Categories
cousins

Family Fusion

Extended families have two great strengths. The first is resilience. An extended family is one or more families in a supporting web. Your spouse and children come first, but there are also cousins, in-laws, grandparents—a complex web of relationships among, say, seven, 10, or 20 people. If a mother dies, siblings, uncles, aunts, and grandparents are there to step in. If a relationship between a father and a child ruptures, others can fill the breach. Extended families have more people to share the unexpected burdens—when a kid gets sick in the middle of the day or when an adult unexpectedly loses a job.

The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake. David Brooks @ the Atlantic

I love that Fleur gets to play with her cousin. But, I love that our families are close more. It isn’t just seeing each other on holidays.

When my brother and sister-in-law needed help a couple times in recent times, we stepped up to help them. Should we have a similar need, they would be the first we would turn to for help.

I would love that the family base were larger, but this parenting thing is rough. Having help is important.

Categories
cousins Parenting

Toy trading

The cousins, Fleur and Jasmine, have a tendency to intentionally or accidentally leave things the other enjoyed. Most of the time it is a accidental situation. I failed to ensure everything that was brought is accounted for before walking out the door.

The intentional happened often enough the girls started rationalizing the other intended it to be left. Which is maybe for the best.

It usually makes it home the next week. And both have enough one thing is probably not missed too much. And if that one thing is a favorite they move on to a new one in the week.

Just a year ago, Fleur would meltdown over leaving something somewhere. She has quadruplet cheap dolls because of leaving the first somewhere. Often enough in the past year she would get upset over forgetting to bring a toy.

Categories
cousins Parenting

Imaginary sibling

Months ago, Fleur started talking about relationships. Namely she listed the labels we apply to who people are in our lives and who fit them. Galahad is her brother because they have the same parents. Her uncle is her parent’s sibling. Her cousin is her mother’s brother’s daughter. I loved this working on understanding the taxonomy for individuals.

She has an honorary sister. Abigail and Galahad grew up together. Through a twist of fate Abigail has similar skin coloring as Fleur and I, so people assume she is my kid at times.

For a while, Fleur talked about her sister Addie. Not Abigail. Not another kid at daycare. She doesn’t live with us. Still not sure when Fleur hangs out with her sister. It was super weird.

I can see why people think children tap into the paranormal with stuff like that.

The funny thing is this name is pretty popular. We keep finding kids in the periphery with it.

Categories
cousins Parenting

In the shadow of big cousins

Fleur looks up to elder kids. She studied walkers before she could. She enjoys playing with older kids as she can attempt the things they perform. So, today, spending the day with her cousin was a treat.

Sophie is over a year and a half older. With more experience and maturity, she helped and taught Fleur how to play. She showed how she isn’t scared of some things on the playground to entice the younger to try. And interacted with Rosa as a “not a baby”, talking about things, playing games, and making suggestions. (I’ve seen Fleur hold her own against another cousin who is too assertive.)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This isn’t to say they didn’t argue. They did, but it was more socially mature than I have seen in many cases where it devolved into physicality over not being understood.

It makes me think about my own older cousins who would from time to time pop into town. We played games, explored, tussled, and told stories. I learned much about the world hanging around them even into my late 20s. It may be fair to say I idolized them and followed on the paths they trailblazed for me.

Human transmission of information built societies. And maintains them. It makes me happy to see my child benefitting from socialization. And developing bonds blooming that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Categories
Mini Us Parenting

Nicknames

Fleur knows her name. She will correct you if she catches a nickname she doesn’t accept, then she responds, “I’m not <name>, I’m Fleur!”

On the other hand, I am rather proud at the wide variety of affections we have for her.

  • Little Miss (Can’t Be Wrong)
  • Little Stinker [1]
  • Baby [2][3]
  • Sweetheart
  • Fleur Darling
Photo by Arina Krasnikova on Pexels.com

[1] Often used after she toots

[2] She now tells me, “I am not a baby! I am a Mama. This is a baby,” and shows me one of her dolls.

[3] My go-to when she is doing something and I want her attention

But, the best set, I think are the behavioral descendant ones. When she exhibits behavior we think clearly reminiscent of a specific ancestor, then I like using them.

  • MJ, aka Momma Junior
  • DJ, aka Daddy Junior
  • GS, aka Galahad’s Sister
  • C4, aka my maternal grandmother’s great-grandchild
  • S3, aka my father

These are the ones to which she will most strongly object. So, naturally, I often use them when I want to take umbrage.

She seems to have stopped calling me Honey. And she recently master our names.

Categories
Mini Us Parenting

Micromanager

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

I have a few bosses. My work situation has been a little unclear who is really my boss, but my work has been mostly self-directed for a decade, so that is fine. Then there is my wife.

Now, I have the toddler. The others are far more lassez-faire. The toddler?

  • Everything is now.
  • Everything has to be done in a very specific way.
  • And the visions are poorly explained, so meeting the expectation is difficult when the thing is something new.

Thankfully, most of the time, I meet or exceed expectations.

I need to do some looking into the etymology of the term micromanager to see if the original description was of a boss who acts like a toddler.

Categories
Mini Us

The sweetest sound

Galahad disappeared downstairs. Fleur didn’t notice at first. But, when she did, she called his name. More of a questioning. Gaga? When that did not work it became a bit louder. Gaga! Well, then it was ON! She runs around checking and calling. When she realized he was not there, she went to the door to the stairs and screams at the top of her lungs: GAAAAGAAAAAA! over and over until he comes back.

There is also…

  • More, more Mama
  • More, more Nannie
  • More, more Gaga
  • More, more Dada

Categories
Family Structure Parenting

Platonic uncles

My father had a single sister. My mother had brothers and sisters. I should ask, but I wonder if this lack of paternal family is why my father’s friends were my uncles. I cannot think of any friends my mother had who were platonic aunts or uncles.

I still honor these men with “Uncle” titles. Occasionally, if it becomes confusing, I will explain they’re a friend of Dad’s.

What led me down this thinking is I also have the single sibling. Maybe I should label my friends as uncles for Fleur? How does one go about this? Ask permission?