Top Aunt

promenade a cheval

I’m top aunt – at least for one of the children’s many cousins.

When “the cousins” (so dubbed by Hannah four Christmases ago) came to stay I emerged from my normal role of boring old aunty Cathy to Aunty Cathy said in hushed tones by cousin Livvy.

I hadn’t noticed this adulation, but her mum had.
“Hero worship,” she explained.

Even six-year old Livvy’s big sister didn’t want to risk walking away from me at the local market, as she felt her parents couldn’t be trusted to speak French well enough to survive alone.

And then, over dinner in a restaurant, I achieved the peak of my popularity.

“Guess what I’m calling my e-dog,” says Livvy.

So we all oblige, stabbing around in the dark until she gives us a clue,
“It’s to do with the sky,” she says.

So we start to narrow it down.
“Clouds, rain, sun…” and then I get it, “thunder.”

”Yes,” she says, smiling.

And then later, when her mother asks her what she’s enjoyed most about her stay, expecting her to choose the horse ride, the beach, playing in the garden, learning to ride her bike without stabilisers in the local park…

“Aunty Cathy guessing the name of my e-dog” she replies.

Aaah – at least I’m popular with one child, even if it’s not one of my own.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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8 Responses to Top Aunt

  1. Grey horse and purple-clad rider… the best combination!

    Does it feel good to be popular?

  2. Fantastic!! Wow! Maybe their adoration will rub off on your kids?

  3. What is an e-dog? Is that something every parent should know?

  4. Omega Mummy says:

    There is no greater social success than this (I’m discounting the possibility of hero worship from one’s own children). Good guessing, too. Do you think she had made the name hard on purpose?

  5. Can’t have everything! What’s an e-dog?

  6. Penny in Amsterdam says:

    As it happens, on my recent holiday, which was one with children, I discovered what an e-dog is! I should point out that I am entirely without children myself, and therefore while an avid reader of this blog, which for instance admirably equipped me to deal with the phenomenon “sleep over”. I seldom dare to comment. Anyway I was recently on a holiday which was populated at various times by 2-9 children, aged from 6 to 13. Children and in fact even young adults these days have a thing called a Nintendo. Far from being some obscure electronic Japanese game as I always thought, I discovered that this is a thing not that far removed from my XDA, or “handheld”, or “phone/organiser”, or whatever you want to call it. On this however, unlike my organiser, you can, among many other things, call up electronic pets (dogs, hamsters, even cavies), and then “treat” them with various tools, such as brushes, to which they respond appropriately. A virtual pet, complete with behaviour, in truly Japanese spirit. My six year old niece for instance, learned that her e-dog doesn’t really like being brushed in all directions with a stiff wire brush.
    On the plane back I was sitting next to a (?) 21 year old doing obviously much more serious things altogether on his Nintendo, so since then I’ve developed a much more serious respect for this generation and their tools.

  7. Thank you Penny!

    My 35 year old Japanese colleague used to have a Tamagotchi. Whatever does it for you I guess …

  8. Beta Mum says:

    M&M – children always used to like me, before I had my own. These days I make much less effort with them, and spend more time imposing discipline, so it’s a surprise really!

    Scruffy – fat chance of that!

    MatL – thanks to Penny for very full explanation of all that an e-dog/cat/hamster can be. I’m too mean to buy my children such things. This was a free Happy Meal toy which did nothing but flash in different colours. We tried to leave them behind.

    OM – not sure how she came to the name, but i think her clue was pretty obscure.

    SAHD – you will soon know the joys of such things.

    Penny – you were brave to go on holiday with so many children when you have none of your own. It seems you have learned much from your experience…

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