My kids sometimes have a hard time keeping their relatives straight. Who can blame them? I mean, I grew up with essentially the same number of first cousins as I had siblings but my children have ten times the number of first cousins as they do siblings. That's quite a number! They seem to do pretty well with their own generation, but with older relatives, like aunts and uncles, their grasp on identity becomes a little sketchy.
Last week, Kenna and I trekked north of the Mason-Dixon line to have a cousin play date. I had called my sister-in-law and invited ourselves to her home. She was most gracious in allowing us to come (and in letting me hold her babies while I was there). My brother works about 2 minutes from his house (Dreamy. I know, right?) so he comes home from work for lunch everyday.
While he was there, I noticed Mackenna doing the, "Hey...you!" thing you do when you can't remember someone's name. I said to Adam, "Do you like how she's calling you, 'you,' because she can't remember which uncle you are? Watch this!"
"Hey, Kenna," I said, "Who is this? What's his name?"
"Kenna. He's Uuuunnnnccccllllleee....."
Wheels turning in the brain. You could see it in her eyes.
"Uncle Daryl!" she proudly pronounced.
I couldn't help but laugh. If you lined up all twelve of her uncles on this earth she picked the one you'd pretty much never mistake for my brother Adam. Have a look for yourself:
This is my brother Adam and me at our New Year's Eve Karaoke Extravaganza last year. Please note his height, eye color and, well, skin tone.
To the right here, you'll see my eyes (nice crop job, I know) and my brother-in-law, Daryl. Again, please note his height, eye color and, well, skin tone.
Clearly, we need to make some sort of flashcard game to reinforce the uncles and their proper names. I mean, these are two of her uncles Kenna actually sees at least monthly! Imagine how clueless she is about the ones who live in Colorado, Utah and Nevada.