Monday, January 25, 2010
My new Dutch tutor!
"Brrr...mijn pijama is koud! Waarom heb je het niet op de radiator gelegd, mama?"
It was one of those shivering moments, when you realize something eventful is taking place but you are not quite sure what exactly, nor why! I kept my cool, I looked behind my shoulder to check if, by any chance, he was addressing anyone else, but no: it was just me and him in the room! I had somewhat understood what he had said: the pajama was cold, why didn't I put it on the radiator, as I usually do in the winter months?
Bemused, I quickly tried to come up with an answer in Dutch, but simply did not have the words.
So I replied in Italian:
"Non lo so, tesoro, me ne sono dimenticata..." (I don't know, I forgot about it - I know, pretty damn dull!)
Milo insisted: "Volgende keer, vergeet het niet, alsjeblieft!" (next time don't forget, please!)
The little dude was obviosly in provocaton mode: the honey-combed voice confirmed my suspicions!
I took a deep breath and tried my very best guttural sounds:
"Waarom spreche Nederlands met mama, kleine sloeber?!" (Why are you speaking Dutch to me, little rascal?)
"Ik weet het niet...dat is zo!" (I don't know..I feel like it)
"Si, ma se poi io non ti capisco?! Come la mettiamo?!" (What if I don't understand you?)
"Ik zal het je leren!" (Don't worry: I will teach you!)
And right there I felt my heart sqeezing with joy, pride, surprise, it was an unbelieveble milestone of (multilingual) parenting that I will never forget! I should have just hugged Milo right there and savor the moment, I should have known better that silence is gold, sometimes...
...instead, I had to add:
"Vuoi davvero che impari l'Olandese, eh?" (You really want me to learn Dutch, don't you?)
To which he replied , angel-like, still in Dutch:
"Papa heeft Italiaans geleerd!" (Papa has learnt Italian!)
That's when I made a mental note to never, ever forget to warm up his pajama again!