New Year’s Report on the Barely Extended Family

January 3, 2009

As I mentioned, the Barely Extended Family called us to wish us a Happy New Year. They are scheduled to come visit us on the island next weekend, to make up for not making it out for Christmas Eve because of the mini-blizzard.

Mommy (Random Granddaughter’s birth mother and my daughter’s partner) has two brothers, one adopted. Both have had a lot of problems. One, who lives in the East, had a shotgun wedding, was almost burned to death in an accidental fire, and recently lost a house in the subprime crisis. The other showed signs of personality disorder and was homeless for a while. He eventually ended up in Oregon, married happily, got a job, and now he and his wife have a baby. Mommy and Mama and RG went to see this branch of the family (joined by Mommy’s Mom and Stepdad who flew out from Virginia).

Apparently, RG had a great time. First, sister-in-law’s mom was away for Christmas visiting and let Brother and Sis-in-Law use her house. House has a hot tub and a big bed. RG’s little cousin, Winnie, is two-and-a-half. RG and Winnie liked the hot tub and got to jump-up-and-down on the big bed.

I suspect RG is experiencing “sibling-envy.” Her best friend, Mia, a bit of a control-freak, has a little sister, and perhaps RG would like to have a little sister of her own to boss around. (She does try to boss around Sylvie the cat. As I’ve mentioned, Sylvie is an extrovert (rare among cats) and possesses a good nature of unsurpassed sweetness, but even so, she takes to being bossed around about as well any other cat does.

When we talked to the mommies by phone (the three of them using my daughter’s Blackberry as a speaker phone), RG participated in the “conference call” with assurance and confidence. Afterwards, my wife said, “She sounds very happy these days.”

We will see how she handles a visit and table manner, but she does indeed sound happy these days. I have a theory (which like many of my theories may be completely loony.)

RG has not had a miserable childhood, but in some ways she was unhappy, starting as an infant. I suspect she was unhappy because she wanted to control the world and have everybody do what she wanted them to do. Adults simply don’t do what children want them to do. As I wrote on one or two occasions, RG seemed to be constantly trying to “crack the code” of adult communication, to figure out the magic words that would get adults to do what she wanted them to do.

Random Granddaughter is very articulate now. She is very intelligent. Next year she turns five and starts kindergarten…somewhere.

2008 may have been our last year as free people. By sometimes in 2009 we may all be under the control of a precocious and brilliant child, perhaps in cahoots with her best friend and her family’s cat. We may still sound and act the same to casual observers (and readers of my blog), but we may be no more than puppets by that time.


11 Responses to “New Year’s Report on the Barely Extended Family”

  1. I’d kind of like to boss everyone around, too. Maybe I could join RG’s entourage, and work when she’s napping.

  2. modestypress Says:

    Reminds me of a joke. Parents are applying to send their child to a prestigious and exclusive finishing school. One question on the applications asks, “Is your child a leader or a follower?”

    Parents look at each other. They decide to be honest, and put “follower” on the application, fearing their child will be refused chance to join society’s elites.

    Few days later the headmaster calls and tells the parents, “We are delighted to accept your child into our school. With over a hundred leaders enrolling, we figured we needed at least one follower in our student body for all the leaders to practice on.”

  3. spectrum2 Says:

    Oh yes, our 3 year old has many the grandparent and parent wrapped around his tiny finger and baby sister is well on her way to charming us as well. Otherwise why would we eat McDonald’s two days in a row and watch Noggin instead of the news.
    Occasionally, someone will ask me at work about a news event, and I’ll be clueless. Often they will look at me as if I am an idiot, “You haven’t seen it? It’s been all over the news.” I’ll have to admit that no, I haven’t seen the news in 3 days because we got a new Wiggles video and watch it non-stop.

  4. truce Says:

    Are there any plans to provide RG with a sibling??

    • modestypress Says:

      Probably not. Mama can’t have babies because of a serious illness and Mommy lost two babies before RG was born (after serious medical intervention). And we are in the Greater Depression and Mama is quitting her job to go back to school. Only children are the tradition now in th Barely Extended Family.

      We are having another blizzard–I almost got stuck in a white out. The power is flickering. I am going to bed.

  5. pandemonic Says:

    Perhaps the world would be in a much better place if RG were in charge.

    It’s a thought.

  6. modestypress Says:

    Spectrum, the serious question is, why isn’t your news headlining the television news instead of the whatever tabloid headlines? Reminds me of my Aunt Rose telling me that during WWII her first husband showing off a new painting he had just bought and hung on his wall to a friend. The friend asked, “Why are you buying art in a time of war?” Her husband replied, “Why are we having a war in a time of art?”

  7. modestypress Says:


    RG clearly thinks so. I have nothing much more to say about RG until she and the mommies arrive Saturday.

    The big question is can she demonstrate good table manners? Grandma goes to a lot of trouble to fix food for RG she knows does not violate her religious and cultural sensibilities. Nevertheless, RG has meltdowns and tries to ruin her visit.

    I will greet her at the door Saturday. I will say, “Can you conduct yourself with proper diplomatic protocol on this visit? If not, you will have to stay in diplomatic ‘no-man’s land’ [which includes no ‘sulky little girl’s land’] on the front porch and commune with squirrels, deer, and coyotes. Perhaps Bill Richardson will deign to visit you.”

    Of course, someday, after she is dictator of the land, she will put me on bread and water in a camp on Guantanamo. If I am no longer alive, she will have my name stricken from the records. “Grandpa Random?” she will tell reporters. “I’m sorry, I have no Grandpa Random. Never heard of him.”

  8. pandemonic Says:

    Hmm… How about telling the RG that instead of proper table manners, she will be eating like a dog, from a dish on the floor? Then you and Mrs. Random will be thrilled, because with lowered expectations, RG can’t possibly disappoint.


  9. modestypress Says:

    Pan, I am tempted to make such suggestions to RG, but I get very disapproving looks from the mommies. It’s pretty clear I am supposed to set a good example for RG.

    As soon as she reaches five, perhaps RG, Sylvie, and I will run away to Oz together, perhaps to aks Trucie for political refugee status.

  10. pandemonic Says:

    Let me come with you! Don’t leave me here alone!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s