Being A Poser Mommy October 24, 2012 08:01

As the proud Auntie Issa of 3 adorable nephews (and two more little ones on the way), I think ‘my’ little boys are the best things to ever hit earth.  But despite this unconditional adoration, I do have a bone to pick with one of them. For the last year or more, my almost-two-year-old nephew has endearingly selected a not-so-endearing nickname for his Auntie Issa. Somehow his mommy – my older sister – still finds a way to torment me even in adulthood. Let’s start at the beginning.

As you might have seen from our picture on the site, Ashley and I look kind of similar, in a way sisters do.  If you know us, or have ever spoken to us, you know that our voices and laughs sound exactly the same.  Understandably, this can be confusing to a baby, who doesn’t quite know what to think of this person he sees a handful of times a year, who sounds and looks like his mom, but is definitely not his mom.

For my nephew, this confusion turned into stranger anxiety, with the stranger being me. Every time his loving auntie tried to pick him up, he started to cry, at which time my sister would chime in with “Uh oh Poser Mommy’s got you!!”.  And born was my new nickname, ‘Poser.’  And although the kid now knows my real name, and has gotten over his anxiety about me, he still refers to me as Poser. Even better, now when I go to pick him up, he shakes his head and says ‘I don’t like it,’ referring to me of course. Who says toddlers don’t know how to mock?

Really though, poser mommy is a pretty accurate nickname for me.  My role as Auntie was a natural fit, in part because my sister and I are practically the same person. But above that, I have the highest respect for my sister’s decisions as a mother.  As aunt, I know that what she says goes. I might spoil those little boys any chance I get, but I would never undermine the ruling that mom and dad have enforced.

And this is the boundary. It’s often hard for aunts, uncles, grandparents and other relatives to respect the parents’ choices, and most families struggle with these nuances. I think it’s so important for families and friends to be supportive and reinforce a mom’s and dad’s parental authority. From what my sister tells me, having children is hard enough work, without having to constantly defend your decisions as a parent. For me, if mom says no sugar, ‘my’ boys aren’t getting sugar, but you can bet this Poser will be stopping by the train store on the way home to pick up a new Cranky the Crane.