Yesterday was the niece's family birthday party. We went, fully expecting things to be terrible. They were surprisingly mellow, with no major drama generated. That doesn't mean I don't have stories for y'all:

They told OSiL they were coming at 1:30. They actually arrived at 3:15. They didn't call or text to say they would be late, nor did they give any explanation as to why they were late.

ASiL told our MiL that they (finally) bought the 3 year old niece a book on toilet training. My MiL said "Oh, are you keeping it in the bathroom for her to look at while you are toilet training her?"

ASiL: "Oh, no. We don't believe in forcing a child. We are giving her the book so she can look at it, and learn how to use the potty from it. Then, when she is ready, she can just ask us to use the potty."

Funny thing is, nearly a year ago, a mutual friend who is an Early Childhood Educator babysat niece and had her asking to use the potty after 1 day. I don't think niece really understands that she can ask to use the potty in her own home.

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So anyways, they brought their stack of board games to the party, but never mentioned playing them to anyone. They also brought games for the niece, but none of them were age appropriate. They did pull out a Frozen board game for her to play with her 10 year old cousin at one point, but since number recognition, counting, 1 to 1 correspondence and turn taking are all concepts she hasn't learned yet, that was a bust. They also brought a memory game, but it was meant for older children and had *way* too many cards for the niece to be successful.

At one point when we were all sitting around, niece started calling OSiL "Babcia" (Grandma) by mistake. ASiL, who was sitting next to our MiL, blurted out "That's not Babcia, that's Chocha OSiL. If she was Babcia she'd be *really* *old*. "

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After hanging around at OSiL's all afternoon, it was decided that we would go out to a favourite pub. While we were there, Niece announced "I need to pee." This has nothing to do with the book they gave her recently, because she has done this before at restaurants. For her this means "I am bored now, and I want to go play with the water in the sink when I wash my hands after you put me on the toilet and nothing happens." I think she says "I need to pee" because she has heard people saying that before they leave the table.

Anyways, ASiL took her to the washroom, and a little while later came back, and announced that niece had a really wet diaper, but since they left the diaper bag out in the car, she had just put the wet diaper back on her. ASiL then sat down and resumed eating, with neither parent making any moves to go get a fresh diaper for their child.

ABiL talked a bit about his newest job, which is initial screening at a local Emergency room. He apparently sits at a desk and runs through a checklist with people who walk in. He doesn't even take vitals. Apparently they took him off screening the other day and had him moving patients around the Emerg. He took this as a great thing since he was "giving direct patient care", but OSiL thinks it is a bad sign that they assigned an RPN to to essentially what was porter duty. He's very black and white in his thinking and he likes his Emergency Room job, mostly I think because he views it as more prestigious than his other part time job, which is caring for patients waiting for long term care beds at another hospital, so he interprets anything that happens at that job as a good thing. Time will tell if the bloom stays on the rose.