There are two of them, just two, but they are viewed in the plural.
She knows them apart: Cousin C has a driver’s license, and Cousin B has a trumpet. (Well, actually she doesn’t anymore, but Selam remembers it that way.) Still, they are rarely referred to singly. They are The Cousins.
The Cousins are tall and slender, with brown hair and lipstick. Cousins wear lipstick. Selam thinks that they will be handing it down to her someday.
The cousins will paint your nails for you just for the asking, and even do theirs to match.
“Match-match.” That’s what she used to say about things she had or did that were just like The Cousins. Now that she’s so grown up, she’s more likely to attribute items in common with cousin as adjective. She has cousin sweaters, a cousin bag. Things that have been handed down from cousins are either called “my cousin skirt” (or more accurately, “my cousin 90% of my wardrobe”) or by the younger cousin’s name. Selam understands the rules of handmedowns. Clothes that may have started in Cs closet before going to Bs and then hers are attributed to B. She wore them last.
The cousins are happy to engage in almost anything that she asks them to do. They played board games with her over Christmas, and even played dolls for a while. The feat that won them a gold medal in the cousin olympics was when they agreed to go to lunch with her at the American Girl Doll restaurant and–wait for it–brought their own dolls with them, sat them up on chairs and held doll conversations with Selam’s doll. Yeah, just try to match those mad cousin skills. (They did transport said dolls in duffle bags because there are some limits.)
Selam had to do a presentation at school about her family. After each child’s talk, they get a time for questions and comments.
“Did you get any questions and comments?”
“What did they ask?”
“If I wished I had sisters and brothers.”
“Oh. What did you say?”
“I don’t need sisters because I have cousins and that’s like sisters without having to share your mommy, so it’s extra good.”