1) Feed them ice cream early and often.
No child can resist ice cream. Keep your freezer stocked.
2) Pick a pet name and use it.
I have a Sugar-Plum, a Love-Muffin, a Zell-Belle and a Cricket.
“Is that my little Love-Muff?” is always met by laughter and shrieks.
3) Make up little ditties about them.
Once upon a time
There was a little Cricket
Who leaped here and there
She had an Auntie
Who thought she was the best
And always tickled her right behind the ear!
(followed by tickles and giggles, of course)
4) When they have to take a nap yawn and say, “Oh, my, I’m tired too. Could I lay down with you? Then snuggle and tell stories until one of you falls asleep.
editor’s note: most often it will be you.
5) When they build a fort always climb inside, no matter what you’re wearing or how small the fort.
And when all you can fit is your head and they say, “Come all the way in!” Just sweetly respond with, “Oh, darling, I shrunk myself to the size of my head. Isn’t that an awesome-cool auntie trick?!”
6) Butterfly kisses, Eskimo kisses, Bubble kisses
If you don’t know what these are… well, sorry, but you lose.
7) Be willing to spin a tale at a moments notice
Once up on a time there was a little Love-Muffy who had sparkling eyes and pretty blond hair and could dance like an angel dropped straight from heaven…
8) When they spend the night, make it an adventure!
Little Pooka-Man came overnight and woke up at 4am. We snuck to the kitchen and made popcorn (which was eaten under the table because you can’t eat food on the table in the middle of the night.) Duh, everybody knows that.
9) When they’re visiting and get completely covered with dirt- don’t panic! Get out an old sweatshirt, roll up the sleeves and snuggle them in while their clothes wash.
And give them big cups of hot chocolate or Maple Syrup milk!
10) When you say “goodbye” you blow sweet kisses and say, “I love you to the moon and back.”
Or something equally memorable.