I have a niece that is 2 years old. The last time that I saw her was at Chritmas time last year and she did not like me. For some reason, she refused to come anywhere near me and cried for her mum if we were even in the same room together. Last week I travelled to Sydney to visit and I was keen to see if she would remember me or forget the last time we met.
Thankfully, she was a lot more friendly this time. We managed to bond over a few good story books and playtime in the park and she was quite comfortable with me.
I had arrived before my wife so the following day we all made the trip to the airport to greet her off the plane. During the trip, my niece fell asleep in her car seat and I gently carried her into the arrivals area. I took a seat with her in my lap and suggested that my sister in-law go and meet my wife off the plane while I waited.
'Are you sure you will be okay? Make sure you call me if she wakes up.', she said in a strangely concerned voice. I didn't think anything of it. Then I got a phone call... 'I'm still waiting. Is she still asleep? Make sure you call me if she wakes up.'
A few more calm minutes went by and I began to wonder. Why is she so concerned about my niece waking up? What's the big deal? Then, I found out.
My niece woke up. She opened her eyes and looked around. She looked at me and then stared for a couple of seconds. Then the tears began to well in her eyes and she took a mighty breath before screaming, 'WHERE'S MMMUUUUMMMMM??!!!!!'
I did my absolute best to keep her calm and reassure her that mum was not far and on her way but it was no use. 'I WANNNTTT MYY MMMUUUUMMMM!!!!' She kicked her legs out straight and went as stiff as a bored, making it almost imposible to hold her. she kicked me away and continued to roll on the ground screaming for her mum.
The ladies in the baggage claim counter had a direct view and I'm pretty sure they were beginning to wonder if I was trying to kidnap this child that was screaming at me.
After what seemed like an eternity, her mum came running down the hallway after hearing the screams and scooped her up. The tears immediately stopped. I got a couple of filthy stare downs by my niece as the tears began to dry. Thankfully, she forgave me during the car trip home and I made up for it with a few more story books. This time, I will not leave a hated uncle.