I am not a parent. I’m an aspiring parent, but not yet submerged in the “always thinking about the welfare of a child” mode. This weekend my 11-year old niece is visting us from Colorado. Already, I’m realizing how much things are going to change once I have kids of my own. Here are a few things I’ve realized in the 36 hours I’ve spend with my niece:
1) There is no such thing as “sleeping in” for an 11-year old.
2) Kids like to eat at appropriate times. There is a “breakfast time” a “lunch time” and a “dinner time.”
3) Watching TV is a lot harder when you have to monitor the shows for content not suitable for an 11-year old (besides, it’s not my place to discuss homosexuals with my 11-year old niece – we’ll leave that to her Dad).
4) The Disney channel has really corny movies.
5) Before she goes running off to the water at the beach is when we should have the talk about beach safety.
6) Bed time is REALLY early (which is why dinner at 6:00 p.m. instead of 8:00 p.m. is a good idea).
7) It’s much easier to be a cool uncle than a cool dad (I can’t take my own kids to Krispy Kreme for breakfast, but with my niece it’s okay).
Having an 11-year old is nice when you need help bringing in the groceries or cooking dinner.
9) 11-year old’s are more astute than I realized (“Aunt Andrea’s going to take a nap when we get home from the beach, isn’t she” Why yes, she is).
10) Kids always remind you that you have ice cream in the freezer.