I’m still riding the high of seeing my two nieces yesterday for the first time in six months. I missed them blind.
P is five years old, and had her first day of kindergarten in the middle of a pandemic. P’s younger sister, R, is 18 months old and is for the most part still blessedly ignorant of the evils of the world.
Yesterday, I got to watch R toddle around her grandparents’ backyard, securing the perimeter with the same sense of duty as a Navy SEAL. She frowned at barking dogs and wobbling airborne bubbles with equal skepticism.
As a younger sister, R wants everything P has, which can often result in a Raiders of the Lost Ark-style idol swap if you want to negotiate an object from R’s vice-like grip.
Like a Terminator, R zeroes in on an asset — a dog leash, a Beanie Baby, her sister’s water bottle — with laser focus, and best of luck to anyone who has other plans for it.
Meanwhile, P and I hunted for Easter eggs in her grandparents’ backyard. We played croquet and SORRY!, and P cheated flagrantly by taking extra turns. I let it slide, though. What can I say? The kid knows how to read a room.
She showed me the tiny collapsible house for her Troll doll Poppy, complete with a LEGO Murphy bed and LEGO cupcakes, and tried in vain to explain the intricacies of the Trolls universe to me, her well-meaning but slightly dim-witted Aunt Emma.
Finally, P gave me a short recital using the piano app on her tablet, and read Pat The Zoo to me. We played a game in which P very convincingly acted like she was asleep, and I had to wake her up with increasing frantic energy.
The way things are going, I don’t envy P’s eventual career path. It’s sure to be a tough decision among her current options of actor, pianist, aerospace engineer, architect, librarian, ballerina, zookeeper, high-stakes poker player and Friend To All Trolls. I hope she never has to choose.