Greensboro Children's Museum. Seeing as how I'm The Auntie, I gave them a family membership for the year, which of course included me. As often as his other minions have taken him already this year, what with it being one of his favorite places in his universe and all, somehow I've managed to slide out of that particular torturous activity delightful afternoon's outing. But today was nasty and cold out (thereby rendering it inadvisable for us to go to the Tate Street Festival or even to the park, both of which had been on the agenda when yesterday was so delightfully warm,) so I had to give in and take him.
What's fun about playing with my nephew is that he's so riveted and delighted by just about everything he sees, and it's glorious to watch him explore his world. What's tiresome about playing with my nephew in public places (and it must be said, a pretty solid case for birth control on my part,) is that he's the huggy kid. You know... the one who sees someone cool nearby and has to run over, put his arms around the kid, his way cool BFF, and hug them (and kiss them if he can,) until they fall down and are either fighting mad with him or a sobbing heap wondering why this strange child has just hurled himself onto them. So I end up looking like the overprotective parent, running after him when I see him zero in on some new target friend, with people looking my way as if to say, "Lighten up woman, your kid isn't going to get hurt!" Which leaves me wanting to shriek at the smirking woman sitting amidst her bags in a position so comfy it'd take her 3 minutes to get up if she had to, "Look, lady, I'm watching out for YOUR kid's safety and peace of mind, not this one's!" But of course that's not polite, and I'd never say such things, even hardly under my breath.
Back at the ranch as I unlocked the front door, he dropped his sippy cup on the ground and grabbed Oscar The Kitty, as the family pet tried to get in an afternoon snack. This, longtime readers may recall, is the same kitty who turned into a raving lunatic when my sister became more and more pregnant, and further into a hissing, biting mess after baby came to dwell in what had once been his domain. Photos here point to the evidence that it was well underway when the little one wasn't yet even walking. So the surprise was all mine when the kid wrapped his arms around the great fuzzy ball of a cat, crooning "Ossa, Ossa" and the cat just sat there eating, purring happily away. Don't know when this happened, but I for one am thrilled to report that nobody lost an eye today.
After that there was some fine potty training activity about which I'll spare you the details except to say somebody got peed on again and it wasn't the little boy sporting the curls. Then we chased each other around even more until his dad came home and had to comfort him when The Coolest Auntie In The History Of The Whole Entire World Ever had to depart his home for the evening so she could resume being a single woman without the responsibility of raising any children whatsoever.
I'd be a big fat liar if I told you I have an iota of energy remaining for anything requiring more than a pinkie be lifted tonight. But it's a serene, satisfied kind of tired and you'll hear no complaints from me!