Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Can you keep a secret?

My nephew’s gonna turn 6 on Saturday (go here for the fascinating nephew backstory), and he’s gonna get a gift he’s been patiently requesting (well, with as much patience as an almost-6-year-old can muster) for a couple years.

So he’ll wake up Saturday morning to find the end of a long string in his bedroom. He’ll have to follow that string up and down staircases, through room after room, in and out of the HVAC ductwork, and eventually to the mail slot in the front door.

And when he opens the door, there, on the front porch, impatiently waiting to be The Best Gift Any Little Boy In The Universe EVER Got, will be one of these.

And my nephew will promptly pee in his Drowsy Bear pajamas.

Now, a pet isn’t something one gives capriciously as a gift to a 6-year-old, and my sister’s family has been mulling it over for quite a while. But they decided that everyone would genuinely enjoy adding a white Labrador puppy to the family. And my sister, who as a stay-at-home mom, would definitely bear the brunt of raising and training it, has agreed to embrace the added chaos as long as everyone follows a few of her sanity-preserving ground rules (examples: the dog never goes upstairs, the dog will not drive the car).

On the plus side, a dog makes it easy for the rest of us to buy birthday gifts this year. For instance, I’m buying the kennel, which will promptly be christened The Uncle Jake Canine Pavilion and which will provide me with years of fat tax write-offs.

On the Jake’s-a-bad-uncle side, my nephew has been wanting a dog for so long that he’s already named the dog he doesn’t even know he’s actually getting. Last fall, the name was Addison, after a girl he liked on his kindergarten bus. But he’s since changed the name to something less pedestrian and heterocentric more befitting his uncommon creative brilliance—and for the life of me I can’t remember what it is. Which makes me The Most Selfish, Unloving Uncle In The Universe.

But, hey: tax write-offs.

More proof of bad uncledom: I’ll be vacationing in Madrid on The Day The Puppy Makes My Nephew Wet Himself. When I booked this trip almost a year ago, the whole birthday thing never even crossed my mind. I was thinking only of me, me, me. And I’m now living in abject fear that my absence on this, the most important birthday of his entire life, will just open the door to a lifetime of disappointment and bad news for the entire family, including (but not limited to) juvenile delinquency, mullet haircuts, Britney CDs, dated couture and (ACK!) “Jenna For President” bumper stickers.

But we’ll throw him off cross that bridge when we come to it. In the mean time we have to pull off Operation Puppy Surprise.

And if any of you breathes a WORD of this to the kid, I’ll hunt you down and cut you. Just as soon as I get back from Europe.


windreader said...

I want one too! OK - I already have two labs. but they are 4 and 8. I want a puppy!

Sweet Cheeks Mom said...

Madrid - my dream vacation. Have a great time!!!

Kevdogg said...

Do you have friends/family in Madrid? If not, my cousin David makes a super surogate friend. He's lived in Madrid 15 years now and teaches English at one of the universities there. I'll e-mail him and tell him to look for the self-tanned American hottie with the pecs and glutes and fabu hair. (btw, what kind of product to you use?)

OH, and I know ALL about asking for dogs. We already have a shi tzu, but my b/f's 10 y/o daughter has been not-so-subtly begging for another for almost a year now. (we're partly to blame.) We told her if she got rid of her cat (which my b/f's exl-wife gave her when she moved in with us... bitch) that we might consider getting another non-shedding dog. She hasn't let us forget.

But that lab puppy is SOOOO damn cute!!

Christopher said...

Cute puppies, like that one, just make me want to grab them and squeeze and hug them with so much love and powerful affection that they eventually just implode on themselves.

And that is why I am not allowed near animals.

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BigDubb said...

I think you might be the best uncle ever. The only thing I got from my uncle was and eerie feeling.

Derek said...

Eh one of my neices is much easier to buy for. The last gift I got her was a new video and soundcard for her computer. Now she could play The Sims and Harry Potter.

"YOU'RE THE BEST UNCLE EVER!" As she ripped apart her tower to install them. aaaahhhh Good to know I'm not the only geek in the family.

Either way, cute dog! I love animals but I couldn't have one. I'm away from home so much that I'd feel really guilty. Poor thing sitting there, alone, no one to play with . . . Ripping up my carpeting, trashing my furniture, throwing wild parties . . .