And what, you may ask, is a PANK, exactly?
A PANK is, according to Savvy Auntie founder Melanie Notkin, someone who is a Professional Aunt No Kids. According to some statistics on Savvy Auntie’s website, 45% of the women in the United States do not have children, for various reasons.
My son happens to have a PANK in his life, and I can say that since Day 1, my sister has been a wonderful and valuable presence in his life. I fully look forward to the days when he feels like “running away” from home and winds up at his Auntie’s house, where she will be ready to either kick the crap out of him or offer a sympathetic ear and some wisdom. It will probably depend on how frantic my phone call is to her after he leaves.
Even though the Munchkin has five aunties, it is the PANK who, since she has no children of her own, has devoted the most time and energy to him. His other aunties are perfectly lovely, but are busy taking care of their own kids, and rightly so. It is the PANK who has a toy room in her home just for him, and a yard full of outdoor kid toys.
And really, a PANK doesn’t have to be related by blood at all. It can just as easily be a co-worker or good friend. I’m thinking the criteria might be if they don’t fall asleep from boredom when you go on and on about your child, if they willingly hang out with them, if they buy them presents “just because,” and most importantly, if they can babysit in a pinch. I kid, I kid.
So let’s hear it for all the fantastic PANKS in our kids’ lives, shall we?
Although I’m guessing that the applicable term for the corresponding male position will never quite take off, will it?