Post written for 53 Weeks by Anjelah Johnson
I’m an Auntie to like 300 nieces and nephews. Okay, not that many but, a lot. I consider my best friends to be my family, so that automatically makes me “Auntie Anjelah” to all their kids. Recently though, my sister Veronica and brother-in-law Jason had a baby. My first blood nephew! He is so cute you guys. He’s half Vietnamese and half Mexican. He’s a little “Vietxican!” I love him so stinking much.
Thankfully I have had a lot of experience being an aunt before he came along, so I had already learned the Do’s and Don’ts. Here are my Top 8.
- Do spend lots of quality time. I travel a lot and don’t have much spare time, but every chance I get I like to call and check in or stop by for a random visit. I love hearing my nephew Mateo say, “Angidee is here!” I would hate to hear him say, “…who is that lady?” …mainly because “lady” implies that I’m old, but also because he didn’t recognize me.
- Do cover the wee wee when changing little boys diapers. I remember the first time I changed my nephew Austin’s diaper… I didn’t realize he had the amazing talent of writing his name on the ceiling with his wiener. (can I say wiener?) Either way, cover it up or prepare to be peed on.
- Do stop by the house to help with diaper changes and bath time. As much as my mom friends have things under control (or not so under control), sometimes it’s nice to give their arms, back and brains a break. If you do, you will win the “Auntie of The Year” award. Unless you suck at bath time and diaper changes and they have to re-do everything you just did as soon as you leave. Then you will win the “Don’t Come Back For Awhile” award.
- Do encourage your niece and/or nephew that not only are they “so cute” but also “smaaaaart.” Recently I was telling my niece Noa how cute and perfect she was when her mom immediately added in, “And smaaaaart.” Although she was joking (kind of) I started thinking about how I want her to grow up and be confident in who she is but also not that girl who takes selfies every 5 minutes. Just split the difference.
- Don’t give them chocolate…and/or sugar. Moms for some reason are real particular about giving their kids sugar. It may have something to do with the crazed animal disguised as their child that they now have to wrangle through Target. I’m not quite sure. But if you want to stay on Mom’s good side just stick with Goldfish Crackers or “Fruit Leather.”
- Don’t leave the baby unattended when you just said, “Go ahead and go to the bathroom, I’ll watch her.” At that point your sole purpose in life is to make sure this baby does not fall off the couch, swallow a random raisin and remains breathing for the next 7 minutes. Now these 7 minutes all the sudden feel like an eternity, but trust me, you can do it.
- Don’t watch Criminal Minds while you are babysitting. What’s not to love about a good murder mystery being solved by awesome FBI profilers within 45mins? Well if that 45 mins is within the time frame of babysitting some things not to love are: Frightened 3 year olds, kiddie nightmares, and questions like, “What’s serial killer mean?”
- Don’t say anything in front of a toddler that you don’t want repeated. You may think you are having a grown adult conversation with your friend until you hear her son repeat exactly what you just said and it sounds something like, “I’m damn near 35!”
Well, I hope you have learned a little from my Auntie experiences. All in all, just love them the best you can. They don’t judge you or know about your past mistakes. They just think you are cool Auntie Anjelah!!
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