Happy Birthday AA

by Clarissa

It seems almost impossible, but this little baby is my niece AA and today is celebrating her 9th birthday.

AA (as she liked to call herself) is now in 3rd grade and has even a boyfriend T. I adore this girl, and Doc and I are so proud of being her uncle and aunt (as we are of our other nephews P. and T.). However, AA is the only niece we have, and in these 9 years, Doc and I have been laughing at remembering episodes about AA like these:

In May 2005, AA is 2 years and a half. On a Saturday, we are about to go out and AA is all well dressed with capri pants, a colorful Tshirt, sandals and sunglasses that give her a lovely look. Keen to teach my niece some English words, I look at her and say “AA, you’re so COOL.” Now, for non Italian, COOL sounds like the word “CULO” that means A$$, not a word you want to teach to a toddler… Obviously, she thought I told her “You’re an A$$” and she promptly looked at me and reply “No, you A$$.” My jaw dropped, and it took me a few seconds to recover and explain her the real meaning of COOL.

A few months later, I go home with K. my assistant who does not speak a word of Italian. K. loves children and spends time playing with AA but surely does not understand what AA says or wants her to do. At a certain point AA looks at me and asks “If I speak out loud, will she understand me?”

During the same trip to Italy, I am about to go out with AA and K. Because K. is American, she has different taste in dressing and does not really know that wearing a coat and flip flops to go around Turin in October is a little “unusual.” Nonetheless, she is ready to go out like that. My sister is trying to convince AA to get dressed.
“Go and get your shoes because we need to leave” tells her, but AA doesn’t comply.
“Come on AA, go and put your shoes on” she keeps telling her. Still AA is not convinced.
“GET YOUR SHOOOOEEEES!!! You can’t go out with slippers” bursts my sister with little patient left in her voice.
AA without being intimidated looked at her mom, points her finger to K’s flip flops, and comments “And why is she wearing those?”

About a year ago, AA is doing her math homeworks
“WHHHHAT? 5-5=5????” comments in disbelieve  her grandma looking at the math book “but if you have 5 tomatoes and you eat 5 tomatoes, how many tomatoes do you have?”
AA without hesitation replies “5, in my belly.”
At the young age of 7, AA has discovered the Law of Conservation of Mass

AA is having a conversation with one of her classmates who is a little pain in the butt and tries to get AA jealous of her.
“You know” she tells AA “At my house, I have a doll room where my mom and dad put all the dolls they buy for me. And you, do you have a doll room in your house?”
Promptly AA replies “No, I don’t have a doll room in my house; however, I have a whole bedroom in California”