I now have to vie against another woman for the attention of my husband-to-be. She comes in the form of my four year old niece.
A little background...I am the proud aunt of four nieces and nephews. My brother has three kids, including a 13 year old son and twin 7 year olds, a boy and a girl. My sister has 4 year old girl, Roo (Nickname for purposes of my blog). All of them have huge, amazing personalities, and I couldn't be more proud of all of them. They all never cease to make me smile or laugh, and I always keep pictures of them around my office for when I'm having a rough day and need a smile.
My niece Roo, who is quite the precocious one, has taken a little while to get used to T. When we first started dating in 2008, she would only want me to come up to visit or to play with her. She's a bit coy around men that she doesn't know, so she she took her good, long time to warm up to T. And he was always "Nainy's T," because he was MY friend. With a little time, she got used to having him around but always kept her distance. That changed this last spring...
After we did the Race for the Cure in downtown Indy in April, T and I took my extended family, who came in from out of town, to our house to show it off, and my sister and Roo came along. Now, our house is definitely not kid friendly just yet. We have only a few items that can hold a child's attention for a little while so we were worried Roo would get bored quickly. T got this bouncy ball out that lights up when it hits the ground that he got at some trade show, and he got it out for her to play. So they invented this game whereby you had to line up her little miniature toys (gained mostly from McDonald's Happy Meals, and she threw in a receipt in there, as well too...yes, I don't know how she considers a receipt a toy, but we went with it..), and they sat on the floor for an hour rolling that ball back and forth, trying to hit a toy each time to earn a "prize." T was quite the trooper because I know that wasn't so easy on his back sitting there on the floor for that long, but they did it. It was quite the bonding experience, and he quickly became a new playmate for Roo.
A couple weekends later, we went up to my parent's house for Roo's 4th birthday party. She was excited to play with T, and when they got to my parent's house, they quickly started another game of ball. Dinner came, and while I'm usually her choice person to sit next to her at the dinner table, she told me she wanted T to sit next to her. Ouch, I was voted off the island. After dinner, she wanted him to come outside with her to ride her bike. He waited for me to clean up after dinner, and I guess she was a little antsy, saying that "he should just come out now, she can come out later." Apparently he outranks me, huh? We came out and played some more and had a great time. Heading home, her Mom asked her "Roo, did you have fun today?" She responded, "Yes, today was a great day." When asked what the favorite part of her day, she quickly said, "playing with T...he's my friend, you know..." So his title quickly changed from "Nainy's T" to "My friend, T." Absolutely adorable.
Yesterday we went up to my parent's house for a cookout to celebrate Memorial Day weekend and to listen to the Indy 500. (Side note: I won the contest that day! We drew names of drivers, and MY driver won! Whoo!) As soon as we were there, Roo quickly wanted T's attention. She wanted to swing, to play soccer, to play ball, and her playmate of choice was, of course, T. It's really cute, and I can tell how much he just loves it. She wears him out, too, so I don't have to worry about him having all sorts of energy when the day is done... (Just kidding, T!!!) It truly is cute, and it's a huge deal that Roo now has a friend in T.
Here's the duo yesterday enjoying the beautiful day. (They're best friends, you know?)
We're excited for this Friday because Roo is coming to stay with us for a slumber party on Friday. My sister will be here to get ready for a shared garage sale we're having next Saturday, and I'm sure much fun will be had and a few games of ball played. I'm not sure which one of them will enjoy the evening more, Roo or T.
It's like my sister says...."He's hers now. You just introduced them." She's too cute for me to be jealous, though. So I'll let it slide, for now....