It all started at the wedding reception in July. Although Cousin B and SS are only 8 months apart in age, have very strong personalities, and had been ruling their respective roosts without opposition, they surprisingly got along very well. We know SS was not sure what a cousin was (probably still isn’t), but Cousin B and Cousin H were HER cousins, and gosh darn it they were so much fun. She finally met the kids she had seen in so many pictures, and heard so much about. The girls played very well without any incidents during the rehearsal dinner. If anything, P and I were watching closely to make sure that SS shared with Cousin B. For some reason both girls did not consider Cousin H competition (wait until that boy grows up, heh). Women…
The next morning we had a swimming date at our hotel and once again the girls got along so well. Even though Cousin B was not into the whole swimming thing, once SS got her
They resumed their playfulness at the reception, chased each other around, pretended to sleep with Grand Min, learned how to set fires with Grand Min, danced, laughed, kissed, they had a blast. Then as the evening was winding down, SS began to feel the effects of all that fun, on a less than ninety minute nap on Baba’s lap. Cousin B had the benefit of a few hours nap in her hotel room.
We started noticing SS’s diminishing energy and were getting ready to make and exit when it happened. SS was sitting on a chair being unusually calm. She had her back to us, but we know our daughter well, her body language was waning energy. Cousin B was still going strong, the girl could have out drank and out danced everyone there. It happened quick, P missed it, and I don’t claim to know exactly what happened. It appeared that Cousin B really wanted SS to leave her chair and get down and boogie. She went towards SS, put her arms around her neck (no malice intended at ALL, kid was only 2) and pulled. I helplessly watched from the other side of the table as my daughter fell head first.
Aunt C immediately picked up SS and held her. I am a mother, I was not thinking about niceties, I rushed to my daughter and asked Aunt C to hand her to me. For what it’s worth, P is very used to this when SS is hurt. The thought of her head or face landing on concrete was all I could think about. Aunt C and Uncle M were, like any good parent would, right on top of things. They had poor Cousin B (poor thing had the deer caught between headlights look) apologize. The socially acceptable thing was to prod SS to accept the apology, reaffirm that it was an accident, and close the book on that unfortunate boo boo.
But the pain from the fall, coupled with SS’s overall tiredness (refer back to our need to fill our days away from home to the max) made it difficult to proceed with innocent perpetrator and innocent victim societal rules. We knew SS did not want to go into a social ritual, she wanted her Mama’s comfort and she wanted no further contact with anyone other than Baba. That was not situational, when she hurts she wants Mama and only Mama, but Baba can hover around. We felt horrible, but of course we took care of her needs. We retreated to the dance floor for a slow dance, and the three of us had a good cuddle which helped calm down our distraught daughter.
Ever since SS has been less than enthusiastic about Cousin B. Initially we attributed it to SS’s temperament and even found it funny. Kids are funny creatures. SS loves looking at pictures and naming the persons on the pictures. Ever since she focuses on Cousin H and says “ I love Baby H.” We let to go for a while. But SS still ignores her Cousin B.
While in Maui we related the story to Grandpa, who found it funny, but did not actually believe us. That is, until they had the following exchange:
GP: I love you SS.
SS; I love you Grandpa.
GP: I love you, and I love your Cousin B, and I love your Cousin H.
SS: I LOVE BABY H!
GP: And you love your Cousin B.
We know that the wrong approach with such a stubborn child is to force the issue. We do not force SS to say she loves anyone, not even us. We do not believe in coercing love from kids. But we talk about how much her cousins love her, have NEVER talked about the (non)incident and just wait for SS to forget. That might take longer than expected.
We received an invitation to Cousin B’s birthday party. Dude, girl is already 3, how the heck did that happen? Yeah she lives in Missouri, but we appreciate that Aunt C and Uncle M include SS. We also received a cute Halloween picture of the G family. SS snatched the picture from P and yelled “I LOVE H!” Good, she has allowed him to get past the baby stage. P did not bother to point out that Cousin B was in the picture, useless with our little mule. Instead, P backed her into a corner with the invitation, as it had a cute as heck picture of the birthday girl.
P: And who is this SS?
SS: Long pregnant pause, then in the surliest teenage tone we have ever heard… “B”
OUCH! We think SS is not going to RSVP. This is the first time since we received SS’s referral that we are not sorry that we live so far away. SS will eventually come around.