Out of the Mouths of Babes

August 24, 2013

As most of you know, Right Guy and I spent last weekend with the kiddos – my brother’s three kids. I love them all dearly but my younger niece just slays me.

I hadn’t been with them 10 minutes (we hadn’t even gotten out of their house to leave for mine) before she starts telling me she wants cousins. This is not the first time she’s mentioned it. Last time she put in a request for two cousins. Noted.

Over the years I’ve watched as my older niece slowly grappled with family concepts. For a long time she understood that I was her aunt without really understanding that I was her daddy’s sister. When she finally realized that that is what an aunt is, it still took her a little while longer to figure out that her grandmother was also my mother. I remember her asking me if I knew her grandmother and I totally blew her little mind when I told her that her grandmother was my mother.

The younger two didn’t struggle with these concepts as much, presumably because the older one was there to guide them.

But my younger niece is just…uncanny. She seems to almost inherently understand familial relationships. She is named after Pops (feminine version of his name with the same nickname). She only met him maybe twice and I doubt she remembers either meeting. But she knows she’s named after him and when he died she would talk about him a lot. I think mostly her young mind was trying to process what it means to be dead. But she would randomly say things like, “I like these flowers, they are pretty. Let’s see…Pops is dead. That means… he’s never coming back…right? Can we have some popcorn?” These comments would just pop up seemingly out of nowhere and just as quickly transition to something else.

These days the comments seem to be about cousins. Which is somewhat surprising since they have a slew of cousins on the other side of their family. But none of them are local, so perhaps that’s the difference. I’m not sure what put this thought in her head but it is now firmly planted. She says she knows babies can take time. My older niece just rolls her eyes as if she knows our troubles.

When children ask questions, it’s my policy to give them answers – truthful answers but also age-appropriate answers. So I have never told the kiddos of all our struggles. I think my older niece has picked up on some of it but none of them have asked any direct questions. It’s also my policy not to answer unasked questions. I figure kids ask questions they can handle the answers to (with some editing, perhaps). They know we want kids and that we’re “working on it” but beyond that… what more can you say?

Well, after the cousin comment my younger niece did it again. About this time last year I was writing about Wrong Guy and my divorce (that story starts here). In one post I mentioned how Harry Potter saved me. I still have all my Harry Potter books and they are in a “Kid Bin” in my spare room along with Narnia, stuffed animals, crayons, construction paper and all manner of things to occupy any kiddos that happen to visit my house. Usually the contents of the Kid Bin are strewn across the floor within minutes of their arrival.

Friends though, are still OK

Friends though, are still OK

Apparently I used the above Valentine card as a bookmark way back when and it was still in the book. Super inquisitive young niece wanted to know what it was, what it said, who gave it to me and why. And so I told her that my Valentine had been not so nice to me and someone else had given me a card to make me feel better. More questions. I mentioned being married before. I’m pretty sure at some point in the past I had told her that I was married before but I don’t recall ever mentioning Wrong Guy’s name and we were long divorced before she was born. And even if I did mention his name it was years ago. But she remembered it. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Then she asked, “How do you get divorced?” Which led to, “What’s a lawyer?”

Oy vey.


2 Responses to “Out of the Mouths of Babes”

  1. KeAnne Says:

    Ha! Your nieces sound great and the younger one…what a character! Sounds like they keep all of you on your toes 🙂 The dead conversation reminds me of Daniel. He’ll randomly ask me what “dead” means. Always catches me off guard!

  2. […] Niece, LilNiece & Nephew from here on out) during which LilNiece struck again. You may recall a previous post about LilNiece saying the darnedest things. Well, she had a new one last […]

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