The gift of language!

Yesterday we happened to be in the airport and while my husband was waiting for the lady we’d come to meet, I took our nearly two year old to the toilets to do a quick nappy change. She was singing and laughing away to herself as I changed her nappy and I was singing along too. There was no crying or shouting (from either of us), and she wasn’t either trying to kick me or help with the change by removing any poo herself. It was all going so well that I thought it would be worthwhile nipping to the toilet myself since I was there.

A toilet cubicle is fraught with hazards which are desperately attractive to small people. All waste toilet paper goes into a bin beside the toilet in Brazil so it’s always filled with really interesting items for anyone who is curious about the ways of the world! Even better if the bin is open and overflowing (which thankfully this one wasn’t). It’s all about the distraction technique in these situations so I wasn’t worried when she worked out how to unwind the toilet roll, although that escalated quickly. Keeping her talking sometimes helps too as she’s so busy thinking about what to say and how to say it that it keeps her mind off more destructive activities.

Except that in this case she chose to show off her new language skills by loudly proclaiming in perfect Portuguese “Mamãe fez cocô” (Mummy’s done a poo). I hadn’t. But the urge within me to explain to all the other bathroom users that I definitely hadn’t made me realise that this is just the beginning. How long will she be the one causing me grave embarrassment before the tables are turned?

She already knows that some people have babies in their tummies but as she thinks that she is one of them, I’m not convinced that she is able to work out which people might have babies in their tummies and which people might just have tummies. I think I’m going to have to learn some helpful responses and apologies as I can’t just cling on to the hope that’s she’s going to say it in the other language.

If you have any helpful tips or strategies, please share them. I think I’m going to need all the help I can get!

This post was originally published on the 30th of September 2019 and has been transferred from my previous blog (Brazil from the outside in hosted by Blogger) after some technical difficulties with the site.

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