Imagine how blissful it is when the day starts with the smell of freshly brewed coffee or tea wafting through the house. The cool air from outside surrounds the home, occasionally teasing the curtains allowing wisps of sun rays shining through with a promise for good weather. The slow morning is filled with book reading or cooking up ideas for the upcoming days. This was the norm, until my life was drastically shifted with the existence of a nephew and nieces.

One would wonder where do the children get such a surge of energy early in the morning

For the last 6 years, my life has been occupied with a new duty; to be a dedicated aunt to a nephew and 4 nieces. Despite having no prior experience in this area, I managed to comprehend that there will not be any consistencies with children. They are packed with endless surprises and from what I could deduce about my nephew and nieces, there were times when their behaviors are possessive, demanding and manipulative and on every other occasion, they would be assertive, playful and spontaneous.

The usual quiet mornings were replaced with Highest-Pitch-Screaming or Who-Laughs-The-Longest competitions.

Then, the living rooms were transformed into Lava Adventures hopping from one cushion to the other. Ceilings were filled with paper planes flying through the air and walls portrayed their artwork. Occasionally, the TV would play their favorite cartoon shows, Princess Sofia the First or Spiderman. There would be other shows that they would approve of, none of them favored by any of the adults. Juggling with their demands, I have to make sure they obey the safe screen time ruled by doctors recently, not more than 2 hours per day for those under 5.  One would wonder where do the children get such a surge of energy early in the morning. Maybe a company should come up with an energy boost drink called 6-year-old Energy Drink.

Being a dedicated aunt would sometimes place myself in awkward situations, like trying to stop my nephew from wailing out loud, and hopelessly wondering why the supermarket ran out of Kinder Eggs, or when the girls fight for princess-themed bags between Princess Elsa and Princess Anna. Every other day, I would find them bargaining for lesser amount of work and demanding full reward in return. Sometimes they were able to win their negotiations with goofy smiles and good manners, and other times they just had to accept forfeit.

Will I be a good parent?

Observing my brothers and sisters handling their children with utmost tender, love and care, I wonder, will I be able to commit the same way? To sacrifice my time and patiently attend to the child’s needs lovingly? I suppose in the meantime, when life gives you lemons, I should make them into lemonades, collecting more experiences by babysitting the children more often and perhaps winning their hearts by becoming their favorite aunt.