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, July 4, 2012

Job Description

NOTE: I started this post a couple of weeks ago -- before I got sick, before I got busy, before some truly impressive weather knocked out my Internet connection for several days. I figured I'd better get it up on the blog before anything else happens...! I've adjusted the original draft's language to reflect the actual amount of time that has passed.

I think I've mentioned one of the Pipsqueak's defining behaviors in earlier posts -- her rules about who is supposed to do what, when, how, and where. For example, it's Grandpa's job to take her out of her car seat upon arriving home... but only if she's riding in Grandma & Grandpa's car, and only if Mommy isn't available. Add Mommy to the mix, and the rules of engagement are modified.

Well, an event a couple of weekends ago gave me a chance to see just how specifically (how very specifically!) my niece defines the job of each member of her family... and why her Mommy has referred to her once or thrice as "The Little Dictator" (usually with a half-smile).

The situation: We were all in AJ's minivan on our way to check out "girly" tricycles at Wal-Mart (long story, will likely have a post of its own soon). As usual, Dad was riding shotgun, Mom was next to the Pipsqueak, and I was in the back.  AJ was navigating us through relatively heavy traffic on a major local road when Miri -- already clutching Doggie tightly -- began asking for demanding to hold Puppy.

(Dude, you'd better tell your readers that "Doggie" is the Pipsqueak's most favoritest stuffed companion, and that "Puppy" is a smaller fuzz-covered plastic little dog... Oh, I guess I just did. Carry on.)

At the time, AJ was rather busy navigating us through traffic so she asked the Pipsqueak's Grandma to please get Puppy out of the black-and-white tiger-striped backpack that she uses to carry the Pipsqueak's diapers, juice boxes, clothing changes, wipes, and assorted other paraphernalia. As Grandma began fishing through the pack, Miri began saying "No!" -- rather loudly, in fact.  Grandma explained she was getting Puppy because Mommy was busy driving and Miri quieted down (grudgingly).

Grandma triumphantly pulled Puppy from the depths of the pack and handed him to Miri. The Pipsqueak's immediate response?


The Pipsqueak's Grandma, taken aback, pointed out that Miri had requested Puppy and now Miri had Puppy in her hand, exactly the way she wanted. Once, again, the Pipsqueak's response could probably be heard within a fifty-foot radius.


There was a moment of shocked silence, and then AJ tried to negotiate with her daughter: Miri wanted Mommy to get Puppy but Mommy was busy driving and could not give Puppy to her so Grandma did instead, and all should now be copacetic. The Pipsqueak's response was... well, just read the line above this paragraph, as loudly as you can, with an angry furious edge in your voice.

There was another short, shocked silence and then Grandma asked if it would be alright if Mommy gave Puppy to Miri. The immediate response was a (thankfully) quiet, "Yeh" while Miri held Puppy out for Grandma to take.

So... Mom took Puppy from the Pipsqueak while AJ (still trying to drive in traffic) began flailing blindly behind her seat with one hand; Mom loosened her seat belt just enough enough to lean forward and place Puppy in AJ's hand; AJ then stre-e-e-e-etched back as far as she could without taking her eyes off the road and handed Puppy to the Pipsqueak; and Miri happily took back the little toy she had just handed to her Grandma seconds earlier and says, "thank you, Mommy!"


I think I fear my niece's teenage years.  <:-P

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