My elder daughter has not had much interaction with adult males with the exception of my husband. You see, she was enrolled in daycare and all of the staff were female and since neither me nor my husband had family in Winnipeg, she didn’t have much opportunity to get to know many men. While we had close male friends in Winnipeg, they didn’t really see her all that much as we usually saw them during the workday (ie. when she was at daycare) or when she was asleep. Now that we’re spending 7 weeks in Toronto visiting with family, my daughter is getting well acquainted with my three brothers. Of my three brothers, two live here and one came in especially from New York to farewell us. On a fairly regular basis, my daughter is seeing one uncle or another. In hindsight, I realize that from her point of view every young(ish) male seems to be an uncle.
The other day, we were relaxing in the pool. The gardener came in the yard via the side gate. I’d never seen him before and neither had my daughter. Despite this, she excitedly turned towards him and exclaimed, “Uncle!” I mumbled, half to myself, “no sweetheart, not an uncle, just a man.” Her response? Her face crumbled and she immediately began to cry. I’m not sure who looked most upset by the exchange – me, my daughter or the poor gardener! Next time, I may use my parental prerogative and lie. Yes, sweetheart, it’s Uncle Gardener!