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!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Buyed It for You!

My birthday was this past week (Dude, there is no way you can be ffiif... fufff... fffff...  fifty-four years old...!) and as with any birthday the Pipsqueak was excited to celebrate. She was especially happy about the birthday present she got me, and as we were leaving a dim sum lunch on Saturday she just HAD to tell me all about it. AJ tried to slow her daughter down a bit by reminding her that birthday presents are supposed to be surprises but to no avail.

"Uncle Brian! I got you a piggy bank! It big! I buyed it for you!"

(To get the proper effect, read the line above out loud. In your most wide-eyed excited voice. As loudly as you can without shouting, while jumping rapidly up & down and laughing at the same time. Now you have an idea what it really sounded like.)

I kinda-sorta knew about the gift in advance because certain close female relatives who shall remain nameless but bears a striking resemblance to my mother and sister had both told me a day or two earlier, but I was thinking, well... Piggy bank. One of those little things you hold in one hand. I hope it's got a plug in the bottom so it doesn't have to be broken to get coins out... I can probably fit it into the curio cabinet in the living room where I can see it & she'll be able to when she comes over...

Fast-forward to early Saturday evening. We'd planned to get together for a little family birthday celebration, nothing fancy, just dinner and cake and happy time together, and amazingly things were working out according to plan. Oh, yeah, I got to my folks' house about 15 minutes later than planned as usual, but there was AJ out in the driveway, using her brother's expected late arrival to give the Pipsqueak a few minutes' extra nap time in her car seat. Miri was (also as usual) a little slow to wake up, but once she got her engine revving she didn't miss an opportunity to tell me about the piggy bank she buyed for me. (Note: Yes, we did indeed attempt to substitute "bought" for "buyed" but even Grandma The Retired English Teacher failed to put a dent in that enthusiastic refrain.)

A quick aside: The Pipsqueak was quite thoroughly impressed with my birthday cake. It was an extra-yummy Belgian chocolate number she caught sight of before dinner while "helping" me locate something in the fridge for Mom; she subsequently spent most of dinner asking if she could have soon, as in right now, and why not, Mommy? She helped me blow out my candles (and was quite proud of doing so), and was happy to loudly sing "Happy Birthday" and dig into all that chocolatey goodness...

...but she simply couldn't wait to give me my gift, the afore-and-frequently-mentioned piggy bank. I started to wonder about it when I saw it was in one of those gift bags that's as big as a full-scale grocery bag, and then Miri was ignoring her Mommy's pleas to "let Uncle Brian unwrap his gift himself, honey" and pulling the tissue paper out of the bag.

My niece hadn't buyed me a piggy bank.

The Pipsqueak had buyed me a PIGGY BANK.

I mean, the thing's ginormous. It's larger than most real piglets, bigger than one of AJ's cats, bigger than the odd yappy Chihuahua-based hybrid creature my former next door neighbors owned. I can't put it in the curio cabinet because if I do, the doors can't close.

I've promised AJ that my niece's loving gift will be prominently displayed where the Pipsqueak will easily see it next time she comes over... and am now scrambling to figure out where the heck to put it.

The piggy bank (12oz soda can included as size reference)
But she buyed it for me herself (with a little help from Mommy, who told me Miri absolutely insisted that was what she wanted to buy for me), so I'm darn well gonna find it a spot where I can see it every day and where she'll see it so she knows I'm happy with her birthday gift.

I mean, c'mon... she buyed it for me herself!

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