Last night I went around to my sister Mary’s house, to re-start our long-planned Firefly bonding sessions. Mary and I are only 17 months apart, which either means she was an amazing kid and our parents wanted to try their luck for another one just like her, or she was really terrible and they wanted to try their luck for another one nothing like her. Or I was an accident. One of those three things is what happened. Despite being very close in age, we weren’t all that “close” growing up, mostly because in the formative years when siblings bond over mutually disobeying parents, Mary was kicking ass well beyond her years academically and then left home.
Now we see each other a whole bunch more and share a few interests and more than a few mutual friends and so I thought there was no harm in letting her show me this Firefly thing she has been raving about for years.
When I got to her place, she was obviously super tired and my nerdphew, V was really hyped up, mostly because he was watching a compilation of videos on YouTube of planes taking off … because that is a thing, a thing he is really into. He was telling me all about how his dad had just gone to ‘Merica on a plane and how it made him sad but it was okay because soon V himself would be going to ‘Merica on a plane and the plane would jump into the air to take him there.
I offered to sit with V while he ate dinner of an English muffin, but he insisted on eating it at his train table, where before he could eat, he needed to destroy a bridge and then drive every single one of his 947 trains off the bridge one at a time. I ended up practically having to hold him down and stuff him with mouthfuls of muffin just to make sure he ate something, which proved a mistake.
I was sitting on the floor and V was standing in front of me when suddenly he sneezed a huge sneeze through a mouth full of Vegemite muffin, which meant I was showered in soggy muffin, spit and snot. In my shock and horror, I failed I move out of the way of the second sneeze which soon followed and my screams echoed through the house as more food matter landed on my face. Turns out V sneezes exactly like my dad: frequently, violently and with an open mouth. I ended up wearing the better part of his dinner, which he found hilarious.
I scooped him up and took him to the bathroom to run his bath, and as I bent over to put the plug in, he started playing my butt like a set of bongos. ‘I’m smacking you! V is smacking Julia! Aaaahahahahah!,’ he screeched as I fumbled to work out the fancy bath.
Because I was bent over so far into the bath, I failed to notice V sneak up beside me until it was too late, and he’d turned the shower on as hard as he could and my head and back were soaked and my glasses were filling up with water and I couldn’t see and I could only scream and flail around.
The bath consisted of me trying to wash him while he insisted every single piece of his skin was ticklish and that jumping in the bath is a great idea. The torture only ended when he suddenly announced he needed to use the potty, which set off another round of panic as I searched for his towel and mentally prepared myself for the task at hand. ‘V,’ I crouched in front of him, ‘I’ve never done this before. What do you do? Do you use the big toilet or this potty?’ He looked at me like I was stupider than Baby Wombat’s Week. ‘No, not the toilet. Not that potty, that potty is TOO SMALL! I need to poo!’ ”OK WELL THEN WHICH POTTY, WHERE IS THIS POTTY?!’ He pointed to the blue turtle-shaped potty that I happened to be squatting over myself without noticing. I jumped back and he planted himself on it and chatted away to himself before standing up and saying, ‘I’m done, that was just a little one!’. I peered fearfully into the potty. ‘V…there’s nothing in here. Where … where is the poo?’. I couldn’t believe how far my night had devolved.
I turned around and found V had disappeared, naked and presumably in possession of a little poo. What followed was a good few minutes of me chasing a naked child around a living room yelling, ‘WHERE IS THE POO, WHAT DID YOU DO WITH IT, THIS ISN’T FUNNY!’
We never did find the poo.
Finally I wrangled him into a Lego onesie while he screamed. Just as I snapped up the last button, he looked at me and smiled and said, ‘Julia? You forgot to put on my night nappy … NOW WE HAVE TO TAKE PYJAMAS OFF AGAIN, AAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!’
Just then I heard the front door open as Mary returned with dinner and I had never been so happy to see her and relieve myself (so to speak) of any responsibility of an evil three-year-old and a missing poo.