Potty Training Is Very Demanding

, , , , | Related | May 17, 2018

(I’m at a family holiday gathering, playing cards in a circle with my sisters and some cousins. One of my cousins has a young toddler who is sitting with us and watching, until she suddenly looks to her mom across the room, and bellows with amazing articulation:)

Toddler: “Mommy, I’m pooping!” *points her finger* “And I want you to change it!”

(The group of us collapsed into hysterics, and my cousin admitted that if her daughter was old enough to demand her personally for diaper duty, it might be time for potty training.)

Tipping The Scales In The Afterlife

, , , , , , , | Related | May 7, 2018

(From the time we were kids until she passed, my grandmother insisted on taking my cousins, uncle, and me out to eat the first Sunday of every month at a local diner. She always insisted on paying, and would always tip a single dollar. We are at her funeral dinner, and I turn to my cousin with a confession.)

Me: “I don’t think Nana ever got that a dollar tip was kind of an insult. I started leaving an extra tip hidden under my plate for the waitress.”

Cousin: “Wait, what? I was doing the same thing!”

(Laughing for the first time since Nana passed, we run over to [Cousin #2], who shockingly says that for the past few years he has been lingering behind to drop an extra tip on the table. By this point, we are all doubled over with laughter. Our uncle comes over and we tell him what’s up.)

Uncle: “So, I should tell you something. I’ve been handing a tip off to the waitress before we get seated since you guys were kids, to make up for Nana’s tipping.”

(It turns out everyone except my two youngest cousins, who are still in highschool and don’t have jobs, has been leaving between 10% and 20% tip! We all went from feeling guilty about Nana’s tipping habits to realizing that they must have thought we were the best tipping family, in an over-complicated sort of way.)

The Best Babysitter Since Sliced Bread

, , , , | Related | April 24, 2018

(I have a second cousin who is autistic, and is about five years old. He often comes to family parties, and I’m usually the one to watch him, since I’m decent with kids and he likes being with me. His mom appreciates the break, and I have fun playing with him. At this particular party, my dad has made focaccia, an Italian bread that is made in a baking pan. It’s about an inch thick, and you eat it by itself. My cousin and his mom have just arrived, so I grab two pieces of focaccia and give one to him. His mom smiles at me.)

His Mom: “Good luck getting him to eat that. He won’t eat bread by itself.”

(This isn’t out of the ordinary, since my second cousin is extremely picky. However, I am still pretty embarrassed, and secretly wish I had asked first. Although he isn’t really eating it, my cousin still wants to hold the bread, so I let him keep it as we go to the basement. In the basement, my cousin wants to play with the exercise machine. He gives me his focaccia, which he has nibbled on, but hasn’t actually eaten. On a whim, I tear off a small piece and give it to him. To my surprise, he eats it! I am very surprised, but rather cheerful, since that means the bread won’t go to waste. Piece by tiny piece, my cousin finishes that piece of bread, until it is gone. I tell his mom what happened.)

Me: “…and he ate the piece! Turns out, he just didn’t like biting it!”

(His mom gives me a funny look.)

His Mom: “Sooo… When do you want to start babysitting him?”

(Since they live about an hour and a half away, I haven’t gotten the chance to watch him yet, but I do hope to watch him soon!)

And I Like Turtles!

, , , , | Related | April 22, 2018

(My younger cousins come over to my house. For some reason, my brother and I are arguing whether girls and boys on the whole tend to have biological personality differences, or whether it’s society and upbringing. I am about 11 or so, my brother is around nine, and my cousins are around five and three, as far as I can recall. My cousins are asked their opinion.)

My Five-Year-Old Cousin: *paraphrased* “I think some boys are like boys and some are like girls, and vice versa.”

My Three-Year-Old Cousin: “I think boys and girls are different from crocodiles.”

Married To The Idea That They’re Already Married

, , , , , , , | Related | April 9, 2018

(My fiancé and I have been dating since we were in high school, ten years ago. My extended family is very close-knit, and in the past decade he’s come to at least two or three family events with me every year, including holidays, vacations, etc. We wait to get engaged until I am out of graduate school, and this is what happens when we announce it to my extended family.)

Me: “So… [Fiancé] and I have news. We’re getting married!”

(I expect a bit of a reaction, since my family usually goes all-out for events like weddings. Instead…)

Aunt: “You’re getting married?”

Me: “Uh, yes.”

Cousin #1: “But you guys are already married.”

Cousin #2: “Right, yeah, I was thinking that.”

Me: “No, I’m not.”

Uncle #1: “Yeah, you are, right? I remember sending a gift.”

Me: “You sent us a housewarming gift when we moved in together, but we didn’t get married. There was never a wedding.”

Uncle #2: “But you’ve been together for so long.”

Me: “We wanted to wait until I finished school before we made it official, though. You all really thought we were already married? Why wouldn’t I have invited you to the wedding?”

Cousin #1: “I thought you were just being a b**** about it or something.”

(Yeah, apparently my whole extended family, all of whom I see on a semi-regular basis, all thought that I was married. Silver lining, at least my fiancé and I are so compatible people just assume we’re going to be together forever.)

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