it’s my first weekend living back at my parents’ house. saturday night, i go out clubbing til 3am, get the nightbus for an hour then it’s a 40 minute walk home, finally getting to sleep at 5am with a hangover at full blast.
come 10am i’m rudely awakened by a load of clattering noise. my room is right next door to the bathroom and three year old lil nephew is having his sunday bath, singing at the top of his voice and splashing his toys around. my brain is an egg yolk slopping painfully about my head, but i can’t tell a little kid to stop having fun, my inner william rees-mogg won’t allow it - who am i to break a butterfly on a wheel?
no chance of going back to sleep so i wince my way downstairs, grab a brew and wait for lil nephew to finish his little water-based musical.
later that day i’m in my room zoning out when lil nephew knocks on my door and yells “CAN I COME INNN?” it’s the last thing i want, i feel like a broken doll, but i owe lil nephew a lot - he’s given me a place to sleep, his piss stool and a lovely facebook picture.
“ok, come in.”
he bounds in, snot dribbling down his nose and hands coated in unidentifiable grime. a few days earlier, in an act of post-breakup retail remedy i’d gone out and spent a grand on a fancy new coat (sex and the city girls do this kind of thing after breakups so i thought i’d give it a go - it worked). the coat is hanging on the back of my door and lil nephew keeps stumbling onto it and shrieking with laughter at my growing panic.
he’s having the time of his life, i’m basically a big human toy who’s moved into his nan’s house that he can go and bother whenever he likes. my mum and dad are delighted, it keeps him out of their hair for a few hours. the only person suffering in this situation is me.
he spends the next hour pointing at various things and asking “WHAT’S THAAAAT?” shoes, pencil, watch, lighter, everything. i’m amazed he doesn’t know this stuff already, what has he been doing for the past three years? surely he’s seen a damn PENCIL before.
once he’s identified every object in the room he grabs my roberts radio and starts jabbing at buttons and twiddling nobs. he manages to detune everything and spends a lifetime blasting out white noise at full volume, laughing his idiot little head off.
i stare at the wall, trying to ignore lil nephew as he smears snot on my belongings and bombards my ears with chaos. a wave of dread sweeps over me as i realise this is my life for the forseeable future. i stand up, shaking. “lil nephew, i need to sleep for a bit… why don’t you go and see what grandad’s up to.”
sorry william rees-mogg, some butterflies just need flicking right off that wheel.
[this lil nephew submitted by nina. by the looks of it she spent all of 1 minute scribbling it. arguably the most lil nephewish lil nephew of them all, in that it could have feasibly been produced BY lil nephew. thanks nina!]