Just a quick present-day comment before getting back into the trip... We hit another milestone today: THE PIPSQUEAK CALLED ME "UNCLE"!!! :-)
She's recently gotten into the habit of using "Mommy" as a general-purpose name for anyone in the family. The main exception is Grandpa, who's usually called "Baba" ...and Mommy is usually just a loud, "MA!" which I suspect is good practice for the Pipsqueak's teen years. It's gotten to where she'll call me "Mommy" and I'll point to AJ and reply, "That's mommy, I'm uncle!"
Well, my sister -- still the only person I know who plants Goldenrod on purpose! -- made her usual annual mass mulch purchase so I lent a hand today by hauling all 400lbs from her driveway to the back patio one... sack... <pant> at... <ouch> a... <gasp> time. (The Pipsqueak "helped" lay a couple of sheets down on the carpet and then kept my spirits up with a loud, cheerful "HI!" every time I came in through the door from the garage.) Shortly after I finished & took some painkillers, Mom called and we all decided it was a good day for the folks to bring some food over for a family dinner. (Dude, you earned it!)
Mom couldn't help but notice the chorus of "MommyMommyMommy" every time the Pipsqueak wanted something from me (or the chorus of "UncleUncleUncle!" she'd get as a reply), so she took the Pipsqueak aside and did That Teacher Thing she's so good at. A few minutes later, she hands my niece to me (oh, my achin' back!) and proudly told me, "she said uncle!"
I looked at my smiling niece's face and asked, "Who am I?" and immediately got a loud, proud, "MOMMY!" When I finished laughing I said, "No, I'm your uncle... UN-CLE" and Miri gave me a big smile and clearly said "Uncle" -- and giggled at the sound of the word. For the rest of the evening, she showed that "uncle" is only slightly less funny a word than "ouch" but was happy to tell me that's who I am. Usually she'd tease with it (something she's very good at); I'd ask who I was, she'd reply "Mommy!" and then smile at me 'til I made a face, then say "Uncle!" and laugh. We'll see what happens later this week, when we've been apart for a couple of days and she hasn't practiced this new comedy routine...
... but the Pipsqueak finally called me "Uncle"!!!! :-)
NEXT: A Plethora of Museum Shops
My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅-- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!