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Five Things I’m Learning About Babies Via My Niece

December 20th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s not like being around babies was a foreign experience to me prior to meeting my niece. I’ve met plenty of babies, been around them numerous times, but never have I been as hands on with them as I am with my niece.

Ever since I met her, I want to be around my niece every chance I get. Just now my sister came by  the house to drop her off for my mom and I to babysit for the day. When my sister walked in with my niece in the car seat, I hurried over to pick her up, only to see she was still sleeping. I felt like the first kid awake at a sleepover, waiting for his friends to wake up. I couldn’t wait for her eyes to open.

Needless to say, this new experience being around my niece, all pro-baby like never before, has taught me some lessons. In a little less than a week, here are five I have learned.

BABIES ARE HEAVY

My niece weighs about 18 pounds. The free weights I use for my daily exercises are 20 pounds, so why does my niece feel heavier? The other day I went Christmas shopping with my family, and I took my niece walking around Macys, by the time I gave her back to my sister I was sweating. And let’s not even add the extra weight of her car seat. I thought I was getting stronger with all this exercise I was doing, as it turns out, I still have a long way to go.

I DON’T THINK I WANT HER TO BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS

It’s the holidays and we’re getting my niece and her older brother (he’s eight) some gifts, some of which are from Santa. When I was younger, I believed in Santa, but when I got older, I got hip to the game (the leftover cookies was a clear cut message to me that it was time to grow up and get real), and I realize how foolish it all was. Santa doesn’t exist, but hard working family members who go running around in the rain looking for Christmas gifts they buy with the money they earn do exist. I think I want my niece and her brother to know about those people more than I want them to know about Santa.

YOU DON’T WANT THEM LISTENING TO THAT NOISE

I was holding my niece in this thrift store, and out of nowhere Trey Songz’ “Bottoms Up” song came blasting through the store speakers. I immediately went to find some ear muffs to put on my nieces head. I don’t want her listening to that song until she’s at least 24.

I WILL NEVER GET USED TO THIS WHOLE SMELLING-THE-BABY BUSINESS

My sister challenged me this morning to smell my niece to see if she’s used the bathroom. A few weeks ago I probably would have done it because she wasn’t eating foods yet, but now she is, and needless to say I told my sister no. I don’t want to smell any babies unless it’s by accident. Does this make me a bad uncle? I doubt it.

A BABY’S SMILE CONTAINS ALL HOPE

My niece smiles all the time. Seriously. All the time. I’ve seen her cry once, and that’s because I accidentally dropped her. We were sitting on the floor, so she didn’t fall a long distance, she just kind of tipped over. But she only cried for like 15 seconds, then she not only stopped, she started smiling again.

Since I have been back home, I say a new prayer, one that asks God to keep giving my niece a reason to smile the way she does everyday. I know life is not perfect, and I don’t think that ever bothered me until now, because for my niece I want it to be different. I think about all the things I have cried about, and my sister has cried about, and my mother has cried about, and my friends have cried about. I think about this world we live in and how it can hurt us in ways we never imagined, and now I wonder what can I do to prevent my niece from having to experience those pains. We all want what’s best for the babies, but so many of us guess what that is, we don’t really know, not 100 percent of the time. So I’m taking my cues from my niece’s smile. Whatever makes her do that everyday, give me that. Order it in bunches.

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  • Kae-Toya

    On days like this you absolve yourself of the randomite one night standish posts.

  • Mcummings826

    I still can’t believe you dropped my baby! On her face at that. And her poopies don’t smell nearly as bad as yours, so take a big wiff!!! It’s better to know what you’re getting into before you go and change her so then if it is poopies you can pass her to mom.

  • esoteric

    mmmm… be careful MR. JOZEN! lol! Adding baby lover to that voice and your way with words… you’ll at least have the 25+ crowd of women going wild!

  • Theryl

    Uncle Jozen, I had no doubt your niece would change your perspective on life. Now you have someone that’s looking up to you…there is a responsibility in that..it causes us to think 2x about some stuff! Now about this smelling the baby…c’mon Uncle J…u can do it! Lol. Lol.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=605561003 Tonya Love

    That was sweet. I can’t wait to meet my nephew.

  • Esquin

    So true as to the last point – there’s something about a baby’s smile (I’m going to stretch baby to 5 and under) that really does “contain all hope.” The smile… and oh the laugh! I love being an auntie also, glad you’re enjoying the experience of being an uncle.

  • v4c

    “I was holding my niece in this thrift store, and out of nowhere Trey Songz’ “Bottoms Up” song came blasting through the store speakers. I immediately went to find some ear muffs to put on my nieces head. I don’t want her listening to that song until she’s at least 24.”

    EXACTLY! I only play my iPod in the car with my children…Mommy approved selections. I used to let my 6 year old hold my iPod…until I heard this coming from the backseat one day…

    “I be checking you out when you be putting your heels on”

    Needless to say, he lost that privilege, lol.

  • Nyah

    ” I’ve seen her cry once, and that’s because I accidentally dropped her.”
    *Dead*

  • http://www.aconversationbycandlelight.blogspot.com Erica

    awww….this makes me smile. “You dont want them listening to that noise”…i think the perfect articulation of how men change when having a little girl that that they care about around. This is beautiful…makes me cross my fingers you will have a little girl one day. I can only imagine how profoundly that will touch and change you. You seem to already appreciate and genuinely care about women…a little girl would just take that over the top!

  • Violet

    I admire your dedication, discipline and skill. You gave us another series of 5 even though you’re on vacation with the fam in Seaside. Still beautiful, insightful, hysterical, and vulnerable. Thanks for writing, Uncle Jozen!

  • Violet

    I admire your dedication, discipline and skill. You gave us another series of 5 even though you’re on vacation with the fam in Seaside. Still beautiful, insightful, hysterical, and vulnerable. Thanks for writing, Uncle Jozen!

  • Violet

    “We were sitting on the floor, so she didn’t fall a long distance, she just kind of tipped over.”

    Hilarious!!!

  • http://twitter.com/KobeMiso Kobe Miso

    The last part made me cry. Lost my son almost 5 years ago right before Christmas and reading this just touched my heart. I hope your niece will forever smile and also everyone that enters her life.

  • Reeseruiz

    Nuh uh. I will have none of that “smelling the baby” stuff. I don’t go around sniffin anything to see if it needs to/has gone to the bathroom. That’s…wrong. On soooo many levels. But the lil dear sure sounds cute huh? 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/Ms_Blaque_Asia Brandi

    i tend to feel that way about the babies of my close friends, i cant wait to have my own i love the whole experience!!
    ive dropped a baby too before,lol, hilarious now, not so much at the time.

  • http://twitter.com/Ms_Blaque_Asia Brandi

    awww i feel the same way abt the babies of my close friends and family! cant wait to hv my own!
    i also dropped a baby once,lol.not funny then but makes me chuckle now, good thing their little bodies can take it.

  • Anonymous

    I read your blog all the time but finally felt like I HAD to leave a comment. I became an aunt this summer and EVERYTHING you said rang true. The last point about the smile is beyond true. I don’t consider myself one of those women who instantly perk up around babies but when it comes to my niece, I want her around me all of the time (except when she poopies at which point you can definitely smell her and I pass her over to my brother and her madre).