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!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pipsqueakisms Old and New

Yep, still got lots of catching up to do on 2014... But I decided that it's been too long since my last listing of Pipsqueakisms, so here are a few to start the year off right with!

Actually, before getting to the Pipsqueakisms themselves... they've changed. It's kind of bittersweet, to tell the truth; my niece has already grown into  (thank God) an intelligent, inquisitive, interested little girl just raring to get Out There and prove herself to the world. The one- and two-word "isms," cute as they were, have mostly faded away as Miri's language skills continue to leap forward... "I hep! I want the screwter, you hold the bang!" has become, "Can I help? I'll use the screwdriver while you hold the hammer for me to use later!" (One evening about two weeks ago, after Miri presented us with a particularly well thought-out and educational monologue at the dinner table, I asked AJ, "What happed to that quiet little baby you brought back from China?" and she responded, wistful smile on her face as she watched her daughter lecture Grandpa on taking better care of himself, "She's gone.")

But it's all good, really it is; this is the natural progression of things, the way children are supposed to develop, and as wistful as our smiles may be from time to time the wonder, pride, and excitement that come with watching my niece grow and develop and expand her horizons are things I would not trade for... well, not for all the tea in China. <grin>

And, on that seri-comic note, here's a batch (maybe the last?) of the old-style Pipsqueakisms:

  • She likes eating roaster cups (Reese's Pieces).
  • Jail windows have eye run bars.
  • The pendulum on a grandfather clock moves brackers and foreways.
  • Her kindergarten classes are held in a mentary school.
  • She likes when Mommy or Uncle Brian give her a pick pick ride (piggyback ride).
  • Mommy thought she had a fever so she used a marmeter to check it.
  • One of her friends had a peeyata at his birthday party (piñata).
  • It's always a special treat to get a popicle (Tootsie Roll Pop).
  • If you call someone and they're not home, you leave a mechige on their phone.
  • A couch with lots of soft pillows is cumpatle to sit on.
  • When people sneeze, sometimes we say "bless you" and sometimes "eezoontite!"
  • After singing a just-learned song, she told Mommy "I learn what you practice me!"
  • If you can't park where you're going, the shadow bus takes you to your car (shuttle bus).
  • You clean germs off your hands with handitizer.
  • If you turn off all the lights at night, it gets blitch dark.

My niece, the budding linguist...!  And now for some of the newer-style Pipsqueakisms...

Upon being complimented on her outfit of sparkly shoes, pink & white socks, pale pink leggings, bright pink skirt, and deep pink shirt: "I am full of pink today!

During one particularly hectic week...

Miri: "Grandma, is Mommy picking me up after school today?"

Grandma: "Mommy is working late so Grandpa and I will be picking you up."

Miri: "That's okay. Are you bringing me to your house?"

Grandma" Yes, and Mommy will come get you there later."

Miri: "When Mommy works Saturday or Sunday, you watch me, too."

Grandma: "That's right, we do."

Miri (hands up in air, in schoolmarm voice): "Well, somebody has to take care of the child!"

One ongoing Pipsqueakism pops up every time Miri talks to someone on the phone and then hands it back to someone else:

Miri: "I put you on [name] now, don't hang up!"

Miri's school does a lot to encourage the kids to read, including having parents track how many minutes of actual reading take place outside of school. ("Uncle Brian, remember to tell Mommy how many minutes I read to you!")  In November, the Pipsqueak came in first in the Kindergarten class so they announced her name to the whole school in the morning announcements and gave her a big squishy star (sparkly gold plush stuffed stars are the prizes). When she was picked up after school that day, the conversation went something like this:

Grandma (kvelling): "We are so proud of you!"

Miri (deadpan): "And impressed, too!"

A few days ago, Dad was (as usual) doing something he knew he wasn't supposed to do and Mom was (also as usual) more than a little exasperated. That particular disagreement came to a quick end thusly:

Mom (to Dad): "You're going to drive me insane!"

Miri (in schoolmarm mode): "Grandpa, you need to behave because Grandma's crazy."

The five of us met up at a Chinese restaurant for an early New Year's Eve dinner and Miri was in fine form. First she decided her placemat, with the usual Chinese zodiac information, was a treasure map; then it became her lesson plan and she took it around the table making each of us in turn read the name of each zodiac animal when she pointed to it, then count them out loud. Finally it became a survey, with Mommy being the first subject.

Miri: "Mommy, what is your favorite thing about this family?"

AJ (trying to swallow a shrimp): "Well, let's see, um..."

Miri (in schoolmarm voice): "You know, you could say 'I love my child'...!"

(I'm still not sure how my sister managed to avoid choking on her food at that point, because she was laughing so hard there were tears rolling down her cheeks as she gave her daughter a big hug.)

And, on that note, I'll wish one and all a slightly belated happy new year (and hopefully a healthy
one!)... Until next time...

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