I didn’t expect my two year old son to be a babbling bubble of joy at this age. I had imagined that raising him bi-lingual would delay his speech development and thought that it would be another whole year until we got to hear his little voice express himself. To my delight he started with a few words here and there with a funny selective choice in language preference before he even turned two and shortly after his birthday he’s started putting together two and sometimes three words.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to his language of choice. He has a much larger vocabulary in Italian of course going to Italian day care and having Italian babysitters and grandparents around him. But I guess some words are just better in English. When he eats a gelato he puckers his face and exclaims “chilly!” or when he wakes up in the morning to find all his trucks lined up in the living room he runs over to them saying “cars!” And his favorite foods are uttered in English – strawberry, cheese, waffle, cookie, muffin, blueberry. Except for cake, many deserts fall under the category of “torta”.
The best toddler conversations come in the evening though. Cozied up in bed, he insists on giving me a kiss, saying “Mamma, mamma, bacio! bacio!” He leans over me and instead of a kiss he nips my nose with his teeth and he giggles while he covers his mouth exclaiming “bacio!” Who taught him that? Where did he get such a sense of humor? He continues to say he’s going to give me a kiss, but actually gives me little bites on my nose.
Or while trying to calm down in bed, he turns his beloved blue hand-knit blanket into a pizza. He says he’s a pizzaiolo and pats the blanket into a pizza which then becomes hot and so he blows on it to cool it down before he gives it to me telling me to eat but be careful because it’s hot. “Pizza… brucia, hot, hot! Soffia… attento… mangia mamma”
And my heart swelled when he started saying the word “strong”. Lying in bed we’re talking about being strong and he flexes his little toddler muscles and I ask him “Who is strong?” and he responds with ” Mamma strong, mamma strong”
These are the moments I treasure and hope to remember forever. Most of the days are filled with much more difficult conversations trying to reason with a very stubborn hot-headed two year old who insists on doing everything by himself and when he’s not able to bursts into a scream or tears. Although it can be tiring and exhausting having to deal with these episodes I also try to cherish them because there will come the day when he actually can do everything on his own and he won’t need anyone to help him and won’t need to be consoled and come running asking for a kiss on his owie.
This is just the beginning of many many conversations to come. I have been blown away at how he can make me laugh and how often I am surprised by watching his imagination go to work. I overflow with love and pride and can’t even fathom how this love will grow, expand, and take shape over the months and years to come as he continues to grow, continue to develop his personality and speak full sentences and surprise me.
I saw a quote the other day and definitely agree, it said Motherhood: Simultaneously wanting time to slow down and speed up.