There is a subject that I try to skirt around most times here because, well, I'm on the wrong side of it you see. This is a place of parents and children and joy and happiness.
Not that I think all parents are as oblivious as some I know in the meat-space world. I know better than that, but it's easy for someone who is a parent to hear any negative thing said about any parent and immediately jump to the "you have no idea" stance on a guy who doesn't have children himself. I just don't want this to come across as an attack on all parents everywhere because, frankly, I'm not that dude.
That said, there is a certain mindset amongst a certain contingent of The Modern Parenting Brigade that seems to believe the job of a parent is to protect a child, at all times, from any possible negativity. At all.
I like my niece. I think she's a good kid with a shit-ton of potential that's slowly being eroded away by a family group that seems to pretty consistently not get it.
The vibe began to sour a few visits back. Most every time I see her now something will happen where she strikes out violently, I get hurt, I ask her to stop, and in the end I have to apologize for being mean. The last couple times it was pretty bad. The most vivid was her standing on my chest and then jumping up and down repeatedly as I asked her to stop, finally ending with me reaching up, taking hold of her so she didn't tumble down hard, then pushing her until she was standing on the floor. Stomped off angry, and next thing I know I'm being told by mommy to apologize.
So it wasn't exactly a shock when Mrs. NFB told me her sister had a request for me. She framed it with, "I don't want to start a big fight, but something needs to be done about this." See, in my family, you do that, you're essentially saying, "you wanna? Bring it, bitch." In her family, this is essentially saying, "we're not going to argue, and this is how it's gonna be." I'm aware of that, but it raised the hackles to begin with.
Then the strange list of demands.
It seems niece is extremely sensitive and gets her feelings hurt very easily. It's my supposition that this has something to do with the fact that no one is allowed to say or do anything slightly negative around her without being told they must apologize, but I digress. The impression niece has of me at the moment is that I'm really, really mean. Like, REALLY mean. Let me add at this point that I am the last of her five uncles that will even be in the same room with her. The rest of them are obviously smarter than me.
So, anyway, I need to make extra efforts to be sure not to offend her. Here is what I have been told to do.
- Never try to get her to eat food she's not interested in. This demand because I asked her if she'd try a bite of my jambalaya instead of only eating pie a few weeks back. My insistence level was pretty much, "hey, you wanna try some of this?" She said no, I shrugged and moved on. I can see where this is a serious problem.
- Never correct her or scold her, no matter what she may be doing. It's especially egregious to ask her to stop doing something physically violent to me. Instead I am to simply extricate myself from her and leave when she becomes violent. Not sure how I do that when the last couple times I've tried that I ended up on bended knee begging forgiveness for being such a meany poopy head. Outside of that I can't think of a correction I've attempted.
- Do not refer to her by any name but her own. Kid, princess, goofy or brat (admittedly harsh, and I probably shouldn't have on that last one) are not acceptable.
I stopped the "conversation" at that point and said I'm good. When asked if I wanted to hear the rest of it I said, "nope. Don't have to worry about it. I'll sit with the rest of the uncles at the family functions from now on." It's sort of an ill-defined naughty table time-out situation. I should fit right in.
I'm not gonna go into a big psycho-analytical thing here, but I do find it interesting that absolutely no women have been relegated to the meany, poopy head list. Only men. Yes, interesting indeed.
Mrs. NFB was also informed that trying to plan a large family gathering where niece would be front-and-center right after this little chat was probably not the best move to make. Tension, yes.
Outside of that and the facebook family meltdown initiated between the females, it was a pretty uneventful weekend. Facebook can die now. k thnx bye.
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