Monday, January 02, 2006

Milo, the Père Noël and a week long affair with Noddy

The week preceding Christmas I have been sick and felt like I was running around with my head cut off...the excitement that precedes the festivities was mixed with anxiety and fatigue. Everything seemed strange...Milo has been particularly defensive with the occasional Santa Clauses met around town in shops or restaurants: he would look at them suspiciously and refused firmly any contact: "No! No'!"he would shout, looking at them straight in the eyes, as they approached to offer a candy or to shake his little hand. The Père Noël is definitely not this thing!

It has been indeed an unforgettable holiday season: Milo caught chicken pox 2 days before Christmas, his dad and I caught the most vicious flu virus in the whole of France, we had to cancel our trip to Italy and were stranded in deserted and icy cold Paris for the whole week. It was actually a very lovely, intimate Christmas, despite the coughing, the sneezing and poor Milo's red dots all over! We treated ourselves to many healthy naps, lovely home made meals and baking, we played with crayons and pongo, played the piano and we finally tackled all those films and books that were piling up here and there. Milo was simply happy to have Mum and Dad all for himself for an entire week, and his language skills literally exploded. We can really communicate with him now!

He has been fascinated with the kitchen, he loves to help us doing the dishes or mixing the ingredients! He imitates us randomly, opens and closes the fridge while mumbling: "Questo, questo...(This, this..)" ; he's becoming aware of temperatures, so if I'm cooking, he does not fail to proclaim: "Fuoco! Brucia! Attento!(Fire! It burns! Watch out!)" before I can even say so! He uses brucia also for the shower water, if too hot. On the contrary, if his food is not warm enough he says in French:"pas chaud."

Drinking water has finally three clear identities to him: a boir, remains his instinctual way to name it. Then he looks at dad and says water, and then he offers me a timid acva, for 'acqua.'

When out on the town he loves to greet people and to wave at the shop keepers or randomly. Until now he has been saying mainly "Ciao!", but this week I remarked that he had started saying things like "Budu! Budu!": it took me a while to get that it was his version of "Bonjour"!

He is taking the habit of repeating only the end of the longest words in Italian, which is actually very cute: he says "oppo" for sciroppo, "tale" for Buon Natale, "accio" for in braccio.

His oedipian phase is getting better, he still falls asleep rather late at night (between 9:30 and 10:30) but he sleeps trough the night most of the times. However, he's very sensitive if he sees his dad hugging me: then he runs over and pulls me away by the legs with such a rage...

One rule we broke for the occasion was the amount of TV watching allowed per day...we literally overdosed. Milo got hooked to Noddy, known in France as Oui-Oui (which, in French, is pronounced with the accent on the "i", while Milo calls him "úui-úui"...). Despite the fact that Milo had only two episodes in DVD, he watched them over and over for at least 14000 times; just hearing the jingle raises hair on my scalp...Toward the end of the week luckily the affair faded, and he shifted his interest to L'Ane Trotro, which is very hard to pronounce for him due to the "r"... so now, in the morning after his biberon, he runs enthusiastically to the TV screaming "Tlo-tlo, Tlo-tlo!" I have been trying to work on the Italian rolling "r" with him but until now he hasn't 'been very motivated, Tro Tro might be my ally (although I am ready to accept the possibility that Milo might end up like most Italian kids raised in French, with the French dominant "r"... ).

He has also grown fond of a new character, a little rabbit called Milo: we have the DVD in Italian and in French and he's really amused by the rabbit with his very same name. And I must confess, we like it too!


giovanni said...

You have had a lovely week indeed! Your family live comes very much alife through wonderful Milo. I like his habit of repeating the end of long words in Italian, just the reverse of what French youngsters tended to do, speaking about manif, bac, etc. But most of all I like his presence in the kitchen... which reminds me of my helping of my mother in the kitchen when I was 50 years younger. Does he say 'a boir' or 'a boire'? I wsh you all a very happy 2006. Saludos, Giovanni

Clo said...

Thanks Giovanni, and many wishes to you too! Right now I have the song of this Tro Tro donkey stuck in my head!!!I think it's "à boir" but I'll verify with my French sources! Something lese he does is reversing syllabs: we found out that "budu" is also "debout" for him...he does it in both Italian and French, less in Dutch.

Juliet said...

Milo sounds like a wonderful little boy! Isn't motherhood the best!

They show Noddy here on PBS. It's okay. *shrugs* But I do like the part where they teach you a word in another language at the end of each episode.

Alice in Austria said...

Oh my, I am so sorry to hear about the illnesses that you've all had, and thank God that you seem to be over it? And that aside from that you had nice holidays after all.

It's exciting to see how they develop verbally, isn't it?

About the TV-overdose. Sounds familiar. I keep telling myself that as long as my kids are not watching TV and advertisements but videos or VCRs it's not *THAT* bad. I think it's a problem when they get stuck behind the screen watching indiscriminately shows, and then they get brainwashed by advertisements. But since you know what he is watching and it seems to be a good show, I think it's ok. (Isabella is into Teletubbies (argh!), Winnie Pooh and Laura's Stern - this German cartoon which is rather nice. I also like Sesame street, she learned how to count in spanish only from watching that show! :)

Clo said...

Dalian, here Noddy aka Oui Oui teches an English word at the end of each episode ! ;o)

Alice, thanks for you empathy! I think as soon as the weather gets better, TV time will decrease exponentially. I love Sesame St too and can't wait for him to be old enought to enjoy Kermit the frog!