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The Uncle, the Niece, and the Lego Bricks

My brother, Wayne, is well-known for his inability to say “No” to his nieces and nephews–or any other young child who happens to open wide their eyes at him. Yes, in the vernacular, they have him wrapped. It’s an endearing trait. Uh, huh.

Years ago, when our daughter was only two years old, we hosted my extended family for Thanksgiving dinner. Sitting around, talking, enjoying each other’s company and watching a movie, we were suddenly interrupted with loud crashes. My daughter had discovered the joy of emptying her Duplo bricks on the floor, then hurtling them back into their plastic tub–creating a sound loud enough to divert migrating birds.

Needless to say, her mother, the party-pooper (um…me) took the tub away and set it up on a six-foot-tall bookcase–wa-a-a-ay out of reach.

Imagine my surprise, when a few minutes later, the ear-splitting Duplo crashing began again. I looked at my daughter, crashing her Duplos, happily diverting birds. She really was a little monkey at that age, but I knew she didn’t climb that bookcase and retrieve those Duplos. There had to be another explanation. I looked around again. And saw. . .my brother.

“Wayne,” I said, with considerable restraint and patience, I’m sure. “Did you give those Duplos to Abigail?”

“Yes,” he said.

“I just took them away from her! Why did you give them back?” I asked.

Wayne shrugged, and replied in a why-are-you-asking-such-ridiculous-questions tone of voice, “She asked for them.”

Me, incredulous, “You could have said ‘No!'”

My brother paused. “It never occurred to me.”


Don’t miss the rest of the Stories My Family Tells as I Write 31 Days this October. Click here to check out the wide range of topics from a wide range of writers.