Although I do not want kids of my own, I can admit that my nephews are awesome. The stuff that comes out of their mouths never ceases to amaze me and I’m pretty sure, despite being only four and five years old, they have things far more figured out than I usually do.
They see life with these new and open eyes, and because of that, they often say things that really put it all into perspective, even if sometimes it seems a bit confusing at first.
For the majority of their lives, I was single. And even after I met the man that I would eventually marry, I, their Auntie Bob, as they call me, would often visit them out in Colorado solo. When I finally did get married this past spring, the boys, Jackson and Elliot, didn’t attend the wedding, because it was in Paris, and flying from Denver to Paris was a bit too much to ask of them.
My sister feared that somewhere over the Atlantic, they’d lose it and the second half of the flight would be a nightmare for everyone. So, when they finally met my husband in November it was a really big deal. They finally had an uncle, like the other kids in school, and they finally had an answer to some of the questions about my love life — although meeting Olivier did spark some new ones, too, like when they’ll be getting a cousin.
By the time our weeklong visit came to an end, I had been put through the wringer with questions and statements; some poignant, some bizarre, and some straight-up nosey.
Here are 11 nosey observations my nephews have made about my love life:
1. On my parenting skills, or lack thereof.
When I asked Elliot if he had a stomachache because, perhaps, he had eaten grass like a dog does when they have a stomachache, Jackson said, “That’s why you don’t have kids, Bob. You should never have kids, Bob.”
2. On the sleeping arrangements with my husband.
It blew their minds that Olivier and I would be sleeping in the same bed during our visit. Elliot, especially, couldn’t wrap his brain around it, and said about 10 times a day for the first three days, “But why? We just met him. We don’t even know him yet.”
3. On showing my love.
Jackson felt that I didn’t show his dad, my brother-in-law, enough love. When I asked how I could fix that, he said, “Sleep with dad like mom does.”
4. On showing my love to Olivier.
Similarly to how I could remedy my lack of showing love to my brother-in-law, Jackson suggested, “Sleep with Olivier the way mom sleeps with dad. You can do it right here on the couch.”
5. On my honeymoon.
Unlike my sister, I had a proper honeymoon and this is something that has irked her for some time. It’s also something that she’s mentioned in front of the kids enough that Jackson told me, “My mom didn’t have a honeymoon. You should have given her yours.”
6. On my divorce.
About a week before my arrival, the boys learned about divorce because one of their friend’s parents was going through one, which led to this winner from Elliot, despite the fact that I’m not planning on getting divorced: “Bob, when you get divorced can I wear a tie to the party?”
7. On getting some cousins.
I am their only hope for cousins, and although they’re not sure how these elusive cousins will be made, they do know that I’m the only one who can give them some. “If we’re good, will you give us a cousin? We want a boy cousin,” said Jackson.
8. On my extramarital affairs.
According to my sister, children don’t know the concept of cheating, nor is it my place to tell them about it at their age. “How many boyfriends do you have now that you’re married, Bob?”
9. On gifts I should be getting.
Because, Christmas is just around the corner, of course: “If Olivier really loves you, he’ll buy you a boat.”
10. On my body.
There’s a tree not too far from the house that we call the breast tree, because, well, it looks like it’s made of breasts. While in context the following statement makes sense, I can only imagine how it sounded to other adults at the park when Jackson screamed it from the swings: “Your breasts are so much nicer than the tree’s breasts! Those breasts are scratchy!”
11. On my next marriage.
I got a location request for this one, with a food idea, to boot: “When you get married again you can get married in our backyard. We can eat turkey sandwiches out there.”
Amanda Chatel is an essayist and intimacy health writer for Yourtango, Shape Magazine, Hello Giggles, Glamour, and Harper’s Bazaar.