I have a slew of nieces and nephews. I was fortunate enough to be at the hospital when my sister had all of her babies. A rarity for most milspouses. For a while, I was able to make it home for the birthdays but sadly, it wasn't long before distance and expense prevented me from going home for every occasion. One of my biggest fears was that one of the kids would forget who I am, or not recognize me the next time they saw me, whenever that might be.
Last week, I was able to go home and see some family members. I surprised my sister's kids, who didn't know I was coming. The night before I left, I talked to my nephew on the phone and he asked me to come see him. I replied, "well, I live far, far away, it would take me days to reach you." All the while grinning, knowing that I would see him in mere hours.
My youngest niece is a toddler. Her sister is my namesake, only her mother added an "e" at the end of her name, so she's "Andie," and I'm "Andi." I saw the kids a few months ago at my cousin's wedding. At the time, I was "Aunt Andi" to everyone. That's the way it's always been. No trouble whatsoever.
But this visit was different. The youngest has apparently decided that there's only room for one Andi in the family and I drew the short straw. She now refuses to call me Aunt Andi. No, she's created a whole new name for me, and I have to admit, I don't like it. At all.
I'm now, "the big girl."
Yeah.... How nice is that?
I spent the night with my sister and the kids one night. The next morning, the kids woke before me (though I wouldn't be asleep long. The pitter-patter of excited little feet saw to that). When my niece woke up, she ran to her mom and said...
Mommy, where's the big girl?
The big girl is your Aunt Andi.
No, mommy. Andie is my sissy.
And Aunt Andi is my sissy, that's why she's called "Aunt" Andi.
Refusing to listen to reason, the three year-old totally and completely blew off her mother and asked again.
Mommy, where'd the big girl go?
I suppose it could be worse. At least she recognizes my face and knows I have something to do with the family. But still, I haven't warmed up to being referred to as "the big girl." Call me crazy.....
I have visions of my niece telling her little friends that "the big girl" came to see her, slept in her house and brought her some American Girl goodies.
Oh, where'd you get that?
The big girl gave it to me.
I hope she grows out of this phase soon. Real soon.