We all knew it was only a matter of time. I mean, the niece did turn 12 way back in September. She also started High School.
Science lessons, that’s where it happened.
The 12 year old returned home from school one day looking positively unhappy. They were going to be learning about the human body, she said. They would be learning about lady bits and…man bits, she said. My sister, her mother smiled that ‘it’s ok Auntie Av has got this’ look at me. Why me? I’m the Aunt, it’s supposed to be my job to encourage the 12 year old to misbehave and say naughty words and get covered in mud. I’m supposed to be the fun one.
Cut to a few weeks later I get home from work and according to my sister ‘all hell broke loose’ on the way home from school. The niece branded her own Mother and Father DISGUSTING. There was even some kind of lecture…from the 12 year old.
Once she arrives home, she proceeds to give the same lecture to Nanny and Grandad, as they too are DISGUSTING. Even more so, because they have a total of three children, so logically, they were disgusting 3 times. The 12 year old now considers herself lucky being an only child, clearly Mum and Dad only managed this DISGUSTING thing once.
I arrive home from work, the 12 year old is in her room contemplating how disgusting life has become. I’m warned in advance of what has been learnt on this most disgusting of days.
Footsteps…the creaky step two from the bottom…the crackle of the door as it opens. I wait with not inconsiderable unease; to be told that I too am DISGUSTING. Enter the 12 year old, looking mortified. A sweeping look around the room at no one in particular, least of all the three people she cannot bear to make eye contact with, followed by “Can I talk to you in private?” Directed at me!!
We retreat to the hallway, where I try to ask as casually as possible “what’s the matter?” The 12 year olds reply: “We learnt about (MASSIVE PAUSE) sex today. They; she gestures towards the closed living room door; are disgusting. Me: “Oh…” *waits for inevitable onslaught.* The 12 year old “But you’re not (wait, what?), I can still talk to you (huh, what’s going on?), you don’t have children!! And off she goes upstairs.
I wait, processing what just didn’t happen, realising as I walk back through the door just why I am off the hook. My sister looks at me, expecting I received a lecture too. I grin and say to my Mum, Dad and little sister; “you are all disgusting, I’m not, because I don’t have children!”
That’s right, the 12 year old still has some innocence left.