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The Cool Uncle

I am having the busiest week ever! As I mentioned in my introduction blog, in addition to this blogging gig, I am also a freelance writer/researcher and Market Editor at First for Women magazine. I have been coordinating the looks for our big September denim story for the past few weeks. This entails researching denim based on our real women models’ body types, calling publicists to lend me samples, shopping stores on a media pass (dream job!) for tops, shoes and accessories—organizing everything in the closet, fitting models ahead of time, packing everything and making sure it gets to the shoot locale, which happens to be … Central Park—which is where I need to be tomorrow. Call time is 8 AM, baby. As a solo single mom (with zero help from Dad), you know what this means, I’m screwed I needed to finagle child care. All I could come up with (at such an early hour) was telling (yes, telling) my little brother, Brian, he needed to sleepover tonight, rise with JD tomorrow, feed him breakfast, get him washed up, dressed and off to school. He said yes. I do a lot for him. We do a lot for each other. He’s a main father figure to JD. That said, here’s why I’m freaking out …

Brian is the cool uncle. (I’ll blog more about Carlo in coming posts, but he’s the responsible, problem-solver uncle.) Brian is 29. He’s freakishly smart and works for a big tech company. He’s doing well for himself, but he’s a hippy, go-with-the-flow, peace-and-love-man, kind of guy. Nothing rattles him (I’m the opposite. I panic). He is also notorious for losing sh*t. Losing his keys, his license and his wallet. He once left his sunroof open and his car was a pool the next day. Water poured out when he opened the door. He didn’t freak. He put a few towels on the seat and drove to work. Then he aired the car out and Fabreezed it. See what I mean?

Last Fall, he was between apartments, so he showed up at my condo and was like, “Hi, can I live here?” It was like a scene out of a movie. JD yelled, “YES!” I have a two-bedroom and my couch doesn’t convert into a bed, so he purchased an air mattress (really) and LIVED in my living room for a few months. It was fun and insane at the same time. JD loved having him around and the fact that Brian’s bed doubled as a bounce house (really). But, Brian left his underwear on the bathroom floor. He watched TV till 2 AM. He introduced JD to Cartoon Network and violent cartoons because he deemed it important for JD to watch superhero shows and not “crap baby TV.” It wasn’t all bad insane. He’s a trained chef and spent a few years working at The Brownstone (made famous re: Bravo’s RHONJ) He fixed things, took out the garbage and did “guy-ish” things with JD.

As much as I couldn’t live with him, he couldn’t live with me. “You’re too neat,” he’d say. “Why do you feel the need to have 70 different kinds of produce in the fridge at all times, yet no chocolate syrup for chocolate milk? Why do you shower twice day? Are you gonna blog this? You are, aren’t you? Can I get a percent of proceeds if you blog about me?”

He also thought I “babied” JD. “I’m buying a Nerf gun and shooting Nerf balls at his head. He needs to toughen up, Christine!” I really don’t baby him. Uncle Bri was slightly put off when JD emerged from my closet wearing one of my designer belts, declaring he was “Belt Boy!” He mouthed “What the F*ck!” at me and took JD outside to play football.

Brian eventually moved out.

He currently lives in a gorgeous, super clean (like OCD clean), Victorian-style home that he furnished with antiques from our Nanny’s home (RIP). The best way for me to describe his living situation and roommates (all artists) is the opening scene from Knocked Up. So, without saying anything else about that, ahem, I’ll just say Uncle Brian is a hippy with a giant heart, I trust him completely, but I totally explained things in great detail to JD’s teacher this morning about tomorrow’s drop-off.

Me: I have to be in Central Park tomorrow at 8 AM, which means I can’t bring JD to school. Uncle Brian is doing it. I know, you know both of my brothers, but Uncle Bri is like … the crazy one.

Teacher: He’s the fun uncle, Christine. Smile.

Me: Ummmm … yeah, fine, OK. It’ really important he leaves the spare booster seat in the classroom, because my Dad is going to need that at the end of the day. I’ll still be in NYC.

Teacher: OK.

Me: Yeah, no. If you don’t remind him and physically see him leave the green-and-black seat under JD’s cubby he’s gonna forget. Speaking of forgetting, I am going to do my best to have him bring JD’s, um, snacks and lunch to school. I might leave a giant poster board on the front door that says: “Uncle Bri, do you have my lunch?”

Teacher: Laughing.

Me: I wish I was kidding. Can you just make sure his hot lunch goes in the heat-up box? Can you basically make sure Uncle Bri walks in with the green lunch sack?

Teacher: Yes.

Me: I fear he will be forty-minutes away at work with the booster seat and lunch in his car. No, really. I fear he will eat JD’s lunch for lunch and think you’ll just feed him something.

Teacher: I’ll take care of it.

When Uncle Carlo brings JD to school, there is no need to disclose anything.

There you have it! The cool uncle. And wait until you see what the cool uncle is doing with JD next week. OMG squirming with EXCITEMENT!!! SO JELLY!!!

Do your kids have a cool uncle or aunt? 

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