family tree

Just to clarify, I do not make this stuff up. But I do record it as soon as I get home so that I don’t forget what was said.

Last weekend Greta and I drove to Northridge for a family dinner with my dad’s side of the family. It was loud and lively, but what part of either side of my family isn’t right? So on the way home, since it was just the two of us, she felt quite free to chat. And since we don’t have a very small family there’s a whole lot of branches to my family tree she is trying to figure out. And people I call grandma are different than who she calls grandma, and people I call my cousins are not her cousins. It’s all a lot for a 5 year old to take in. See for yourself...

Greta: Mama?

Me: Yes babe?

Greta: Since it’s going to take thirty five and four hundred and seventeen hours to get home (Northridge apparently is quite far to a 5 year old) let’s talk about the family.

Me: Okaaay.

Greta: So, the one with the girlfriend?

Me: Yes, that’s Andrew(my cousin).

Greta: Is that the one with the glasses?

Me: No, the one with the glasses is Connor(my cousin). Remember, Andrew’s girlfriend wasn’t there tonight because she was at a wedding.

Greta: Well, if it’s her wedding, shouldn’t her boyfriend be there too?

Me: No, it’s not HER wedding, she’s just attending the wedding as a guest.

Greta: Okay, so they have a sister.

Me: No, they don’t have a sister, their mom is blonde, Aunt Tracie.

Greta: The one who gave me my tea set.

Me: Yes.

Greta: So she’s their mom, and how is that make them my family?

Me: Remember, this is Papa’s side of the family. So she is Papa’s sister.

Greta: So, the one who had the party tonight, I forget her name.

Me: Auntie Kim.

Greta: Yes! So Auntie Kim, Aunt Tracie, and Papa are brothers and sisters.

Me: No. Auntie Kim is married to Uncle Terry, and Uncle Terry is Papa’s brother, and Aunt Tracie is Papa’s sister. (This is the part where I help her visualize with my hands because she is a visual learner, picture me on the 405 with my 2 fists in the air and then using my fingers as branches)

Greta: Oh, so they have three, just like you have three.

Me: Actually...(wondering if I should even broach broadening the concept of a larger family tree at this point), there’s 7.

Greta: SEVEN of them?!

Me: Yes, some people have big families. Remember, daddy is one of 6 siblings all together. And Papa is one of 7.

Greta: That’s the other blonde, Grandma Finette, who had SEVEN?

Me: Yes.

Greta: She want all those kids?

Me: Yes.

Greta: Hmmmm.

(about a minute goes by)

Greta: She need a walker?

Me: No.