Sunday, 22 June 2014

Ode to my nieflings

This post has been a couple of weeks in the making. I started it, and couldn't work out a way to say what I meant without sounding totally soppy and silly. I pretty much gave up and just wrote.

Niefling or nibling (or a few other spelling variations) is a gender neutral term for your nieces and nephews. It is also a very useful term when there is a new baby on the way and you don't know the gender. Discovering this word made me so incredibly happy that you cannot imagine. I do have fondness for fun words.

One of the joys of big families is lots of nieflings, and I have been lucky enough to obtain some of mine in unusual ways. Currently I have two nieces, seven nephews, and another niece and nephew on the way. I also have six god-children, and an assortment of other children in my life who I love.

This post was inspired by DB's step-sister's baby shower the other weekend. Due to unforseen circumstances I couldn't make it, but I had to laugh at the girls' stories when they got home! Buglet won the bottle sucking competition (I dread to think what this may imply for later years), and Tink won a baby-shower version of celebrity heads (all those years at Guides must have paid off). The Pixie was highly indignant that her clever plan hadn't worked. She had decided that if she measured around her Dad's tummy that would be the perfect way of predicting the girth of her pregnant aunt.

I have been lucky enough that I have come by my nieflings in some non-traditional ways. But every single time I have got the news that I was going to be an aunt again, the joy has been the same:
  • the phone calls from one of my sisters telling me that she was pregnant;
  • the phone call from my other sister telling me that she was fostering a little boy (twice), and the phone call telling me that she has him now and for the foreseeable future (twice);
  • the mimed actions of DB when he was on the phone to his brother saying that they were having a baby, and the term auntie being used after DB and I had broken up letting me know that I was still family;
  • the invitation to my nephew's christening addressed to "Auntie Cath" from DB's step-sister when I had no idea if I got to be auntie to her children too;
  • the news "you're going to be an auntie again" from two of my best friends (even if it took me a minute to work it out because I was too busy being annoyed thinking DB had told them about one if his siblings before me); and
  • the excited text message from my mother-in-law.
Regardless of how they are mine, and regardless of how often I see them, and I don't get to see any of them as often as I would like, I absolutely adore every single one of them and my house is full with photos as testimony to this!

One of the best things is that my three youngest sisters haven't had children yet and considering the youngest one is only 14 I am hoping that I will have a few more to add to the mix over the coming years. Not that I am greedy or anything. I might be done with having my own children, but I am certainly not done with other people having babies for me to play with!

I hope the rest of my life is filled with cuddles, and pictures and small people to love. Things like this are some of my most treasured possessions, and as long as I love them and they love me, I don't mind how I get them. The nieflings I mean, not the pictures. Although I do love the pictures too!

And in the theme of the post, a joke, told to me by Buglet. Buglet also told DB, who thought it was funny enough to tell me too. She really does have her father's sense of humour.

There was woman who fell into a coma while she was pregnant with twins. After the babies were born the doctors asked her brother to name the babies. When she woke up she asked her brother what he had named her daughter. He replied "Denise". "Fair enough," she said, "and what did you name my son?" "De nephew".

I promise you all now, that if I am ever in the position of naming any of my nieflings, I won't play mean jokes with their names.

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