Posted in the Chicago Forum
“reign in blood”
Since: May 09
#1 Feb 8, 2014
DEAR AMY: I am in my late 20s and single. I have a 7-year-old nephew and another niece/nephew on the way.
Truth be told, I don't like kids. I love babies, but once they grow out of the irresistible cuddly phase they seem like loud, grabby, sticky-handed terrors. I truly love my bright little nephew. I enjoy spending time with him, but I don't enjoy playing with him.
I've been chided for not talking to him like a child but more like an adult. I don't know how to "talk down."
Lately I've been getting some lighthearted grief about not being a "good aunt," and with the new baby on the way I'm feeling guilty and introspective. I guess I'm wondering if I am being a bad aunt for not wanting to baby-sit or spend kid time with my nephew as a kid. Should I change? And how? I should mention I'm a great gift-giver, and I can't wait for him to grow up!-- Bad Aunt
DEAR AUNT: If you were an uncle and not an aunt, would your family members expect you to baby-sit and brand you as "bad" if you didn't enjoy "alone time" with their offspring? Probably not.
I can tell you from personal experience that being an aunt is just about the greatest relationship experience there is, partly because it is a relationship that you can define (partly) on your own terms. Some aunts/uncles are superinvolved all the way through life, while others (like you) pass through phases and stages of involvement.
The only change you need to make is to realize that when you are with young children it can enhance your own experience to try to see the world through their eyes, hence the "talking down" to children and letting kids occasionally direct the action through play.
However, you should not be made to feel guilty if this sort of involvement is not for you.
DEAR AMY: I have been dating someone for five months. We are planning to take a trip to Las Vegas with his parents soon.
He's been a sweet and caring guy for all the time we have dated, but last weekend I had a friend join us for a beer, and my boyfriend started spouting off very personal information and laughing about it. For example, he talked about how it only took him a few weeks to get me into bed, and he disclosed other, embarrassing information about me.
My friend looked at me and mouthed, "Did he actually just say that?"
It was humiliating and totally different from the man I know.
I recently changed my Facebook status to "in a relationship," and he deleted that reference from his page. After I asked him about it, he deactivated his entire page.
It was a blow to me that he would rather deactivate his entire account than state that he's in a relationship. He hasn't called or texted me in the last two days, and I don't know what I should do.
We haven't had a heated argument or anything, so I'm not sure what is going on.
He said I'm just being "testy" when I tried bringing it up. I don't feel like going all the way to Vegas with him acting the way he has been acting lately. Please, I need some advice. What should I do?-- Disheartened
DEAR DISHEARTENED: If this guy blundered because he'd had a little too much to drink, or was nervous about meeting your friend, then his rudeness might be explainable -- and forgivable.
When someone blunders and then blames you for it, that's just rude, insulting and juvenile. Is this someone you want to go to Vegas with? Please say "no." Your relationship is enough of a crapshoot as it is.
DEAR AMY: I could really relate to the letter from "So Sad," whose beloved cat died suddenly. As the owner of many wonderful companion animals, I can identify with the grief and sadness. I agree with your recommendations about how to memorialize this pet and would like to add that her local vet will probably have contact information for a pet-loss support group.-- Animal Lover
DEAR ANIMAL LOVER: Good suggestion. Thank you.
“reign in blood”
Since: May 09
#2 Feb 8, 2014
1- "If you were an uncle and not an aunt, would your family members expect you to baby-sit and brand you as "bad" if you didn't enjoy "alone time" with their offspring? Probably not."
Holy sexism, batman.
I frequently babysit my nephews and love it. I don't even consider it babysitting. I call it "spending quality bonding time."
Not everyone likes kids and that's okay. But the LW sounds kinda... I dunno... uppity. She views children as "loud, grabby, sticky-handed terrors?"
2- You're not "dating" him, you're his booty call. I don't understand WHY he'd even want to take you to Vegas, what with the hookers and all.
3- A pet-loss support group?!?!
My goldfish died, I'm having suicidal thoughts...
#3 Feb 8, 2014
But not entirely untrue. A bachelor would not get as much grief if he didn't whisk his niece away from quality time. Society internally views woman as nurturers, so this one seems against the grain, and her family notes it, which I find rude.
Kids ARE loud and grabby and usually sticky. Knowing that and avoiding what you don't like is not rude. Maybe she's uppity; a lot of us are. But it sounds like she is not being rude to the kids. She's not abusing them. She could be the cool aunt they confide in when they grow up, who knows?
In my experience, I loved my nieces when they were around 4-7! SOOO fun. Now, at 14 and 15, I'm lucky if I get an "I love you" back, rofl!
#4 Feb 8, 2014
2: If all the details presented are intact and whole, then that is so strange.
Perfectly fine, then all these jerky moves? Deleting the FB without telling and after that reference bugged me most.
Do NOT go to Vegas with the creep. Perhaps this is his passive and weenie way of not getting you to go because he can't use his words like a big boy.
#5 Feb 8, 2014
LW1 - Well, tell them that you love your nephew, but you don't relate to kids well in general. In fact, except for your nephew (and the upcoming niece/nephew), you don't like kids. Their reaction is their issue, not yours.
I am a mom, and I love, love, love, love my kids. They are adorable, wonderful, huggable, kissable, cuddle-able best children ever. All other kids ARE loud, grabby, sticky-handed horrors. I don't tell them or their parents that, and I invite them for playdates with my kids, and I'll even wipe their noses if snot is hanging out of them, but don't expect me to fawn over them in a sappy, doe-ey eyed way either. To me, wiping my son's nose is about making him comfortable, but wiping his friend's nose is a necessary evil so that his snot doesn't get on my couch.
LW2 - Team Dog.
LW3 - Team Dog again. I do understand the grief of losing a beloved pet, but a support group? Get a grip.
#6 Feb 8, 2014
And OF COURSE you realize that other parents feel exactly the same way about your perfect kids as you feel about theirs ;-)
#7 Feb 8, 2014
Of course!:-) I'd be an idiot if I didn't. That's why I think the LW should tell her whiney sibs with kids how she feels about her nephew and about kids in general.
#8 Feb 9, 2014
LW2 is complicating the truth--she's better off without this guy.
Since: Jun 09
Saint Petersburg, FL
#9 Feb 11, 2014
And I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with talking to a 7 year old as an adult. That's how kids learn to speak and behave maturely. It helps them to grow up.
#10 Feb 11, 2014
1. If you have trouble with a 7 year old, just you wait another 5 or 6 years.
2. Get over him. He is a jerk. Don't go to Vegas with him.
3. I love animals. A lot. But really?
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