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 15, 2013

The Little Schoolmarm

AJ has, on occasion, lovingly referred to her daughter as The Little Dictator. It's not that the Pipsqueak is a nasty, pushy, whine-until-I-get-my-way kid (she's really not!), it's just that she knows how the universe is supposed to work and it is her mission in life to ensure that her grownups all know and follow The Rules.

Over the past few months I've noticed a slight mellowing of the enforcer, a little extra fuzziness of the dividing lines between The Way Things Should Be and the way they are, even an increased understanding on the Pipsqueak's part that sometimes it's okay to bend, or even break, The Rules.

But that hasn't changed the fact that she knows How Things Are Supposed To Be. Oh, no sirree, not one bit. What has changed is that extra bit of mellowness, an additional touch of grownup understanding... and I've seen a new character emerge.  I call her "the little schoolmarm" because Miri's voice will take on the inflection and emphasis of an exasperated teacher trying to patiently & diplomatically get a point across to a difficult student without letting them forget who's in charge in the classroom.

I now present below for your reading pleasure two of the little schoolmarm's most recent appearances.

1) Grandma & Grandpa are driving Miri home from daycare; as usual, the radio is on (Miri is famous for repeatedly telling us to "make it louder!" no matter how high we turn the volume up -- the kid's gonna be a headbanger someday). Equally as usual our folks are having a little trouble hearing each other clearly so they began to raise their voices... then a little more... After another request to repeat something makes Grandma speak even more loudly, a very grown-up, matter-of-fact voice can be clearly heard coming from the back seat.

"Grandma, Grandma, Grandma... Settle down, now. You know you're supposed to use your inside voice in the car!"

2) The Pipsqueak is very fond of a particular brand of yogurt-covered granola bars, which luckily can be bought in large-ish boxes at a very reasonable price at Costco. So of course Costco stops carrying the darn things... and Grandma's stored supply finally, inevitably runs out, making an apologetic explanation necessary.

"I'm sorry, Honey Bunny, but I don't have any more yogurt bars. The store where we buy them doesn't have them any more."

The Pipsqueak rears up to her entire thirty-something inches of height, puts her hands on her hips, cocks her head to one side, and... "Well, Grandma, you know there are other stores...!"

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love my niece dearly, but I fear her as a teenager...! (And before I forget again: Xin Nian Quai Le, y'all!)

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