From the perspective of a Mom, I am going to lay some truth on you. Sometimes our kids don’t listen to a single thing we say. Not one…nothing…completely ignore. The same is true for the poor Dads; they hear him but most kids have their hands behind their backs making the “blah blah blah” hand signal to their sibling. It’s true and you know it.
Then comes Uncle. My kids have three of them, and a plethora of great Uncles. The conversation changes, and suddenly every word coming from their beloved Uncle’s mouth is somehow way more interesting and magical than when their Dad just said the. same. damn. thing.
In our families, Uncles have supreme position with our kids. They have a race car Uncle, a rock and ice climbing Uncle, one who kayaks and does triathlons, one who knows how to flip his eyelids inside out, and oddly, can blow a ping pong ball ten feet out of his mouth by slamming his cheeks.
And the kids are riveted. These are the single most interesting people in the world to them, no question. They are magic in ways their parents are not. We slide to the bottom of the food chain when the Uncles (and Aunts for that matter) are in town. Lordy, the shenanigans are no less than the circus rolling in.
My kids will do anything with reckless abandon when one particular Uncle suggests an activity. Any sport, or fun thing, a scary ride at the amusement park – all of it. One Uncle let my 7 year old son drive a four wheeler all around his farm. Years later my kid still talks about it.
Oddly, my kids’ not-so-interesting Dad becomes the apple of the eyes of his nieces and nephews. His bad jokes, cool knives, law enforcement badge all become the most entertaining thing ever. He suddenly becomes some magical creature who can pull a quarter out of an ear… hilarity ensues.
It isn’t all fun and games. One of my kids phones her uncle for help with math and science homework. (I am going to pretend you aren’t judging my husband and me for not being able to cope with grade 8 biology.) He seems to be able to explain what she needs and suddenly the light bulb goes on over her head, and Mama can pour herself a glass of wine because homework time is over!
I don’t know about this whole magic Uncle thing, but it can come in handy. When the Uncles have the undivided attention of our children, they teach them, show them new perspectives and hold them in loving arms to teach them that the are loved beyond measure. That is some fine teaching.
Oh and fart jokes.