"Shut up Nephew, I'm trying to watch the fireworks."
Little boys are twits. I was one, so were both of my little brothers and so is every little boy I've ever met. Most of them are nice most of the time, but in the heart of each little boy is the ability to be a real twit.
So it should come as no surprise that my 7-year-old nephew is also a twit.
As many young boys do, my nephew talks incessantly. He asks insightful questions, he asks stupid questions, he makes valid observations, he makes insipid observations, he misinterprets adult conversations, he interrupts adult conversations and he is just generally unhappy unless the air is abuzz with the echo of his own voice. He reminds me a lot of myself at that age.
Yes, I know what you're about to say.
So, anyways, as of the 4th of July, my nephew and I had been around each other for just about 2 days. As most of you know, I am not an incredibly patient man when it comes to ... well .... anything. Even when people are guilty of the same sins that I myself am (or have been) guilty of. So after two days between the incessant prattle and my nephew fighting with my niece, my patience was incredibly short.
So we all went out together to watch the fireworks: Anna, my sister-in-law, my nephew, my niece and myself. It was starting to drizzle and things started very well as my nephew proclaimed, "It's raining!"
At this point I decided that my patience was running thin enough that enduring my nephew's presence was going to result in an explosion on my part that neither of us wanted and so I wandered off. Unfortunately, he took this to mean that I had been imparted with some secret knowledge of the best spot in the area from which to watch the fireworks, so he followed.
After walking about 100 yards, I stopped and waited. Sure enough, he walked up and began making random proclamations about 5 seconds following his arrival.
"Nephew, you have two options: stand near me and stop talking or go away and talk to your heart's content."
After a 20 second pause, he resumed talking. I walked off again.
This process repeated itself 3 or 4 times as the rain picked up pace until I reached the point where I decided that I should probably go fetch an umbrella for the ladies. Sure enough, Nephew followed me to the car, chattering all along, "Why are you going into the house?" "Oh, you're getting in the car... do you think we'll be able to see the fireworks from the car?" "What's in the back of the car?" "We can't watch the fireworks from the back of your car, can we?" "That's a small umbrella, why do you have such a small umbrella?" "I thought we were watching the fireworks from the car, why are you locking the car?" "Where are you going with the umbrella?" And so on.
By the time we'd reached the ladies, I was about done. "Nephew, if you want to stand under the umbrella with us, you need to stop talking and just watch the fireworks."
20 seconds later. "What do they make fireworks out of?"
20 seconds after that. "I'm getting wet... HEY! Why aren't you sharing the umbrella with me?!"
"Nephew, I'll give you one more chance, and then you don't get to use the umbrella at all."
A whole minute later. "Why does the Niece get more umbrella than me?!"
This time he was watching for it and began fussing the instant the umbrella was removed. "I'm just going to stand under my blanket."
"Why won't you share the umbrella with me?!"
And then a miracle occurred: my nephew stomped away by himself.
And then he stomped back, emotion and volume building as he ranted.
"Why won't anyone share with me? You're supposed to share! Adults are terrible sharers! Everyone else is standing together under the umbrella and you won't share with me?!"
And then, at a fever pitch: "YOU'RE DEPRIVING ME OF THE FAMILY SHADE!"
At this point, I lost it. I absolutely lost it. I was laughing so hard that I was crying, the umbrella was shaking and Anna was elbowing the hell out of me.
And then the nephew stomped off again, only to shout about the abuses that he had suffered from 20 or 30 feet away.
The evening ended with a whimper rather than a bang when Nephew announced that the rain had stopped. At that point, I just set off on my own and avoided him for the rest of the evening.
Yes, I'm a terrible sharer. And I deprived my own nephew of The Family Shade.