Now let's first get some background information here - I have never changed a nappy unsupervised before, and had also never spent more than maybe... erm... 2 hours alone with a small person before. This was going to be a challenge right from the start and my parents laughed at me when they realised how much I was going to learn this week.
Owing to the fact that I have literally had my hands full this week, I don't nearly have as many photos as I'd like. There were some pretty fantastical moments though and here are some of them:
Here we both are, getting acquainted on the first day.
Here is my niece, driving the car.
This is us, going for an adventure with the Gruffalo.
This is the day that my nephew came to visit us, and check that we were still coping! It was lovely to see my sister, even though... erm, my niece may have beaten up my nephew a little... sorry!
And here is my little active niece, in the playground outside, getting good at her hands and feets and legs and arms. She's go-up-the-slide, jump-off-the-spinning-roundabout, fearless. And I love it.
Now that it is over, I am glad to report that we are both alive and well: survivors, let's say. I think fondly back to that moment when my sister-in-law shut the door to go to work, and how many niece wailed so very loudly. I could see the week panning out badly at that moment. But it didn't take long for the little one to enjoy my company, insist on being picked up, refuse her food unless outside, throw her snacks across the room, eeeek her disaproval at sitting in the car seat, eeeek her need to have a photo taken, and her pièce de résistance - shoving her drool-covered, half-chewed food into my mouth and eeep that I eat it. I think she had fun with me: I certainly loved every minute of it! But I won't lie, I was absolutely shattered afterwards! I am full of admiration for how her parents do this - how any parent does this.
I feel a bit like I leveled up as an Auntie today. Maybe a few levels. I'm glad that my brother and sister-in-law trusted me with their little one, and I can say with confidence that I'd be happy to do it again! Go Auntie Zan! :)
After pulling hard at her cousin's hair she looked at me with a puzzled expression. Obviously she had no idea what she had done, and why he was crying and why I was frowning at her. But she knew something had happened, and that the other baby in the room was distressed. So she did the only thing she knew how - she started offering him sticks of cucumber. And when he didn't take them, she just started throwing them at him vaguely. This was as much of an apology as can be afforded by a 14 month old. Auntie Zan noticed this and laughed to herself as she continued to apologise to her little crying nephew.