For those of you who may not know, I have an older sister. The kids know her as their aunt, which is true. For the purposes of this blog, I was going to call her Aunt S., but then you might get her confused with the kids' other Aunt S. Or their other Aunt S. You probably wouldn't get her confused with their Aunt C., but you never know. To keep things clear in everyone's mind, let's call my sister Aunt W., based loosely on the fact that her last name starts with a W. Aunt W. has a soon-to-be-4-year-old of her own, known around these parts as the Cousin, but not to be confused with the kid's other cousins who all live far away, in other states. The Cousin spends a lot of time with our kids, both while being watched by the Wife or me, or by Aunt W. and her husband, Uncle B., not to be confused with their other Uncle B. I'm glad we've gotten this all figured out!
My sister and I have a few similarities to go along with some normal differences that can show up between siblings, but there's one pretty big thing we do totally different from each other when it comes to raising our kids. So far, it hasn't caused any huge rifts, but there's the possibility of some problems arising down the road. The thing is, when my sister is taking care of all the kids, she plans ahead and finds fun things for them to do. Things like going to the park for a picnic, or to the zoo to learn about animals, or going to fun stores, like Choo Choo Bob's Train Store, which is one of their favorites. When I look after all the kids, I do not plan ahead, which means we usually end up going grocery shopping at Sam's Club, or to our nearby Target store to buy earwax removal liquid or something else boring like that.
I can envision my kids starting to dread the times they have to hang out with me. I'm surprised it hasn't already started to happen. I can see it now: when I start to load them up in the minivan to go run errands, they'll start to chant "We want Aunt W.! We want Aunt W.!" or "No more boring errands! No more boring errands!" Seems to me that the only way to nip this in the bud is to start having them hang out with Aunt W. all the time. If they feel so strongly about running errands, they can just let me run them by myself, in peace and quiet. This seems like a perfect remedy to the situation, and I'm glad I thought of it sooner rather than later!