It started out innocently enough. I volunteer my time several afternoons each week at my school's homework club to help my current and former students build their skills to get ready for the state assessments. On one such afternoon last week, I was in charge of homework club and my fiance's honorary nephew, Shaggy, was volunteering in my room. This arrangement works out rather well for us since I get help with the 15-20 youngsters doing their homework and he gets credit for service learning hours that he needs to graduate high school.
A dispute arose between Shaggy and one of the students over the correct way to solve a math problem. I heard the conversation go from discussion to disagreement to argument from across the room and I was headed over to intervene when I heard this:
Shaggy: "You're wrong."
Student: "No, you're wrong!"
Shaggy: "No, I am clearly right!"
Student: "Fine, we'll ask Miss Lainey. She's my teacher and she'll be on my side."
Shaggy: "Good luck with that! She's MY aunt. She likes me more than you!"
Aww, I'd been claimed by Shaggy! I just had to smile and be on Shaggy's side in the disagreement after that. Of course, it helped that he had the right answer to the math problem.
While Shaggy is a former student of mine, his little sister, Princess Sassy Pants, is a future student of mine. Next year, she'll be arriving in my grade. That makes my aunt status interesting, to say the least. I could end up being either her homeroom teacher, her social studies teacher, or possibly her math teacher.
Princess Sassy Pants is also going to be the flower girl in my wedding. She is incredibly excited about this and it even earned me an upgrade in title. PSP had been calling me Aunt Insert Last Name Here in an effort to keep the school/home separation going. But, once her royal highness heard that her brother was calling me Aunt Lainey, she announced that she would call me that, too.
Aww, the princess claimed me as her Aunt Lainey, too! I'm really starting to feel the love here.
Finally, this Saturday we did our good deed for the week. My honey's sister just had her third child and the baby's brand new middle child/big sister was feeling a lack of attention. So, we volunteered to take Jan (get it... "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!") out to lunch and a movie. We let Jan choose where she wanted to get lunch from any restaurant within a fifteen mile radius of our local movie theater. Being a child and having underdeveloped taste buds, Jan decided to forego Panera, Chipotle, Olive Garden, and other preferable restaurants in favor of Friendly's. And we didn't even get ice cream! Who goes to Friendly's for the food?!
But, I digress. We took Jan out for lunch (at Friendly's) and then to see Hotel Transylvania. She insisted on sitting next to me in the movie theater and even tried to force the seating so that she was between me and my honey. My honey wasn't having that, though. Did I mention that Jan is just the tiniest bit contrary? If you let her know what you want to happen in advance, she will insist on doing the exact opposite just to get my honey's goat. When my honey held my hand during the movie, Jan decided she wanted to hold my hand, too. So there I was with the popcorn bucket in my lap and no hands available with which to eat. I had fun anyways.
When we took Jan back to Nana's house, she told her nana that she'd had a great time out with her Aunt Lainey and Uncle Jay. And another niece claims me as her own!
Just by becoming engaged, I have gone from having one nephew (my beloved Squirt) to having eight nieces and nephews. That's two nieces and six nephews or as they will be described in a few months, one flower girl, one junior bridesmaid, two ring bearers (Yes, I said two!), and three ushers. I know that is only seven kids, but number eight is still into drooling and diapers, remember?