I haven't seen the kids in person in nearly a year and a half; they've grown huge and there're brains in their heads they've learned how to use, often to hilarious effect. It's unclear if Small Dude has deduced on his own that Justin Bieber is someone to--what's the opposite of "emulate"? Despise? Anyway, Small Dude drew a picture for his mom of an airplane with a person falling out of it. When asked for clarification, Justin Bieber was thrown off the plane and good riddance. I wanted to know if he really didn't like the Bieber (that's my little guy!) or if he picked up on my bro's dislike of the titbag, so I asked him over Skype about it. "POW POW!" he answered. Apparently, if Bieber were there in person, he'd be attacked with all the fury contained in a tiny four year old body.
The duck face is a phenomenon I'm determined my niece and nephew will never participate in or encourage. To that effect, I've developed what my mom calls, "the horse's butt," which involves an unsightly over-extension of the lip flaps to the point that it begins to look like a sideways ass crack. At random times over Skype, I'll flash the horse's butt at the kids, which Small Dude takes as his cue to run away screaming, while his sister giggles because she remembers the pictures I showed her of "hot" chicks doing the duck face, only edited so you can understand they were really eating invisible spaghetti noodles.
When my brother told me he and his wife were having another baby, I planned all the things I would teach the small fry. I didn't take into consideration my brother's foul mouth and the fact that the kids would be innately comfortable with "fuck" and "damn" touted about on a daily basis. So it was to my delight when, on one Skype chat, the kids sitting at their dining room table a few weeks before Christmas, I had the chance to get under my brother's skin.
My bro was being a dick, talking to me from behind their laptop where I could only make out a few words, so in retaliation, I asked Small Dude to hold up his hand with his palm facing him, and to make a fist. Then I guided him into pointing his tiny fist at his dad, and then to ease up the middle finger. And just like that, I taught my nephew to flip his dad off for the first time in his life.
My Skype session for that day was over, but I think my brother realized that his kids and I have a special bond. Certainly I didn't expect they would take up so much of my thoughts.