Since the kids were babies, we made a parenting decision to not babytalk them and now that they’re older, it seems to have really paid off. In execution terms, it means we don’t dumb down our language and we try to expose them to different words even though they may not fully understand what some of these words mean. While we’re at it, we also teach them some singlish, some cantonese, some hokkien and a few made up words (they know these to be talking words, not writing words, close enough).
That thing they say about kids’ brains being like sponges? It’s entirely true. They’re remarkably fast at picking up new words and I’m often surprised by their powers of inference. Sometimes we forget that we’ve ever used a word/phrase and it pops up from one of the kids (used to perfection) several weeks later and we’re like HOW IS IT THAT KNOW THIS? Kirsten’s favourite comeback to that question is “BECAUSE I HAVE A BRAIN!!”
Most importantly, it makes them great conversationalists, which is beneficial for me since I’m stuck talking to them all day.
Here’s a collection of fun stuff I heard from the kids lately.
Kirsten: Kor kor!! Did you draw this angry bird?
Kirsten: SIAL LAH!!! Very nice, man.
Tru: *whispers* Psst, mom, look over there, it’s Santa Claus.
Me: What?? Where??? It’s January and this is the wet market.
Tru: There… the one with the long beard. That’s a super awesome beard, right? You need to take a photo and put on your facebook.
Me: Hahahahahahahahahaha nice one. But I can’t just anyhowly take photos of people, if he catches me, he might yell at me ok.
Tru: You just be all boh chup then when he’s not looking, you quickly take a photo. Just send it to daddy and say I met Santa Claus.
*Photo or it didn’t happen…so here you go.
Tru: This boy from my class was crying during recess today, I think he got separation anxiety.
Me: Oh no, did you try to cheer him up?
Tru: Ya. I asked him if he wanted my packet milo but he just kept crying so I walked away.
Me: You just left him there and walked away??
Tru: It was very awkward so I went to eat my chicken rice. If not, later I don’t have enough time to eat my food.
Me: Maybe you can buy your food and sit with him tomorrow. I think if you be his friend, he might stop crying.
Tru: Yeah, ok, let me think about it.
Me: Hey Finn, would you like to help momma make coffee?
Finn: WHAT? AGAIN, COFFEE??!!
Me: Fair enough, this is my third cup but you don’t have to sound so judgey. This one’s decaf.
Finn: Ohhh, decaf.
Me: Do you even know what that means?
Me: Then you ohh for what?
Finn: What’s decaf, momma?
Me: Decaf means there’s very little caffeine, almost none. Mommy’s still breastfeeding so I can’t overdo the caffeine. It’s like a placebo.
Finn: SEEBOH HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
Me: How is that funn…ah nevermind, decaf means Finn can drink it.
Finn: *happy dance* YAY YAY YAYYY I CAN HAVE COFFEEEE!!!
PS. This is the only kid who enjoys drinking coffee. He’ll share a lotus cookie and a (decaf) latte with me in the afternoon and it’s turning out to my my new favourite time of the day.