I wonder sometimes if my kids are responsible for my sister deciding to not have kids. I recognise how being around our mob can be very contraceptive.
Family is so important at times of upheaval, like we’ve had these past four weeks with Tracey’s aneurysm and the subsequent removal of most of her small bowel. Rallying to the call, my darling sister, Kerri, was on a plane from Cairns just as soon as she could manage to help babysit our five littlies to free me up so I could sit with Tracey.
Kerri is known as Auntie Lolly in our house, and for good reason. She proudly insists on the title of World’s Best Aunt: an accolade which is easy to maintain when your nephews and nieces are being kept in line by their parents but, as she’s discovered, less so when you’re attempting to control them. She admits she’s been a bit out of her depth.
Let’s face it, it’s not easy to keep 1st place on the ‘Best Aunt’ podium when you have to get kids out of bed and to school during the day and fed, bathed, homework done and into bed at night.
Even some of her charges have noticed she’s struggling.
“I don’t want you to be offended,” Master10 told her a couple of nights ago while my sister attempted to bribe Miss5 into bed with a lolly, “but you’re not doing it right.”
Fortunately for Kerri our little protege, Miss11, has been paying attention to how things work around the house.
“She’s being the boss of you,” she advised my sister. “You need to be in charge.”
“I am in charge,” said Kerri.
“But you’re doing it wrong,” said Master10.
“I’ll show you,” Miss11 said helpfully, grabbing a defiant and boisterous Miss5 and dragging her into the little kids’ bedroom. Once in there, Miss11 faced her little sister and explained the situation. “It’s bedtime,” she said. “Stop being silly. Get into bed. Goodnight.”
Then she left the room, shutting the door but not walking away.
Over the screams of Miss5, my sister asked, “Is that it?”
“Hell no,” laughed Miss11.
She grabbed hold of the door handle with both hands, leant back and waited.
But not for long.
Within a few seconds the door banged, the handle rattled madly and Miss5 was screaming from the other side of the door.
“Jeesus!” exclaimed Kerri.
“Let me oooooouuuut!” yelled Miss5. “Let me OOOOOOUUUT!!”
“Let her out!” said Kerri.
Miss11 ignored her.
“Go to bed,” Miss11 said back through the door. “You’re not coming out. It’s bedtime.”
This was met with more vigorous screaming.
“Umm….,” said my sister, ruffled and no doubt wondering how many sweets would be required to fix this. “Ummm….are you sure this is how your parents do it?”
Are you kidding? This is Supernanny 101.
“Yep,” Miss11 assured her. The door rattled loudly again and she leaned back and held firm. “Only sometimes they only hold on with one hand,” she added, “so they can read their phone.” And with an apparently lovely bit of mime she showed how this method might look. “Or they lean back like this,” she said, putting all her weight on the handle with her one attached hand and stretching out with her arms, body and neck as far away from the door as she could manage, “so they can watch tv.”
I was just pleased she didn’t mention I usually have a beer handy as well.
The door rattled again and Miss11 quickly resettled her loose hand back on the handle to stop it from turning.
“Go to bed,” she said through the door again. “You’re not coming out and I’m not going to talk to you anymore. Goodnight.” Then she looked at my flustered sister. “You should make a tea or something. This might take a while.”
And, much to the financial detriment of her local dentist, to hear Kerri tell this story I don’t think she’s likely to change her mind about being a parent any time soon.
But I’ll call it now – Miss11 is going to make a damn fine mum to my grandchildren.
~ ~ ~
Thank you again to everyone involved in keeping our Tracey alive and in with a chance. If you would like to do something wonderful please consider donating to one of the heroes of this ordeal – Care Flight who got Tracey where she needed to be quickly and safely. I gave them $100 as a thank you. This is a service we need to ensure continues because it saves live, keeping mummies around for their kids and hapless husbands.