Monday, December 22, 2008

"If you're worried and you can't sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep"*

One of the blessings I have been able to count on this holiday season is that my nine-year-old nephew still thinks hanging out with his old aunt is fun. We have movie nights, we cook together, we talk books. It's all good, but I know it won't last. He'll be a teenager soon (too soon!), and teenagers don't think their aunts—even not-so-old ones—are cool.

We recently got together at my sister's house to make Christmas cookies. Surprisingly, my three-year-old niece and two-year-old nephew abandoned their Christmas video to come help us.

My little nephew got a bit anxious as we were cooking and decorating the cookies. A gingerbread woman and a gingerbread man were the only raw cookies left on the table. While I helped my niece with the sprinkles and my sister helped my older nephew with the frosting, my little nephew helped himself to the gingerbread lady.

He boldly proclaimed, "I'm gonna lick the lady!"

Now, my little nephew speaks very clearly, and my sister and I both heard him and understood him. At any given time in my sister's house, one of the kids is bound to be making some noise. Usually it's quiet singing or talking to no one in particular, but this time my little nephew was actually making an announcement. My sister and I made the mistake of not taking his announcement seriously. So, sure enough, he licked the gingerbread lady.

Then he said, "I'm gonna lick the man!"

Before my sister or I could stop him, he leaned over the table and licked the gingerbread man. Well, there's no sense in wasting licked cookies, so we cooked them up and wrote his name on them with edible gel.

Here's a few of our creations:

*Irving Berlin