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!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes, Take 2 (Present Day)

Well, the good news is that AJ has managed to get the Pipsqueak's new vocabulary toned back down to the occasional "shoot!" -- always, to my great amusement, used exactly when & how any of us grownups would use it.

It's funny; we all keep wondering aloud what happened to the quiet little baby that came back from China with us. The Pipsqueak is a talker, folks, singing and burbling happily to herself almost nonstop. Only problem is, most of the time it's in no language any of us can identify! About a week ago, I got a late-evening call at work from AJ, who was desperately trying to get my wired-up niece to slow down enough to fall asleep. She gave Miri the phone, and for several minutes my niece told me all about what she did at daycare, and what games she'd played with Grandma & Grandpa later on, and what she & her mommy had for dinner. At least I think that's what she was telling me -- aside from the occasional "up" or "Mommy" or "yes!" I honestly didn't recognize a single word she said...! (Actually, we had two conversations; the second came when AJ tried to take back the phone and had to quickly give it back to her daughter to stop her yelling because she wasn't done talking to me!)

In any case, the Pipsqueak's gotten pretty good with language, stringing together short sentences and trying harder to communicate her desires verbally instead of pointing or grabbing a finger and dragging one of us somewhere to show us what she wants. Occasionally she'll get really frustrated if we don't understand, and that often leads us right back to wondering what happened to that quiet little baby we met in Nanning almost a year ago... But it's all good. And she no longer uses "Mommy" as a generic name for all family members, although she's still only kinda-sorta gotten the pronunciation of "Brian" right. Of course, the occasional odd pronunciation hasn't stopped her from adding to her vocabulary in unexpected ways...

AJ had to work this past Sunday, so I did "uncle duty" (anything but a chore!) to lend Mom & Dad a hand keeping up with their little grandbundleofenergy. At one point, we went outside to see if we could see any buurds... er, birds. We couldn't see 'em but there were at least three different types singing, chirping & squawking up a storm so I asked Miri, "Can you hear the birds chirping, cheep cheep cheep?" Well, she spent the rest of the time outside going, "cheep! cheep!' every time she heard a bird, and then again back inside when she spotted a robin through the window.

A little while later, shortly after AJ had finally busted loose from work & we were all trying to decide what to do about dinner (our original plans had long ago fallen apart due to time constraints), I was filming the Pipsqueak clomping around in her mommy's shoes -- when all of a sudden she kicked them off and made a high-velocity beeline for the stairs. (She loves loves loves going up & down Grandma & Grandpa's stairs... I detect another baby gate in my future....) I shut down the camera and ran after her, calling out, "Hey, guys!" when I realized I couldn't quite keep up with the her and no one else had yet realized what Miri was doing.

Well, almost as soon as she got to the top, the Pipsqueak turned around and called out, "Guys!" and waited to see what would happen. After that, each time she went up the stairs (more often than we wanted... she's a fast little Pipsqueak!)  she'd call out, "Guys! Guys!" and wait for everyone to congregate at the bottom of the stairs. I can't wait to see what I add to her vocabulary next... <grin>

NEXT: Never mind Watergate, what about baby gates...?

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