Sunday, February 20, 2005


I vastly prefer aunthood to motherhood; it provides extended contact with ruffle-intensive, fuzz-headed babies without requiring me to actually produce one myself. It is an excellent plan: My sister shall take care of the hard parts such as having labor and weathering adolescence and denying permission to play in incoming traffic, and in the meantime, I will present the child with money and gifts on a regular basis. And so in addition to winning the adoration of a small, looks-somewhat-like-me child who’s already covering my lineage responsibilities, I will enjoy the added bonus of angering various siblings and in-laws.

As seen in the following side-by-side comparison, aunting is a fine and honorable profession, superior in many ways to actual motherhood:

MOTHER DUTY: Grow entirely new person
AUNT DUTY: Purchase napkins for baby shower

MOTHER DUTY: Push eight-pound object out of tiny, extremely personal orifice as several brand-new acquaintances look on
AUNT DUTY: Show up afterward at maternity ward with mylar balloon

MOTHER DUTY: Deal on frequent basis with output of variety of bodily fluids
AUNT DUTY: Pose with child for baptism photographs

MOTHER DUTY: Must explain to child that, contrary to child’s entire experience thus far, one is expected to pee AFTER one pulls one’s pants down
AUNT DUTY: Take child to zoo

MOTHER DUTY: Finance approximately eighteen years of existence
AUNT DUTY: Place five-dollar bill in annual birthday card

MOTHER DUTY: See to it that child is accepted into institution of higher learning other than Gun Repair Junior College
AUNT DUTY: Instruct child in proper assemblage of beer bong

I have found that children tend to be kind of high-maintenance. Apparently you have to watch them something like twenty-four hours a day, which could seriously cut into my nail-filing time.

Aunt Tink always knew she would be excellent at aunting. Jim The Baby Nephew, seriously, has seen nothing of the power of Aunt Tink. Aunt Tink will take her nieces and nephews on educational field trips to the mall and the cocktail lounge at the local airport. But Aunt Tink will not escort the children to the circus, because Aunt Tink is afraid of clowns.

Aunt Tink may always be counted upon to present the children with gifts that their parents would never, ever buy, thereby designating her The Cool Aunt. For those of you who also aspire state of Coolness, these gifts may include one or more of the following features:
•The frequent emittance of loud, obnoxious noises
•Anything requiring ignition by open flame
•The words “Assembly Required” or “Sold Separately”
•Object breathing on its own
•Melt-intensive food items

I cannot be a mother; I am doomed to produce horrifying offspring. At age eight, I was officially and indelibly placed under the Just Like You Curse: “I hope,” my mother said ominously to me immediately following an episode involving maroon nail polish, a can of squirt cheese, and the carpet, “you have a little girl who is just like you.”

And the world certainly doesn’t need that.

an object breathing on her own at:

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