Warning! The story you are about to read is entirely true, and was not exaggerated. If anything, I made it a touch lighter than it was as the events unfolded.
My niece's third birthday party was on Saturday. Since it is generally my job to put up streamers and balloons (I say this because it has been proven true for three out of three birthday parties), we arrived early to help out. Just as I was finishing up, and before some of the guests had arrived, my niece asked me to play with her. I told her, after much bartering, we needed to play with something we could put away quickly, because people would be coming over soon. She settled on "Doctor" -- and, by settle, I mean that she told me to lie down on the floor while she pulled out her doctor kit. Her kit is quite sophisticated, with little pliers, tweezers, a scalpel, scissors, and the little light thingy they shove in your ear.
All mine had was a box to store your plastic bandages in.
It always annoyed me that the cast didn't fit in the bandage box; not that it mattered, because I used the bandage box as storage for my Polly Pockets. I also used the pill bottle to keep a stash of M&Ms, and the bag when I pretended to play Titanic.
So, at this point, I've been forced by a small child to lie in the middle of my sister's living room floor between a shelf full of puzzles and a pretty-pony-clippity-clop-clippity-clop rocking horse, she's got folks coming over who could arrive at any moment, my niece has pulled out a seven thousand piece medical kit, and I'm thinking that this game needs to end abruptly.
I peeked over my knees to see her personalized hair bow bobbing up and down as she decided how best to start our game. I twiddled my fingers, which were laced over my chest, and waited for her to do something. She turned back to me with a deceitfully innocent grin on her little face, holding a blue and red plastic scalpel in much the same way as a character from "Tales From the Crypt" might.
Yeah, actually, no, Aunt B does not want to play "Doctor" anymore.
That's when I started to fear for my person.
As I was wondering how I'd gotten myself into this, she gingerly tip-toed -- yes, tip-toed -- wee-tiny-baby-steps up to me before hesitating slightly, lifting the scalpel over her head, and actually cackling.
She gleefully uncrossed my hands, and proceeded to make a long "incision" down my front. Then another. And one more, just for good measure.
She skipped back to her other supplies with joy, and I was eerily reminded of a game her mother and I used to play (in the same way I was roped into playing "Doctor") where she would have me stand in front of the kitchen window when we were unloading the dishwasher; she would take a knife out of the silverware caddy, and "stab" me until I withered, making a ghastly silhouette play as I put away our cutlery. This kind of crazy simply has to be inherited.
Before I could get to thinking of other peculiar entertainments we sisters used to get up to, the child comes back with a blue pair of pliers, and tells me to open my mouth.
"What exactly are those for?" I asked her.
"To pull out your teeth," she said, too excitedly to make me comfortable.
"What else is in your bag?"
My answer, apparently, was not enough for her, because she settled on a suitable place on my arm to pinch. When she was satisfied, she gamboled back to the pile of instruments. I took my opportunity to appeal to her practical side.
"People are gunna be here in a minute for your party!"
She was having none of it.
Instead, she grinned widely as she dramatically opened and closed a pair of red scissors, aiming for the same place on my arm as before. She traded tools in a flash, pinching my arm hair with a pair of red tweezers.
"Your party is gunna start soon, we should put our toys away," I said, making another appeal to her sensibilities. I sat up, and offered to help her put her kit back together; she, of course, was having too much fun for her own good, and pushed me back on the floor with a "no, you stay there".
"But --" In one ear and out the other as she brought out a thermometer, and we had a prolonged fight about why it wouldn't go in my mouth, either. Speaking of ears, the special light was unceremoniously stuffed into one of mine as I was offered party punch to sample. Just as I was being assaulted with a stethoscope, her mother found us, and forced the toys back into their box on the shelf of puzzles. Disheveled, I picked myself up off the floor, and was glad to have made it out with nothing more than a busted lip, and a few scratches. I probably looked like I was beaten up by a cat. Or, more accurately, I felt like I was beaten up by a cat.
Guess which of us is which.
I learned several things from this experience.
*Regardless that I love my niece, and she is generally an exception to my shenanigans, children continue to freak me the hell out.
All children are Children of the Corn, so far as I'm concerned.
*Some things are inherited. Creepy factor is one of those things, and she and her mother will have oodles of fun with this in the future. I sense several dramatic reenactments of the shower scene in "Psycho".
Fun fact: I bought my sister a "Psycho" shower curtain for Christmas one year, and she used it until it fell apart. It matched the "Bates Motel" door sign I got her at Universal Studios.
*Even though I hold "Awesomest Auntie" status, Aunt B is never playing "Doctor" again. Ever.
Yeah, no. Ever.
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