Almost three years ago, just when I thought I could not handle another mischievous kid in the family, God gave us another walking mayhem. Not many of you are aware that I also have a niece. And she’s just as endearing (the kind that you wanna strangle) as my nephew.
My niece is now three years old. She’s called Natalya. My nephew’s name is Yoshke. I gave him that name. He’s now five. For the sake of this blog entry and to avoid confusion, let’s call my nephew Yoshke “Nephew,” and my niece, “Niece.”
Nephew and Niece are seldom in the same place at the same time. You see, they are not siblings. They are cousins. Nephew is my sister’s son while Niece is my brother’s daughter. But whenever they are together, they make a hilarious duo. Nephew is shy but inquisitive. Niece is a star, hence she has a star complex. She is a queen bee in the making. Maldita. Atribida. Echosera.
What happens when they are together?
Other than fighting, one of the activities that they love doing together is drawing. My brother-in-law is a painter. Nephew got that gene. (In fact, he was Best in Art in his batch last year.) One time, I joined them in their crayon-happy session and told them to draw whatever entered my head. I asked them to draw a flower; they did. I asked them to draw a house; they did. I asked them to draw a pencil; they did.
And then I asked them to draw a glass and a plate.
Using a pencil, Nephew did it well. He colored the plate blue (like the real plate he actually uses). And then left the glass colorless. It’s transparent, anyway, so I let it go.
Niece, on the other hand, colored her plate pink. I was about to praise how well she drew the glass when she whipped out a black crayon and scribbled all over it until the glass was almost completely covered.
“WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!?! WHAT’S THAT?” I asked.
“Black gulaman,” was her answer.
The same thing happened when Me-Ann, their tutor, asked them to draw a ripe mango.
Nephew colored it green. “It’s not ripe yet,” he argued. “It will turn yellow later.”
Niece colored hers black. Before their tutor could even ask, she declared, “It’s already rotten.”
At a family reunion, while we were in the middle of an engaging conversation, Niece walked towards one of my aunts, pointed at her and exclaimed:
“Ikaw at yung asawa mo at yung mga anak mo, ANTATABAAA N’YONG LAHAT!!!”
And then she walked away.
I was playing with Nephew in one corner of the living area when I saw Niece tripped on her toe and stumbled. She was more than 5 meters away from us.
When she started crying, her parents approached her and asked what happened. The little girl responded, “Nephew kicked me. Nephew kicked me.”
I was stunned. How could she put the blame on Nephew when he wasn’t doing anything. So I called on her and shouted, “Hey, come here!” I told her that Nephew didn’t do such a thing and it’s bad to lie. “Bad things happen to kids who lie.”
Days later, my brother was enraged because Niece was crying yet again. The girl was claiming Nephew stole all her quail eggs. I explained everything, “I don’t know what happened to her eggs but Nephew has his own pack of quail eggs and he was saving them for dinner.”
Once again, I told Niece never to lie again.
But the kid just wouldn’t listen. One day, while she was going down the stairs, she accidentally slipped and fell from the top. The poor kid’s body bounced from one step to another. The thuds and the bangs were so loud. We were in the kitchen but we heard it and hurried to the stairs. My sister who was supposed to watch her was also in the kitchen with us to get something quickly.
Lying on the floor was Niece. And although we couldn’t see a single drop of blood,ย we rushed her to the hospital. (I was reminded of the time Nephew fell down the stairs.)
Miraculously, she survived with only a couple of scratches and a bump on the head. All the tests turned out fine. Thank goodness.
Hours later, her mother asked her what happened and she said she was running after Nephew! Unbelievable! When the accident happened, Nephew was at the neighbor’s, playing with other kids.
When it was my turn to look after Niece, I told her, “You know why you fell down the stairs? Because you keep on lying. Bad things happen to liars. Look what happened to you. You fell down the stairs. You tripped on your toe. Your quail eggs disappeared!”
Since then, she stopped lying and blaming Nephew for every mishap she encountered.
I wish she learned her lesson. Lying is bad.
(And yeah, it was me who ate all her quail eggs.)