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!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

"I can reach that shelf now, Uncle Brian!"

With our crazy summer schedules simply refusing to allow anyone in the immediate family to ever feel bored, we've become pretty good at bundling activities so that no gasoline or precious minutes are wasted.  Take this Wednesday, f'rinstance:  Miri's dance camp ended mid-afternoon.  Dad had prescriptions to fill.  Mom had prescriptions to fill.  I had run out key foods.  Mom & Dad were running out of key foods.  Mom and I had several important phone calls to make (independent of each other).  The result?  Lots of phone time early in the day, then I swung by the folks' house in my car and we did the supermarket-to–studio-to-supermarket loop all together.

Grocery shopping with the Pipsqueak is a rare treat for me and it was funny to see her helping Grandma, then say, "I'm going with Uncle Brian now" and spend some time with me, then say, "I'm going to Grandma now" and spend some time with her... back and forth every few minutes.  She insisted on helping, bagging produce and pulling things off shelves much higher than I thought she'd be able to reach, and we had fun just being silly with each other. There were a couple of times I had to remind the Pipsqueak that I can no longer pick her up and push a cart at the same time ("Oh, yeah, I forgot!") and we had to spend a few minutes standing next to the hot rotisserie chicken shelf when the refrigerated dairy aisle left her chilled, but it we really did have a lot of fun.

Trying to stay as far away from the refrigerated aisle as possible...
"Hey, look, it's got pink on it!" (Grandma's waiting to buy monster cheese.)
The deli lady just gave the Pipsqueak a free slice of monster cheese!
"I can TOO reach that shelf! And are you taking a picture of me?"
On a normal weekday afternoon, I'll pick Miri up from dance camp with at a cheese stick & small bottle of her favorite flavored drink mix, both of which are inhaled to the tune of woeful complaints about starving to death. Within minutes we'll be at Grandma & Grandpa's, where pasta or scrambled eggs or fish sticks are promptly prepared for the starving granddaughter.  Since we were stopping at the supermarket this time, I brought along an additional granola bar and a larger bottle of the drink to keep that rumbly little tummy full -- but as the shopping trip stretched longer, Happy Pipsqueak was replaced by decidedly less fun Hangry Pipsqueak.

"I am tired and I am hungry and that is a bad combination! I want to go home!" (Actual verbatim quote.)
The Pipsqueak's mood improved considerably when, on the way to the checkout lanes, we came across a display of brightly colored, inexpensive nail polish.

"Ooh, what about THIS one? Or THIS one? Or THIS one? Or THIS one? Or..."
Eventually, Miri heeded her Grandma's desperate request to please just pick one already! and we began the chore of checking out two full carts of groceries while bagging them in a way that kept my purchases separate from Mom & Dad's to expedite unloading later. We then spent over 20 minutes on the usual 10-minute trip home, thanks to a Verizon crew closing one lane of a busy two-lane road during rush hour with no lane shift signs, no road work signs, no warning signs, and with a big flashing yellow arrow that was actually just a big black rectangle because none of the crew bothered to actually turn the frakking thing on... (Dude! Calm down! Watch your language!)

Anyway, as I was saying... I calmed down, got us home, got most of Mom & Dad's groceries put away, and was about to leave when the Pipsqueak asked, "What about all my stuff?"  Sure enough, her dance bag & lunchbox were still in the back of the car under my groceries. We got that straightened out, I thanked her for saving her uncle a late-night drive out to her house with the missing items, and I finally headed home.

Despite the occasional hangry grumble, the Pipsqueak was fun to shop with... hopefully I'll get to do it again soon!

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