June 02, 2014

my mini-me

Out of all of my nieces, Emma reminds me the most of myself. I mean, sometimes we're opposites, but other times we're like, basically twins (Except, she's only 9 and I'm 30. But whateva.).

She likes pink and I hate it. She loves veggies, and I hate their guts. So we aren't alike in every way.

But we both have crazy, thick, gigantic hair. Lion hair. I was braiding her hair one day, and in a surge of affection, squeezed her hard and told her, Babycake... we both have the same hair. It's like a crazy lion's mane. And kinda frizzy.
Whereupon, she promptly burst into tears.
I was like, Dude, why are you even crying? You should be happy.
So I hit her in the head with my hairbrush and told her to get used to it. So much for affection.

We're both creative. And neither of us like following directions. Which means we usually make super cool stuff that will fall apart pretty soon. But Emma, like myself, is really optimistic about the mistakes she makes. Case in point, our friend was having a baby girl. Emma loves sewing. So she took one of her old t-shirts, cut it up, and attempted to make a little hand-sewn dress out of it. She did it entirely on her own, without knowing anything about sewing. You could actually see that it was supposed to be a dress. But there was a giant pucker sewn into the front.
Emma was not deterred when I pointed it out to her. Oh, I know! I saw that. But I didn't want to resew it, so I figured it could be like ruching. No one will notice.
Brilliant. That's exactly what I would've said. Don't you love the ruching there? Took me forever to perfect it.

She likes writing and drawing pictures. She, like myself, can't draw a decent stick figure, but she, unlike myself, hasn't given up on her artistic abilities and draws me multiple pictures every week. It's usually a picture of me. Me with weird hair. Me wearing ugly clothes. Me with T-Rex arms and three fingers. Me with a giant nose. Me with flowers growing out of random body parts. Me with elephant ears. Me wearing a crown. Me with chicklet teeth. And she always writes on these pictures, Sunshine, you're so beautiful.
And I'm like, Dear God, if this is how I really look, please strike me with lightning and end my misery.

She, like myself, gets very indignant if she feels she's been truly wronged. And she doesn't forget it either.
One time, she told Rachel, I don't much like going to Aunt Sunny's house. 
Rachel was like, Oh really? Why not?
So Emma replies, Because one time she punched me right in the eye. For no reason.
I did not punch her in the eye. Okay, so I did. But it was an accident. Emma, however, still thinks I did it on purpose and still wonders how I could ever be so cruel to her super nice self.

Gift giving is her love language. Same as myself. But she is the queen of the tacky regift. She came running into my Sunday School class a month or so ago, and handed me a teeny little brown box with I love you, Sun written all over it. Aww. I opened it after she left. Inside the box was a pair of pink flower earrings... earrings that I had given her this past Christmas.
Later on, she asked me how I liked my new earrings.
Emma, I gave you those earrings for Christmas.
She stared at me blankly.
Scratched her head.
And then brightly said, Oh well! I never wore them anyway. You can have them back!
And then she beamed at me, pretty happy that she had made me feel better.
I punched her right in the eye. Accidentally.

She has the most tender heart. I don't so much. But it's amazing what you can learn from a 9 year old about tenderness. If she thinks she's hurt someone, it bothers her for days. She accidentally headbutted her cousin, Marianna one day. And while we were all making sure that Marianna's nose wasn't broken, I noticed Emma was gone. I looked around, and found her huddled in her closet, crying her eyes out. Not because of the Romulan looking goose-egg growing on her own face, but because she felt bad that she had hurt Marianna.

I was sick yesterday and couldn't go to church last night, so she wrote me a love note.
Dear Sunny, I love you. I hope you get better soon. I love you so much that I'm leaving you my love. Love, Emma
P.S. Try to come over and I have a surprise. Come at 5:00 pm or at 10:01 pm.

Leaving me her love:) And why 10:01? Why not 10:02?

She, like me, wants a happy ending. She hates sad stuff. The girls are always begging me to tell them a story, so the other day I told them a story that I read in a history book years ago. It was about some man who was tortured in Vietnam. He was held over a fire and his feet were burned off. (Okay, in retrospect, it probably wasn't the best story to tell the kids, but they asked for it.) Anyway, suddenly, Emma buries her face in my arm and starts crying.
I was startled.
Why are you crying? Are you hurt?
So after that, we watched Frozen for the ten millionth time, and I held Emma while she cried over that poor man's feet. I told her to let it go (Get it? Let it go. Because we were watching Frozen?).
I tell myself that I'm teaching them compassion. And the guy survived, by the way.

This is me when I meet someone new that I like.

I'm an unabashed friend stalker, man. Ask any of my friends. I don't apologize for it.
I love my friends. I like being with them. And sometimes I knock on Rachel's door and I'm like, Do you want to build a snowman? Come on, let's go and play...
And she's like, Didn't I just see you yesterday? Go away. (Amended: Rachel would like to point out that she's never actually said that to me. She's a lot nicer than that. What she has said was more like, Sure! But it should be a snow DALEK because that's cooler than a snowman. And then I would be like, YES! And she's right.)

Emma has a best friend. Bayley. Emma stalks Bayley. Emma loves Bayley. Emma breathes for Bayley. Emma is like, Every step you take, I'll be watching you. Oh, can't you see? You belong to me.
And then she hugs Bayley until her ribs crack (Which is something I'm often tempted to do to my own friends.).

So one Sunday morning, I walk into church and see Bayley hiding behind a chair. I had a suspicion.
Bayley... are you hiding from Emma?
Bayley's like, sheepish, Well... yes. Kinda. Do you know where she is?
She's downstairs. Looking for you. I won't tell her where you are.
Bayley looked relieved, Oh, thank you.

As I walked away, I heard Emma shriek from behind me, BAYLEY I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU!
And I turned to see Bayley's eyes widen in terror as Emma proceeded to crack her ribs.

Emma wrote this card for Bayley one time when Emma was leaving to visit family in Missoula for a few days.

I'll translate:

Dear Bayley,
If you ever leave, read this card. I love you, and you love me, right? And no one, not one single person, can break our love, right? If you got this letter on Thursday, I left on that day to Missoula. But no worries, I come back on Saturday. I love you so much. *hug hug, kiss kiss*
Your best friend Emma

I love the no worries part. Because Bayley was probably really worried. Obviously.

I love her. She's such a weirdo.

She Who Sometimes Punches Her Niece Right In The Eye For No Reason