Most of you have probably heard that my brother and his wife just had a baby.
Landon Wallace Cunningham rolled into town on July 1st and was warmly welcomed by his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends. Pretty much everyone even remotely connected to our family was thrilled to welcome this new little life to our world.
Everyone but Zeke, that is.
When we told Zeke that Uncle Billy had a baby and that the baby was his cousin, he asked what cousins were, and we made the mistake of explaining that being cousins meant (among other things) that they had the same grandma.
“Same Grandma?!” exclaimed Zeke with disbelief. “Grandma is my grandma. He does not get to have her.”
“Well she'll still be your grandma, but she'll be his grandma too.”
“I don't like Landon.”
And that was that...for the time being anyway. We decided to drop the subject since we had clearly bungled it to that point.
Today however, I am pleased to report that long-term prospects for the Zeke/Landon relationship are looking up. Zeke and I were in the car yesterday riding home from preschool and talking about who he was going to invite to his birthday party (because as far as Zeke is concerned, any time is a good time to talk about his birthday and how we might celebrate it...no matter that it isn't until September).
“Who are you going to invite Zeke?” (Talking about his guest list is his second favorite party planning topic, trumped only by speculation about how delicious the cake is going to be.)
“Owie (his best friend Owen), Ryan, Jacob, Katie, Carter, Duffy, Lucas, Matthew, and Blake.”
“Anybody else? (I was worried, because at least half the kids on that list live in the Bay Area and it's a safe bet that their parents are not going to subject their children to a six-hour drive just to attend a birthday party.)
“What about the nice little girls from your class?”
“Are you sure there isn't anyone else you'd like to invite?”
“Well, cousin Landon can come...”
“He can?!” (I was thrilled. I didn't think he even remembered Landon's name since we'd spoken about him exactly once.) “That's very nice Zeke.”
“He can come, but Uncle Billy needs to keep him in a basket under the table.”
“Under the table? Why?”
“So he can't get the cake.”
“But he's a baby—he can't walk. He won't be able to get anywhere near the cake.”
“Well, we'd better put him there anyway—just to be safe.”
Sigh. It's not perfect, but I'll take it. A contingency-laden birthday invitation from a jealous little 3-year-old boy to his newborn cousin is better than no invitation at all. That said, I will not at all be surprised if Landon surfaces in Zeke's nightmares as the newest cake-thieving antagonist.