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"Does it have down syndrome?" Some people are so negative that they can even manage to turn upside down a smile brought on by the birth of one's own children. First off, my little girl is not an "it"! Her name is Yasmine. Stop asking me all things you should never ask a postpartum mom! And, second, get out of the nursery because your bad vibes are making her fussy. Bring Nadia back in here because the baby already loves her! That's one of the signs your sister-in-law is going to be an amazing aunt: her mere presence pacifies your child. Here's ten more:
It's one of the signs that your sister-in-law is going to be an amazing aunt if before the birth of your child your sister-in-law already starts referring to herself as an aunt. Especially if she comes up with a nickname for herself. And if she makes the photo of the ultrasound her background, that's a good sign too. It also helps if she starts fantasizing out loud about how much fun she's going to have with your little girl or boy. "I'm going to get us pith helmets, we're going to go to the dog park, and we're pretend we're on a safari!"
Your sister-in-law might say, "I'm scared for today's children." She may even worry that your kids are going to be raised in a Children Of Men future or, even worse, The Road. But don't worry; that just means she cares. She might even volunteer to fill the role of guardian. That frees you up to parent while your sister-in-law starts picking up the survivalist skills and learning Krav Maga.
She likes kids.
There's nothing wrong with the ongoing childlessness movement. In fact, being childless may be one of the signs that your sister-in-law is going to be an amazing aunt. If she likes kids she's going to channel all of her adoration towards your children. Some signs she likes kids may include working with kids, talking about how much she likes kids, and even doing kid things herself like playing dress up for fun or always challenging you to games of tag. "If you spend more of your time with the kids at family gatherings than with the adults, then you might be a cool aunt."
She offers to babysit.
This one's as much for you as it is for your kids. If you already know and trust someone it makes it much easier to get out of the house and get some much needed R&R. And don't worry if she playfully throws older sisters, your mother-in-law, or even her whole side of the family under the bus to spend lots of time with your kids!
You know what, she's right: she's got the charm of Elizabeth Shue in Adventures in Baby Sitting, the bravery of Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, and the swag of Cardi B in everything she does. That's 100 percent one of the signs your sister is going to be an excellent aunt! Having a regular babysitter is one less reason why having a child should not mean giving up on your goals or dreams.
She doesn't need to shade tip to show she's cool, and that's one of the signs your sister-in-law is going to be an amazing aunt. She'll have your kids singing along to all the classics, underground hits, and indie darlings. "Yasmine likes Carly Rae Jepsen and now she won't stop playing Cut to the Feeling in the car!" She's going to watch Fraggle Rock with them and tell them when to look away during the scary part of Large Marge's monologue in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. She's also going to do all the voices when she reads The Magic School Bus and Amelia Bedelia. Man, too bad she's not your aunt!
She's a little witchy.
If every little thing she does is magic, then that's one of the signs your sister-in-law is going to be an amazing aunt. For whatever reason, animals like her more than anyone else, she never just barely misses the train, and people just open up to her. She's no stranger to incense, incantations, or sacred symbols; but you've yet to catch her wiggling her nose like Samantha from Bewitched or speaking to an owl familiar. What's her secret?
Her je ne sais quoi is the sort of hard-earned wisdom that only comes from sitting with your feelings. She's read Brené Brown's Daring Greatly and Pema Chödrön's Taking the Leap; she gets it. She's met herself on the mountaintop. She knows that what it means to be one of the cunning folk is emotional intelligence, and that the way to get people to open up is to ask them questions about themselves. Oh, and she does miss the train; she just never complains about it. Resiliency is the real practice magick.
She buys your kids things they don't need.
Super creamy hot cocoa that costs $8 per cup before adding a large marshmallow? A remote controlled BB-8 you know they're just going to stop playing with after two weeks? Body pillows shaped like poo emojis and a lavender mist for bedtime?! One of the signs that your sister-in-law is going to be an amazing aunt is if she's always getting your kids stuff they don't need just to have fun with them! Who pays $7 for handmade chocolates shaped like mice?! The cool aunt.
She talks to kids like they're adults.
Talking to kids like they're adults means treating them with respect and practicing active listening skills. Asking them good questions, being present so you can respond emotionally, and not shying away from sharing what you think. It's one of the signs your sister-in-law is going to be an amazing aunt, if she can make your children feel like what they have to say, how they feel, and what they're going through matters.
It'll also open your kids up enough to confide things to her, which sometimes they might have to do if they don't feel comfortable talking to you. It's always good for them to have a robust support network for when things get tough. That's something your sister-in-law told you because she's so smart!
She has great stories!
"So, I stood in line for two hours in the dead of winter to see Kathleen Hanna be a guest on a live talk show put on in a hostel. She sings that 'Rebel Girl' song you like so much. Anyway, I was a dog walker at the time, and the next day I was picking up one of my dogs when I noticed a familiar face that I couldn't place until I realized, 'Wait a minute: I'm Kathleen Hanna's dog walker!' and I had been for months, which meant I was also walking Ad-Rock's dog because the two of them are married. He's from the Beastie Boys. They made that 'Sabotage' video we acted out." Stories like that are one of the signs that your sister-in-law is going to be a cool aunt.
She takes them to cool places.
The Spiral Jetty in Salt Lake City; the outsider art capital of Kansas that is Lucas; the City Museum in St. Louis; south of the border on the North and South Carolina border; the Vancouver, British Columbia botanical gardens to see one of six hedge mazes in North America followed by legendary fish and chips in the resort town of White Rock, BC; and many more. It's one of the signs that your sister-in-law is going to be a cool aunt, if she takes your kids to cool places.
She gets down on the ground and plays with them!
She doesn't have to be doing a Tough Mudder with your kids, but if she isn't afraid to get on the ground and get dirty then that's one of the signs your sister-in-law is going to be an amazing aunt. She's gotta know her way around the intricate lives of Barbies and G.I. Joes. She needs to throw a cape on and sashay down an imaginary catwalk or sneak up on the Joker and his men. She shouldn't be afraid of getting gooped or slimed. She needs to get on the swing and go as high as the kids do, roll down the hill with them, and help make the biggest snowman in the neighborhood, even if it's getting dark. A cool aunt is like a friend your own age who's way bigger and older but you always forget that when she's around because she acts just like you.