I was sitting in the back bedroom feeding Vivi her food for babies as I listened to Addie shouting in the family room at the end of the hallway. The words she was shouting were making me more and more angry. That’s not they way that I was used to hearing my kid act.
The first half of our vacation was spent at Casey’s dad’s house with Addie running around playing with her grandma Flower and her grandma Gigi. They spent their time playing games and talking about things that eight-year-old girls should be talking about. Besides Vivi, who spent most of her time by my side, Addie has had her two grandmothers all to herself.
For the second half of our vacation we headed to my parents’ house, which is located three hours from Casey’s dad’s house. The atmosphere at my parents’ house is much different. There are a lot more kids running around that range from 5-years-old to 15-years-old. The biggest difference, however, is that all of the kids except Addie, Vivi, and one other cousin are boys.
There is a huge difference in the way Addie acts and the way her boy cousins act. Not that her cousins act badly, it’s just very different from what Casey and I are used to. Our house is usually filled with girls, whereas my parents’ house is usually filled with boys. I watched as the boys playfully punched each other in the backs of their heads. They pretended to engage in slap fights. They shouted about bombs and guns, and they were constantly making fart noises.
They created an atmosphere that had to have felt very foreign to Addie. Throw in the fact that Addie had only seen those cousins maybe two or three times her whole life, and it seemed like an atmosphere Addie would struggle in.
As I sat there and fed Vivi her food for babies, I listened as one cousin, I’ll call him cousin A, shouted insults at another cousin, who I will call cousin B. The reason cousin A was shouting insults at cousin B was because he didn’t want cousin B to play with him and Addie. Then I heard Addie shout “Yeah, cousin B.” Then cousin A ran upstairs to tattle on cousin B and I heard Addie say, “Yeah, cousin B, you’re going to be in big trouble.”
That was it. Even though I knew that Addie was just trying to fit in, I had had enough. I pulled Addie out of the family room and explained to her that we treat all of our cousins with respect. We don’t shout at any of our cousins and it doesn’t matter what cousin A says. Addie nodded her head and that was it. My sweet little Addie was back.
What has me worried, however, was that I’m pretty sure I just got a glimpse of what 15 and 16-year-old Addie is going to be like, and I may be in for a rough time.
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