Question of the day.

How big is your family, immediate and extended? Is one parent’s side of the family bigger than the other?

My answer:

I guess my family is pretty big, even my immediate family, for today’s standards. Apparently, families with just 3 children or more are officially recognised as “big” in Poland, and we have something called Big Family Card, which entitles members of big families to discounts on public transport or cultural institutions tickets and such. There is my Dad, Mum, me, my brother Olek and my sis Zofijka, and our cat Misha and dog Jocky, but they must cope somehow without Big Family Cards as they don’t travel at all so I guess that’s why they didn’t get them. As for my extended family, well my Dad has four siblings, and my Mum has three, and only one of my uncles on Dad’s side doesn’t have children, all the rest of their siblings do, so in total, on both my parents’ sides, only their siblings’ children/grandchildren, I have… let’s do some counting, it might take a while……… 23 cousins, if I’m thinking right, 27 if you count their spouses since they’re colloquially called cousins too. I think though that my Dad’s family is bigger overall, as his parents have both had many siblings, my gran had like 10 I guess. Or maybe I just have that impression that there is so many of my Dad’s relatives because I don’t know them quite as well as my Mum’s family. I lived with my Mum’s family for most of my life so naturally I’ve seen lots of her aunts and uncles and cousins and all visiting, if not us, then my grandparents, at least so that I know who’s who in theory, but if I’d meet my Dad’s cousin on the street, I don’t think I’d even recognise them, let alone know what their name is or what exactly is the familial relationship between us or what they do for living. My Dad knows all of them though and where they live and what they do, and all the complex affinities. They tend to have kinda unobvious nicknames that they go by, which adds to the confusion, I mean usually Polish nicknames from names are very obvious, but in my Dad’s extended family’s case, their real full names are often quite different from what they’re called, they have a talent for making up very harshly sounding diminutives and spoiling names that are quite pretty in their original full forms. 😀 I guess in a way this must be a Kashubian thing, as my Dad is Kashubian. Somehow though, I have an impression that while my Dad’s side is bigger, it consists largely of middle-aged to elderly people, unlike my Mum’s side where there are weddings and births happening relatively frequently all the time and there are children of all ages. But still, despite being smaller, my Mum’s family is big, quite interesting and spread all over the country, and a little bit abroad.

How about your family? 🙂


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Question of the day.

Here’s another childhood/family related question I have for you.

Were you closer to one of your parents than another? Has it changed in your adulthood?

My answer:

It was differently at different times. I had a long time as a kid when I was closer to my Dad. He was, and still is, though not to such a degree as in the past, getting along with me the best of all of his children, which, as I later learned, was largely due to the fact that I was blind. I hated it so now I’m no more as close to him personally because I find it a weird reason to favour one of your children more than the rest because she’s blind and not at home most of the time. 😀 But before I found out that little piece of info, and especially when I was a little child, we used to spend a lot of time together, he even played with me, went to the beach just with me, we had quite a lot of things to talk about and were almost on the same wavelength. My Mum was more neurotic at that time, and while I definitely loved her, I wasn’t as much into being around her as she was easily irritated and not as fun to talk to. Then things somehow changed, and that thing I learned did influence it too, and our relationship with Dad became somewhat distant and still is a bit. But I think even without that thing about my blindness, it’s really hard to interact with my Dad, he is a good person, but has a really difficult character, gets incredibly suspicious easily and is very hypersensitive and now it’s him who is way more irritable than Mum, you just have to tiptoe around him, never criticise and always do what he wants if you want things to stay calm, so sometimes it’s better to not interact at all for a while. My relationship with my Mum has deepened a lot since my adolescence but especially in the last 5 years since I got out of the boarding school and we’ve both opened up a lot to each other and, well, are just spending more time with each other now when it is possible. We are in a lot of ways like friends, or in any case best listeners for each other haha, even if we don’t really understand each other in all things. And we always have stuff to talk about. I don’t know if something with me has been going on or if my Dad’s bad traits and annoying habits have worsened over the last year or so but recently our relationship has been really suffering, at least from my point of view. I feel really annoyed by him most of the time, he just pisses me off, so I prefer to avoid him sometimes in order not to let my irritation show too much. I frequently catch myself feeling relief when he’s going to work for a few days, or looking forward to him leaving for longer, and then I feel like a monster for feeling so, because it doesn’t seem to have any particularly strong reason other than he gets on my nerves, sometimes just with his presence.

How about you and your parents? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi guys. 🙂

My question of the day for you is again about your childhood. 🙂

If you were raised by both your parents or more than one guardian, did one of your parents seem more lax and the other more strict?

My answer:

In a way, yes. As I wrote in my answer to yesterday’s question, my Dad likes to make an impression of someone very strict and tough, so you could say he was more strict, or at least much less flexible than Mum. But I think it very much depended on a situation. In some situations my Mum would be much more lax than Dad, while in others Dad would be perhaps not lax as such but he wouldn’t be as involved and wouldn’t care that much what we were doing as Mum would.

How was it in your family? 🙂

Question of the day.

I have some questions for you on the topic of childhood now. Here’s the one I picked for today. 🙂

Were your parents/guardians flexible or strict?

My answer:

My parents were definitely flexible! My Dad likes to think about himself as a very strict parent, but he is only very strict with Olek, with whom he doesn’t have the best relationship so that strictness seems to come more from the place of anger and the need to control than care. As weird as it feels to admit sometimes, for me, and I think for Zofijka too, he doesn’t really have much authority. He likes to tell all of us what we have to do in his view but we never care, sometimes we’ll do it for the peace of mind. My Mum is much more of a role model and an authoritative person for me, even though she was a big softy in raising all of us and with a bit of a tendence to be overprotective. Still, she has her rules, and they were always clear to us, and sometimes she can be pretty strict, but not over the top, just for the sake of being strict and tough, but rather for the sake of being possibly fair. She’s always been most flexible with me, using the excuse that I am the most disciplined of all of us, although I don’t think of myself as a very disciplined person and I am not even sure I would like to be one, it certainly makes life easier but also awfully boring, so I think what saves me is that I have some common sense after her, rather than am somehow very disciplined or dutiful or something like that.

What was/has been your experience? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you like your parents’ inspiration for choosing your name, or do you think they should have gone a different way?

My answer:

I definitely don’t like it. My Mum made a promise to herself as a young girl that she will call her daughter after her best friend (whose name she really liked at the time). At the same time it was the name of my Mum’s youngest sister. So she did, even though that friendship soon ended and Mum doesn’t even like that name as much anymore. I really love my middle, even though it is so overwhelmingly popular, but I don’t like that they just did it as everyone else in our region and my middle name is my Mum’s first name – Anna. – It is also Zofijka’s middle name, I think it would have been more cool if we had different middles. My Dad wanted Anna to be my first name. I really love Anna, but it is really so very typical and popular in Poland, plus it is as I said my Mum’s name, so I don’t like the idea. And I don’t like the nickname Ania, which Poles use ALL the time, even though Anna is already short and sweet. Ania is so bland and boring. I’d rather be just Anna with no nicks, had it been my name, but that wouldn’t work out with people. So, as popular as it is, I’m glad my first name is not Anna.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi hi guys! 🙂

Today I have the following question for you:

Who taught you to go grocery shopping?

My answer:

I don’t think anyone taught me to do that specifically, like “Come on, I’ll teach you how to do grocery shopping”. I often assisted either of my parents when they were doing the grocery shopping when I was a small child, and actually throughout my childhood and adolescence when I was home for longer. I believe we must have had some learning to grocery shop at the boarding school, or maybe I had that at any of the independent living skills classes when I was little, but I can’t remember anything like that at the moment. Then when I got my debit card and all that my Mum taught me how to use it and showed me in more detail how to do shopping at a grocery store. On a daily basis, I hardly ever need any special grocery items just for myself, and it’s usually my Dad or Mum who does groceries for all of us including Olek and me, but if I do need something extra, I either tell them or get it online. When I’m in need of larger shopping, I do it normally online too, or if there is an opportunity or I’d rather get something physically and see in what condition it is or need something from a local shop we do it together with Mum. But while I’m pretty confident with it at the moment when she’s assisting me, I wouldn’t be able to do it by myself.

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi guys. 🙂

Here’s my question for you today.

Do you silently judge someone if they had a kid very young (teenager) or very old (mid to late 40’s)?

My answer:

I usually don’t think much about these things because I am not a parent myself, although it does happen that I easily judge very young parents, because I just think it’s a pity to become a parent as early as in your teens, there is still going to be plenty of time for that, and teenagers aren’t usually mature enough for that, it’s a huge responsibility, while teenage years should ideally be a time of only preparing for such responsibilities, in my opinion, and not jumping into deep waters straight away. I also think it’s so often a result of thoughtlessness and lack of knowledge in sexual matters so that’s sad. And other than that being a Christian, from the religious point of view I think it’s wrong. Although I try not to let my first judgments influence my relation to people, because everyone’s situation is obviously very different, sexual assaults and such happen and it would be cruel to judge someone without knowing the background, and also even if such a teenage pregnancy is a result of some wrong decisions, no one of us is perfect and one wrong thing they did doesn’t define them as people, that would be crazy, and they may still be awesome and loving parents anyway. With older parents, well I might be just very surprised hearing about people having a child so late, I honestly don’t know many such people in person, can only think of one couple for whom it was very difficult because they already had many children and that late one was very unexpected, and they were struggling financially very much. I also might be a bit worried as such pregnancies are often more complicated and risky, but I don’t see anything else wrong with it, if you feel OK with it yourself and feel happy to be a late parent then why not, I think it also must have its upsides, despite many people seem to think otherwise.

How about you? 🙂