I was on the phone just now with my nephew, who is four, and he was getting his little sister, who is two, to say words for me to show how much he had taught her. He would say “Say ‘House'” and she would say “House!” and so on. But when he tried to get her to say “Furniture” she couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. “That’s a complex word,” I said “She can’t say it yet.” He agreed, but was proud he could say it. He went on, saying “Mama has furniture, and Nanny has furniture,” so I chimed in “I have furniture too, but mine isn’t as nice.” This is demonstrably true, given my history of financial woes combined with my lack of interest in acquiring anything that matches or whatever.
He has never seen my furniture in person, given that the only time he’s been in my apartment was when I was moving in and the furniture wasn’t even here. A large chunk of the kid’s life has been during pandemic, so he’s certainly not visited any time since.
But when I was self-deprecatingly putting down my furniture, he told me that “You do actually have nice furniture. I kind of love it.” It’s cute enough that he takes pride in teaching his sister, but it makes me extra happy that he cares enough about how other people feel to say something like that. It’s a sign he may not wind up a jerk.