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!

Friday, February 10, 2012

This Universe Does NOT Tend Toward Entropy!

My niece is a smart l'il thing; she's able to grok the various meanings & uses of words almost as soon as she hears them, can tell if someone's being serious or is teasing her (and can tease right back), already has a firm grasp of singluar/plural and before/after, now/then, here/there, and a whole plethora of other important concepts.

But she's never taken a physics class, and thus has never been taught that the universe tends toward entropy. In fact, I'm pretty sure that when the day comes when some unlucky teacher has to make that point, Miri will be the first to challenge the statement & the last to accept it. You see, the Pipsqueak has the universe firmly in hand; every thing has its purpose (perhaps I should have typed "Purpose" instead), events occur in a specified order at a specified time, different places are to be used for different activities, and each person has his or her assigned tasks to be completed in a specific order at a specific time.

To illustrate, I present a few examples from her long (and growing) list:
> When departing for a ride in Mommy's car, it is Mommy who will place Miri in her seat. Not Grandma or Grandpa or Uncle Brian -- Mommy. Good luck to anyone else who tries...
> When riding in Grandpa's car, upon arrival at one's destination it is Grandpa's job to get Miri out of her seat. Anyone else attempting to usurp this particular assignment will be told that it is Grandpa's job (and will also be told to go away).
> That fancy party dress is for parties. It is not for special visits, it is not for posing for photos, it is not for daycare, shopping, play dates, dinner out, Chinese New Year... It is The Party Dress and is to be worn for parties and that is that.
> That polka-dot dress worn for the pictures that went onto Mommy & Miri's holiday card is The Picture Dress and it is not to be worn for daycare, for visits, for parties, dinner out, shopping, playing, Chinese New Year... it is The Picture Dress and is to be worn only when posing for photographs. Wearing it for any other purpose will be decided on a case-by-case basis based entirely on the likelihood of posing for photos while wearing it, otherwise... fuggedaboutit.
> When on the road, the driver should not stop until Miri tells them the light is red and they have to stop. Conversely, they should keep the car at a standstill until told the light is green and they can go now.
> Pasta is pasta; it is not "spaghetti" or "rigatoni" or "macaroni" or anything else -- it is pasta. Except when it is mac & cheese, in which case it is mac & cheese and not pasta. Or in such cases where it is long & thin, in which case it is "noodles" (although we are allowed to also call those crunchy strips one drops into soup at Chinese restaurants "noodles" as well). Wontons are also "noodles" but Mommy has to make extra-sure all the filling has been removed.
> When lining up to kiss Miri goodnight once she's strapped into her seat in Mommy's car, there is a specific order in which each person may approach to kiss her goodnight; the order varies slightly according to who is present at the time, but anyone approaching out of order will be told to go away and wait for their turn. Anyone who has impetuously gone back into the house before it was their turn must immediately be brought back outside, and everyone else must wait until they arrive, to ensure the proper order is maintained.
> Rice is rice; any other smallish granular pasta or grain dish is couscous. It is not quinoa; nor is it kasha, buckwheat, orzo, grits, or anything else; it is couscous and that is what it is.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.  :-)  To be honest, I'm kind of jealous; my niece has better control of her life after only a fraction of a decade than I do with more than five decades under my belt... maybe I should take some lessons from her?  On the other hand, I can't help but wonder if maybe someday people will address her as "Madame President"....!

Hmm... the possibilities... Hmmm...  <grin>

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