Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The flibbertigibbet

I call her Chicken, as in 'running-around-like-a-headless-chicken'. She calls me Evil Aunt. She gives me no peace.

She calls in the middle of the day from sail camp to tell me how bored she is. In the middle of mooning about the general boringness of her life, she emits an ear-splitting shriek, followed by "No! NO! Gimme that...!" And then there's - silence.

"Hullo?" Nothing.

"Hullo?" Nothing.

"Chicken, are you there?" More nothing.

She's gone. I sigh and switch off the phone, planning to give her my "I'll add you to my screened calls list" lecture. Not that that has any effect.

Then there are the visits. "Auntie!!!" she shrieks from outside the gate, and before I can gather my wits she's in the room.

"Girl, how many times do I have to tell you to KNOCK? One day you're gonna bolt in here and find me NAKED!"

"Auntie, please, that's just gross." And she launches into the extended version of 'My Week In Review', with emphasis on those boys, Boys, BOYS!

Her grandmother, my mother, looks in, disapproval writ large on her face. I'm encouraging the child, she's obviously thinking. I would never, as a twelve year old in my mother's house, have mentioned that taboo 'b' word anywhere within her hearing. Never would have given her any reason to suspect I was one of those girls who were, to use her expression, 'studying boys'.

They all say the girl is just like me - or rather, the me I was at her age. I frown, trying to recall. Was I ever that joyous? That free-spirited? That innocent and bubble-brained? Must have been a whole other lifetime ago.

The best years of my life have been the ones I spent raising my son, The Wild, Intrepid Jungle Boy. My niece, The Chicken, is unveiling another chapter of the story to me - the girlie side. It's kinda cool.


The Anti-Wife said...

How fun to be able to recognize yourself in someone else so animated and special.

wordtryst said...

It's fun, and it's also chastening. Life can be such a beeotch - it can do some serious damage. I fear for the innocents. I suppose all parents feel like that.

Kaz Augustin said...

The kids are used to seeing me walk to the bathroom in all my nekkid, flabby beauty. I figure I'm safe till they start dating and comparing. LOL

wordtryst said...

Lol, kaz. I did too with my own, but I won't in front of my brother's kids or anyone else's. I suspect my niece is going to get a big surprise when she barges in one day, though...

Serve her right.

DiGgA said...


My fav cousin in the WORLD!!!



Anonymous said...

oh yes! the chicken
bless that child
i taught her Finnish at the Inaugural School of the Arts in Western Islamabad.
She did not aquire much of an education here (the classes were co-ed) but she could act out any Finnish sentence! :)
Oh yes and Grave digger she said that you were her fave cuz 2 :) :D

Liane Spicer said...

Finnish teacher my foot. You tried to teach The Chicken pole dancing and her dad got you fired! Did you really have to take the cute young Phys.Ed. teacher along with you? He had a wife and 6 kids! :D

You can't hide out in Bali forever, you know. I'll send your cute, blond, dreadlocked husband *wink* to bring you back home. Spankey spankey!