Greek yogurt and kids don’t mix

Ask Jen text with spoonful of yogurt graphic

This has nothing to do with cooking. There is no bonus recipe this week, just a peek into my family Christmas, and how my brother would have given anything had someone been recording this moment in time…here goes.

My favorite little boy and my favorite little girl call me Aunt Nen. Cute, right? It sounds more like, “An Nen” if you were to speak it. This is my name now. That’s how it is when kids come along. My brother turned into Daddy, my parents, Grandma and Papa, and me, Aunt Nen. The kids got me a lovely Christmas gift this year, and written on the tag? Yup, “Aunt Nen.”

When Nolan gets in that super ornery mood of his, he will say something like, “Oh yea? Aunt JJJEN!!” Punctuating that J like nobody’s business. Of course that puts Aunt Nen in attack mode, chasing him and capturing him and tickling the snot out of him, all while he laughs from his belly and screams, “I’m kidding! I’m kidding — Aunt NEN!!”

What in the world does this have to do with Greek yogurt, you may ask? Hold on. I’m getting there.

This chasing-capturing-tickling routine happens pretty often. He’s 5, so it happens more often than not. I can’t get a hug from that child anymore, so this is the equivalent. Who am I kidding — I love it.

cup of yogurtMy niece, Violet is amazing. She’s 2-½ and smarter than most adults I know (totally not kidding, here). She sees this act of affection playing out, and wants the attention for herself — but — being extremely ticklish, she doesn’t want tickled. So, just before Christmas, we were all at Grandma and Papa’s house. Violet takes Grandma to the fridge to get her a cup of “gween gogert,” (or in layman’s terms, Key Lime Greek Yogurt), and a spoon, and hustles back into the living room. She copies Nolan with an “Aunt JJJEN,” and immediately takes a monstrous bite, but doesn’t swallow.


Aunt Nen can’t scoop her up and tickle her — she has food in her mouth (that she shows me. Ew). Instead, I sit down, grab her and pull her onto my lap and say quietly in her ear that she “better swallow that yogurt right now so I can tickle you!” She laughs and negatively shakes her head as if to say, “I win, Aunt Nen.”

yogurt parfaitHad I been paying closer attention, I would have realized that this didn’t sit well with Nolan. I mean, my attention was aimed at Violet now. This boy, as fast as lightning, walks up behind Violet who was sitting on my lap facing me. He knows how she hates being tickled, but he MUST get back at her for stealing his thunder. In a manner that would typically require the tickler to yell, “Boo!” he tickles the sides of her belly under her arms.

Projectile gween gogert sprays in a 10-foot radius.

I’m paralyzed; eyes closed, pursed lips, breath held, arms out and just dreading the view once I open my eyes. All I hear is laughter from the kids AND the rest of the adults/jerks in the room, as I can feel yogurt in my hair and dripping from my face.

They’re lucky I love them so much.

Go make something awesome,
Aunt Nen

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