>Last week, I met my family for dinner at a local restaurant and to have some time to catch-up.

My niece has discovered the wonder that is Hannah Montana. She loves the show (that and High School Musical), which is apparently on 1700 times a day on Disney Channel. (I exaggerate…it’s only 1500). A few days before dinner, I’d been on the treadmill at the Y and during a Seinfeld commerical break, I flipped over and saw some of Hannah Montana. Wanting to understand what it was she loved so much, I watched a few minutes and found it pretty harmless but not something I’d buy box sets of on DVD or add to my recording rotation on the VCR.

So, I told her I’d seen an episode of the show and I thought about her when I saw it. When she heard this, her eyes lit up and she asked me, “Which one did you see?” in the same way I still get if you mention to me you like a certain British sci-fi show that some people claim I’m obssessed with. We discussed Hannah for a few minutes, with my niece proclaiming that Hannah is on at least six times a day. (And I admit after seeing it for a few minutes and hearing about it from my neice, I still don’t quite grasp the concept…)

Later, I was asking my nephew about his upcoming birthday party and if he was excited about his train birthday party. At this point, we had a conversation I hadn’t been expecting to have for at least another 12 years.

“Uncle Michael,” he said, “will you buy me a car?”

A bit bewildered, I asked, “Do you mean a car to play with?”

“No,” he said. “A big car like Mommy’s.”

Now, at this point I have to wonder if Mommy has put him up to this….and I have to admit I’m a bit speechless (first time for everything).

Thankfully, my niece saved me.

“I want a car, too,” she said. “I want the Barbie car…it’s pink and it has a purple steering wheel.”

At this point, the light goes on in my head and I realize what we’re asking for is one of those cars that is big enough for kids to sit and driving around the yard and/or driveway in. I also wonder if we’ve asked Mommy and Daddy for this and not liking the answer, we’ve gone to a court of higher appeal. I also, at this point, resist the urge to suggest that Santa’s elves are very good at making these types of things…

It’s a responsiblity being an uncle and one should never abuse that power….no matter how tempting.


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