You Never Understand Parenting Until You Become One

, , , , , | Friendly | November 23, 2018

(Not long after having my first baby, I am visiting with my cousin, who has two children of his own. My husband and I ask about local motels in the area to stay overnight in, and my cousin invites us to stay with his family. We are unloading so much luggage out of the car.)

Me: “I’m sorry there’s so much; we had to bring a lot more than normal because of [Baby].”

Cousin: *laughing* “You don’t need to apologise to me; I’m a parent, too.” *more serious* “I was an absolute a**hole to my friends when they had babies; I kept telling them that they shouldn’t let the babies run their lives. I would let them have it whenever they told me they couldn’t go out with me or go partying because the baby was sick or too tired. After we had [First Daughter], I went around to each of them and apologised for being such a d**k to them.”

The Moaniest Place On Earth

, , , , , , , | Related | October 3, 2018

(Years ago, my aunt generously invited me, my two cousins — our age group was somewhere around five or six — and all our parents to come spend time with her and then to go to Disneyland. This was a very expensive gift from her, even decades ago. However, when we get there, my cousins decide they don’t want to go to Disneyland; they want to go to Magic Mountain. They start whining about it. I have never been to Magic Mountain OR Disneyland before, so I am curious about both. My cousins begin to whine so much that we are all asked separately:)

Aunt: “[Our Names], would you like to go to Disneyland, or Magic Mountain?”

All Of Us: “Magic Mountain.”

Aunt: “Well, you know, I’ve actually already paid for the tickets to Disneyland.”

(I apparently thought about that, then shrugged:)

Me: “Oh. I didn’t know that. Okay then, let’s go to Disneyland. I’d like to go to Disneyland too.”

Cousins: “I don’t care! Disneyland is for babies! We want to go to Magic Mountain!”

(My cousins whined and complained the entire time we were at Disneyland, about how boring it was, how it was for babies, and how Disneyland stunk. I do remember how even I got thoroughly sick of their complaining, and told my parents that I didn’t want to wait in line with my cousins anymore. I had a great time, and even got a stuffed toy and some activity books from one of the stores. My cousins complained so much, and hated the Disney trip so much that they didn’t get anything. Years later, I learned that while I was invited to visit my aunt and occasionally go to the various theme parks over the years — I’ve been to Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Magic Mountain while growing up — my cousins were never invited back. It’s also a family saying to tell my cousins, “You would be bored at Disneyland, so stop complaining!”)

Barbie Can Always Play With The Transformers

, , , , , , | Related | October 3, 2018

(I am around seven and have just moved to our family’s “nest,” a few blocks of the city housing several relative’s families. I’m not actually related to any of them; they are all stepfamily. There are several cousins near my age, mostly boys. Since I’m a girl, the only girl among them is really looking forward to meeting me because none of the boys want to play with girl toys, so I am greeted with a ton of girl toys, half of them newly bought. Unfortunately, what they didn’t know was that I am a huge tomboy, so we take the toys back to the store. That girl cousin’s mom, my aunt, tags along with us because it’s all her money.)

Aunt: “Why can’t you be normal and play with girl toys?!”

Me: “Girl toys are yuck!”

Aunt: “Then who is my daughter going to play with?”

Mom: “Who is she playing with now?”

Aunt: “The adults, sometimes classmates.”

Mom: “Look. I’m sorry, but I can’t control what my kid likes.”

Aunt: “She isn’t even your kid!”

Mom: “She’s my husband’s kid, therefore mine!”

(I run off with dad to find toys I like. I only remember my aunt simply leaving before we get back. After that, she tries her best to have her daughter not be really a part of the nest and always has an excuse not to bring her around, even on holidays. This goes on until we are in our teens. My cousin suddenly appears at our apartment door. The first thing we notice is her very short hair.)

Cousin: “I had a fight with Mom.”

Dad: “What happened?”

Cousin: “I got my hair like this.”

Dad: “Oh, I see.”

Cousin: “My mom pushes too many girly things on me! I hate it!” *to me* “I know I haven’t really played with you nor any of the boys before, but perhaps we could find something we both like? My mom’s an idiot. I could have played with all our cousins if she didn’t teach me to be girly all my life.”

 

Magical Whimsical

, , , , , | Related | September 18, 2018

(My cousin likes to force her five-year-old son to conform to some high standard of a perfect little boy like you’d see in a magazine and doesn’t allow him to actually act like a small child. We like to instill a little whimsy in him whenever she’s not around. We’re currently taking him to a street fair, and my sister finds a dandelion that’s turned to puff.)

Sister: “Look! If you see a dandelion that looks like that, you can make a wish and blow on it, and it’ll carry your wish into the sky!”

(He excitedly blows on it ,and we continue walking. He sees the prettiest fall leaf — the first of the season — on the sidewalk, and excitedly picks it up.)

Cousin: “My wish came true!”

(He had a smile on his face for the rest of the day.)

Someone Should “Lightly” Explain How This Works

, , , , , , , | Related | September 15, 2018

(We are at my aunt’s house and there has been a blackout. My aunt turns on a battery-powered light in the kitchen, and my sister and cousin start making shadow puppets with it.)

Sister: *holds up two fingers in front of the light* “Look, a bunny!”

Cousin: *holds up her whole hand in front of the light* “Look, a turkey!”

Aunt: *picks up her coffee pot and holds it in the light* “Look, a coffee pot!”

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