Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sharp Metal Objects

How I Became a Favorite Great Auntie

I'm a great auntie to a passel of little boys belonging to various nieces and nephews. There are seven in all. I love each of them, but one in particular tugs at my heart strings because he's the middle child like I was. He has a Dutch name that sounds like Out. Or at least that's the way it sounds when his mother says it.

One day Out came to visit with his mother and baby brother. Before lunch he demonstrated how to twirl on our hardwood floors, polishing every square inch with his whirling feet. During lunch, he scowled down at the meat on his plate, dismally jostling it with his fork. While Out toyed with his lunch, I began returning freshly washed knives to their magnetic holder on the wall. I'd raise one up, and when it got close enough to the holder, the knife would snap to onto it. At this, Out perked up considerably. Leaping from his chair to my side faster than you could say "Don't jostle me when I'm handling knives," he began peppering me with questions about just how that knife holder worked. Could he try it?

"Umm, no. Maybe in 10 or 15 years."

His eyes remained glued to the knives and knife holder on the wall.

This seemed like a good time to go downstairs to the family room, where I had some art projects set up. The art stuff was a bit dull, but not the hand cords of my Nordic Track Classic Ski Machine, which, it turns out, a small person can dangle from.

After a few minutes of dangling, and while his mother was occupied with changing baby brother, Out suddenly declared, "I'll be right back," bouncing up the stairs. After a brief exchange of raised eyebrows with his mother, I quickly followed. Of course Out beat me to the kitchen, where I found him staring up at the knife holder. Appeased with nothing less than a full description of how it worked, Out learned that metal things like knives stick to the holder because it's a magnet.

Out began muttering to himself.

"What are you thinking about, Out?" I asked, aware that knowledge of this subject matter could be quite important.

"My trucks!" he said. "My red truck is metal. My green truck is metal. My orange car is metal. They'd stick to the mang-ga-net!"

"Why yes!" I agreed, relieved that the subject had turned away from knives and onto trucks. "Metal cars and trucks would stick to it."

His curiosity finally satisfied, Out was willing to be coaxed away from the kitchen and back down to the family room.

Later that afternoon when my visitors were safely on their way home sans any severed fingers or punctured eyeballs, I sat down at the computer and ordered a magnetic knife holder for Out. It would be shipped directly to him, so I emailed his parents to let them know, adding that they might want to mount it on Out's wall to hold some of his metal trucks and cars.

It's a very fortunate thing that Out's parents have a sense of humor, for when the knife holder arrived, Out opened the package, and -- to his vast and astonished delight -- it contained not only a magnetic knife holder, but real knife as well!

And that's how I became one of Out's very, very favorite great aunties.

It seems that Out has since developed a passion for sharp metal objects, which caused his parents to give him an impressively large  plastic sword that flashes and makes a lot of noise to compensate for the fact that it doesn't cut things. I feel a teensy bit guilty about this. 
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Bad Jones Rising said...

Out seems like a dream nephew. Congrats and making that friendship one he can love AND learn from. What does he think about you blogging about him? What does he think about the crows! Lol

Megan Seagren said...

Yah, maybe some day I'll teach him about something a bit less dangerous. Thanks for dropping by, Bad!