I officially earned my title this weekend. Up until now I only suspected I was the best. I mean surely there are other childless women out there who treat their nieces and nephews with the utmost adoration right? How could I be sure I was the best?
Now, there is no doubt. An unbiased observer officially bestowed the title upon me this weekend.
When my sister called last weekend, wanting to know if I was going to attend the Princess's dance recital I told her I would have to check but I thought I was free. My sister made no mention that she wasn't attending.
My sister is one of my best friends, so I was definitely bummed when I found out that she would be away for a work conference that weekend. Little by little the story began to unfold. My BIL was away with his school's 7 & 8th grades the prior week, not getting back until late Friday night. Since my sister was leaving Friday afternoon at lunch, they needed someone to pickup the Princess from school and the Little Man from the baby sitter's.
We were left with an instruction sheet of all the different activities we had to attend.
Friday: 5:30 dance practice
Saturday: 12:00 soccer game
5:00 dance recital
Dance practice seemed to go on forever. Thankfully my purses is large enough to hold a small book, so I plowed through several chapters of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. By the time we got the Princess home (thankfully my BIL showed up to take the Little Man home and get him ready for bed) we still had to wash her hair, and Baby (my dad) had to braid her hair in several sections.
According to my sister, her hair had to be curly for the recital but her hair type won't hold curl well (and she doesn't sit still well for my sister to use the curling iron.) The Princess has chin length hair, so Baby's job wasn't easy but he got it done and we eventually all called it a night.
The next day was a whirl wind. They don't keep score for KinderSoccer, but the Princess scored 4 goals and didn't even play half the game! My mom kept the little man occupied playing in the dirt during the game while Baby & I cheered on the Princess.
After the game we went to the creek to have a picnic and were accosted by some parents of another team. Apparently, before leaving for her conference, my sister had gotten the game time wrong and we'd played the wrong team. After 10 minutes of seeing my BIL apologize for any blame he had (remaining calm all the while having two women in his face yelling at him over a soccer game involving 5 year olds), I commented trying to get them to see that there was nothing to be done about the situation.
Instead of helping matters, I'm pretty sure I just made things worse. Even though one of the women was twice my age - she mocked me like she was a child. When I started to say "The point is there is nothing that can be done about it now," she interrupted by saying "Tell us, just what is the point" in a mocking tone.
Then later they had the never to comment on us being rude. My BIL stood there and took their crap for 10 minutes, then when we were finally sick of it, we defended him - yet we were the rude ones? So I reminded them "Yall got hateful first." So then this same mature 60 year old woman, in the same high pitch tone mocked me "Yall got hateful first."
Wow, all of that over a soccer game for kids so little they don't even take score?
So that was my big oopsy this weekend - getting myself involved. They ran back, twisted the facts, and accused us of accosting them. I don't care for getting involved for my sake, but turns out they thought I was my sister and tattled as much. I joked with her yesterday now she knows how those people on Soap Operas feel when their evil twins run amok in the town and the good sister gets the blame!
Moving on to the part where I was the good sister/auntie...
My sister had informed me that someone would need to be in the dressing room helping Claire change, and the duties would probably fall to me. After all, they probably wouldn't let a Dad hang out in the dressing room and my mom gets nervous in stressful situations.
In flies Super Boo to save the day.
This was the Princess's first recital, so my sister couldn't have anticipated how to prepare me. I didn't bring snacks. The dance teacher had said the recital would last 2 hours and water would be provided for the girls, so I didn't bring water.
My sister had the dance bag packed, so all I had to do Saturday morning was go through the bag marking the Princess's initials on all of her gear. That should have tipped me off as to the mass confusion that happens while performing costume changes on 5 and 6 year old girls, but it didn't.
The air conditioning had broken and been patched back together the night before, but it certainly wasn't doing its job well. The dressing room got hot and miserable, the water ran out an hour and a half into the performance (which actually lasted 4 hours), and the Princess asked to go home after the first act.
With the opening number, I prayed (a very sincere prayer) that the Princess wouldn't get caught up in the world of dance. I'm sure it has plenty of redeeming qualities, but I worry about her getting involved in an activity that is so focused on appearance.
When I mentioned having not thought to pack snacks I said "I guess since I'm not a mom I can't win the 'most inept mom of the year' award right?" The lady beside me stared at me.
"You're not her mother? And you're down here in all the madness? You must be the best aunt ever!"
So there you have it. Super Boo is willing to wade through the superficiality and craziness to help her niece enjoy her very first recital.
Although given the boredom and even the dry heaves (from exhaustion and being over heated) in the parking lot, I'm not sure its an experience the Princess will want to repeat.