I’ve never been a mom who used ‘baby talk’ with Emma. I’m not saying it’s right but I just figured it would almost be like her having to learn two languages. So I’ve spoken to Emma like I normally do, barring the vulgarities that occasionally (okay, often) spill out of my mouth.
Noticing that Emma picks up words quickly I’m always on a quest to improve her vocab. She can count to ten in Spanish thanks to Dora the Explorer. She can say a few words in Chinese because of Ni Hao Kai Lan. She can sing songs in Sotho and she already knows the South African national anthem.
So if we’re in the car and she shouts (yes, shouts) “CLOUDS!” I then say things like “Yes, they’re beautiful clouds. They’re soft and fluffy. Just like candy floss” or if she shouts “FLOWER!” I ask “What colour is the flower? Isn’t it beautiful? It’s got a gorgeous smell. Ooooh, look at the petals. Bees use flowers to make honey” and so on. I’m sure I drive Emma insane most of the time and there’s a very good chance that I’m talking to myself, but I persevere.
On Saturday, on our way to Serendipity, we were driving towards Monte Casino and Emma always notices the big balloon. So when she screamed “BIG BALLOON!” I said “Yes, it’s very very big. Another word for very big is ‘enormous’ Emma.”
So today, when Betty, our ‘big-boned’ helper on Thursdays, arrived Emma said “Betty’s here. Betty’s cute!” “Ah is she cute?” I ask “Yes she’s cute…and beautiful.” “Yes she is beautiful” I agree. “Betty’s big” says Emma. “No” I say “Betty’s not big.” “No” says Emma “She’s not big…she’s ENORMOUS!”