Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Max tries to communicate with his foreign mother

This is an update to the post where I get all sad because Max says 'warder' not 'water'.
It was about ten minutes before the whole bath-bed routine kicked in when Max decided he wanted to fill a bucket with water using the hose. I was cradling Oli, our little sumo seven month old, who was hinting loudly, a pulsing thumb in his mouth, that it was time to wrap things up and give him the bottle.
'Please can I have some wadder, Mummy?'
Max is by the outdoor tap, bucket in hand. I am standing on the deck, staring blankly, thinking on what grounds I can deny Max water and get him up to bed. He did say 'please' after all. There are at least 3 seconds of silence, they surprise everyone. But they are broken loudly.
It's 6.30pm, my brain is a blur, I'm on auto-pilot. Bath, teeth, bed and somewhere in there, a bottle for Oli. Spontaneity is not an option tonight.
'Warder.' Max says. It's quieter than I expect, like he's testing his voice. Then I realise he's changed his pronunciation. He either thinks I don't understand or he wants to keep me sweet with my pronunciation.
'Warder!' It's louder this time. I'm keeping quiet.
'Can I have some wharder?' There's real emphasis on the crucial word, and it now has a hint of breathy Irish.
His look says 'Do I have to spell it out, lady?' There's another pause between us. I'm intrigued as to where this vocal somersault will end.
'I need some war-Ter Mummy.'
And in that single word he sounds so English, if he was ten years older I'd be convinced he was taking the piss.

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