After work yesterday I trekked out into the deep darks of the opposite direction of home.  I went to visit Aunt Dawna (Hi!) so she could teach me knitting.  Instead of teaching me, she tried to pawn me off on the internet.  She wanted me to see these lovely, wonderful websites that have how-to videos and written instructions.  Well, she should have checked the rainbow-print of the contract she made with me for Christmas (or was it my birthday?) last year.  There’s a perfectly clear promise to teach me how to knit until I know or until one of us dies. That doesn’t include just handing me a laptop with videos, Dawna.  That means you show me with your own hands!  It’s the Rules of Life.


I also got to see Uncle Kebin and their four boys, Tallboy, Blue Eyes, Spiderman, and Ham-o.  I teased them all mercilessly, and cuddled them without remorse.  After all, they have no sisters.  Since I’m pretty much a mini of their mom, and my own mother has mistaken me for my aunt when seen across a room, we’ve all reached a consensus that I’m actually my aunt’s child.  That makes me her boys’ big sister, and big sisters are built to torment.

Tallboy is tall, tan, and bulking up for probably yet another growth spurt.  He is a study in brown: brown eyes, brown hair, brown skin.  He tans the best of the entire family.  It is rude and irritating.  He reminds me of my older sister, of my cousin that is the oldest in his family, and of a person with severe control issues.  We played Apples to Apples once, and he protested that the winning red card didn’t match the green card, because it didn’t logically define it.  Well, I can’t remember what the cards said, but I must say in similar situations, yes my dear boy, supermodels are aerodynamic.  And furthermore, I will continue to choose the winner when it is my turn based off of what answer appealed to me most.  Logic does not enter into it.  Neither do proper definitions.

Blue Eyes is second-born, and as such I feel a kinship with him.  Also he is fair-skinned, blondish, and *gasp* blue-eyed.  I discovered a genetic quirk in our extended family – the second born is light-skinned, light-haired, and light-eyed.  I’d say blond and blue, but my blond left me at 9 years old and another cousin has hazelly eyes, but we’re all fair.  Blue Eyes is all arms and bony legs.  The kid unfolded from the couch halfway through my visit and I burst out, “Whoa there, Gangles!”  His mother and father cracked up, and he had to go look up gangles in the dictionary.  He’s competing with Tallboy for that particular nickname.

Spiderman is boy #3, and he bears a striking resemblance to his eldest brother; he’s brownly monochromatic.  Also, he loves Spiderman.  And climbing on things, jumping off them, climbing from one thing to another, wrestling his father, brothers, myself, and pronouncing words with a “w” instead of and “r”.  Spidewman.  Dinnew.  Bweakfast.  I don’t like to wead.  He has a great smile, and always wants to know that he is being paid attention.

Ham-o is the baby.  Don’t call him that, though.  He is . . .he is identical to his father at that age.  And the age before that, and before that, back to birth.  He’s a little clone.  I know, because I’ve seen pictures.  He’s not fully fair like Blue Eyes, but more of a mix between fair and monochrome like his other brothers.  The most interested in being close to people that visit, the most crooked smile, the most devious grin,  and the most heartbreaking sob, Ham-o rattled through about 5 names to get to mine to tell me something, names including Mommy, Gramma, and the names of my mother and older sister.  I knew what he meant, so I answered to all of them.  He still corrected himself until he had the right name.  He used to pronounce my name with a “d”.  I was Denna.  Grandma was Dwamma.  Sometimes he still does that, and it makes me contemplate legally changing my name to Denna so he won’t stop anymore.

The oldest one is getting facial hair.  Well, facial fuzz.  He has a mustache-shadow.  And his voice is deeper.  I don’t like it, so I decided to share some lovely anecdotes from his babyhood because I was there, and because I could.  Blue Eyes, now taller than me (and telling me over and over), attempted mustache growth.  Except his hair is blonde, so it was more like a lip halo.  Also his voice broke repeatedly, and so I told him about the time when he was a baby that he drooled into my sister’s mouth.  Ahhhh, I feel better.  My boys are back in their places – childhood.