Then she got pregnant. I made an exception.
I started imagining all the fun I would have being a part of my little niece’s or nephew’s life, watching the baby hit milestones and speculating on what kind of genius it would grow up to be.
And then the baby was born.
My mother was the happiest grandma ever.
They called it a “high needs” baby. This is a secret code for “screams all the time, but it’s not colicky, it’s just pissed”.
This was complicated by the fact that I worked at the same small private school as my mother. Sis also worked there pre-baby. Thus I was routinely asked about the baby within close proximity to my mother.
When she got pregnant, I had my sister sign me up for a weekly email newletter from Babycenter.com, with pregnancy progress information. This ensured that I always had something to talk about with her, even if it was only “had an Braxton-Hicks contractions lately?”. The newsletter turned into a baby-development newsletter, with brain-development games to play, and potential problems and upcoming milestones. The baby kept missing major ones, like clapping and pointing, and waving, and babbling, and imitating other people. I saw her at least once a week, and she was screaming 90% of the time.
She’s a year old now, and she doesn’t scream all the time anymore. I don’t work at the school anymore, and Sis and her husband and the kid moved in with my parents, combining forces to form the This Baby is Perfectly Normal team. The baby doesn’t walk or talk yet.
I was hoping for a gifted, highly-interactive kid to play with. This baby continues to develop at any-slower-and-she’d-actually-be-retarded pace. It doesn’t help that my friend’s baby that is exactly a week younger is doing this right now:
I'm still waiting for my sister's kid to turn into an interactive person that I can do things with. It's been a long wait.