Italian Families. This Is Not Really What I Meant By, “You Should Play With Your Niece.”

If I had to give any compliment to my husband it would be that he is insanely receptive to things I tell him. I’m not saying that he listens all the time, or always does what I want, but he does take what I say into consideration and he tries to implement the parts that make sense to him. It’s a good quality in a partner and something I really love about his character.

This week has been a long week at his parents house. Speaking a second language all day every day becomes exhausting and your brain, against your will, starts shutting down on you. I have started tuning people out and rocking a lot. It’s not an attractive state and my father-in-law keeps pointing to me and screaming in Italian, “your wife is HANDICAP Francesco, HANDICAP! LOOK AT HER!”

It goes without saying that we adore our nieces, but they could easily drive a Mormon girl to alcoholism. The youngest is one, and a feisty little screamer, the older one is six, adorable, and in a totally normal way attaches herself to F and I pretty much 24/7. I’m happy that she loves us and I love spending time with her,  but coupled with one week at the in-laws, it can be a little much because his parents don’t allow for much privacy either.  At one point I was trying to take aluminum foil from Oliver, our poodle, hold our youngest niece, while my older one followed me from room to room yelling, “aunt! AUNT! What is this?” While she dangled a packaged tampon in front of me that she had clearly taken from my purse. “I’ll tell you when you’re older,” I mumbled and screamed, “FRANCESCO! Please, spend some time with your niece! Stop watching T.V.”My husband and I don’t have a T.V. in our apartment in Florence so when he’s at his parents I can barely get him away from it. He slowly peeled himself from the couch that now had a print of his ass in it.

A few minutes later he came into the room to ask if I was hungry because his mom had made us some pasta. We sat down at the kitchen table a few moments later. “But she’s eating again?” I asked, gesturing to my niece who had already eaten lunch but was seated expectedly next to my husband. “No, you told me to play with her. So I’m playing with her.” Then my niece pulls out a baby bib, ties it around my husband’s neck, then begins feeding him his pasta and his wine. She even paused in between to wipe his face while my husband sat back in his chair smiling gayly while he chewed. He was clearly impressed with himself for finding a way to continue his vegetated state while simultaneously entertaining our niece and getting me to shut up.

Seriously, by “play with her,” I didn’t mean, “turn your six year old niece into a personal servant Francesco.”

“You said play with her, you didn’t way how I had to play with her.” He smiled and continued chewing.


3 thoughts on “Italian Families. This Is Not Really What I Meant By, “You Should Play With Your Niece.”

  1. Pingback: 13 Things That Marrying An Italian Man Has Taught Me About The World |

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