i know what you mean!

Maika these days

Posted on: December 19, 2010

a friend like May
– may, con đừng sờ ngực mẹ, đau mẹ. (May, don’t touch my chest, it hurts)
– vuốt mẹ. (gently)
– đừng vuốt mẹ, đau mà. (not even gently, it still hurts)
– [muốn khóc] coi! coi. mẹ! ([on the verge of tears] watch! i watch it !)
– ừ thì nhìn thôi nha con, mẹ đau thiệt mà con yêu. (ok ok, just look at it, it really is hurting, my love)

May likes to rub me when she nurses before falling as sleep. I think people like Son would enjoy it, since he loves being rubbed. May likes being rubbed too, so naturally, to her, rubbing = affection. I, on the other hand, hate being rubbed. I tried to stand her rubbing only on days when she’s on a very foul mood or is really sick and could break if I don’t let her (which is to say, very rarely). Otherwise, I try to dissuade her. Due to her cold the last 2 days, the nurse-a-thon made me extra sore, so when she was at it again tonight, I had to quickly put an end to the rubbing (she just rubbed around the boobs and up to my neck, but still…). That’s why she viewed it as being rejected hee hee. The reason why she said “watch” is because when I tell her not to touch something, I offer her the consolation prize = she could still watch it, just don’t touch. Hee hee.

another surreal conversation at bedtime tonight:
– night night mẹ (99 mom)
– night night con (99 babe)
– …
– …
– hi mẹ (hi mom)
– hi con (hi babe)
– “hi con” (hi babe)
– à, con phải nói là “hi mẹ,” chỉ có mẹ hoặc người lớn khác nói với con là “hi con” được thôi. (eh, you should say “hi mom,” only mommy or other adults can say “hi babe” to you)
– tại sao ? (why?)
– à, tại vì đó là cách người lớn như ba mẹ hoặc ông bà gọi May nè; nếu con muốn gọi ai khác là con thì con có thể chơi giả bộ với gấu rồi con nói “hi con” với gấu. Tại vì gấu nhỏ nhỏ hơn con nè. Chứ với người lớn hơn con thì không nói họ là “con” được. Với mẹ thì con nói “hi mẹ,” còn mẹ thì có thể nói “hi con” hoặc “hi May” với con- con hiểu không? (well, because that’s how adults like mom and dad or grandpa and grandma address you; if you want to call anyone babe, you can play pretend with your bear and say “hi babe” to it. It’s because your bear is smaller than you. With people who are bigger than you, you can’t call them “babe.” With me, you say “hi mom,” as for me, I can say “hi babe” or “hi May” to you – do you understand?
– hiểu ([i] understand)

ha ha. Cứ như thật.

In Vietnamese there are many personal pronouns that you use depending on who you are talking to. “Con” is the personal pronoun used by a child talking to parents in standard Vietnamese, but can also be used when talking to grand parents / aunts / uncles / teachers / and other figures who are like parents / grand parents /aunts / uncles such as people who are friend of said family figures. When talking to May, I use the personal pronoun “mẹ” to indicate that to her, I’m the mom. It’s a pretty interesting feature of Vietnamese, so that a lot of time, the relationship between 2 people can immediately be identified once they address each other. (easiest example, if you see a young woman and an older man using personal pronouns that indicate husband/wife connection, you understand that they are not father and daughter).

Anyway, May has picked up on this central feature of her primary language, and has been using is deliberately this week. She uses “con” very often with me and also with Son, and uses “May” to indicate herself with everyone else. I thought with my continuous lengthy explanation, I would lose her after a line or two, but I was surprised to see her paying close attention to me to the very end, not missing a beat with her reply. I shouldn’t have been, because May is very interested in verbal communication – I could keep her in another room doing her own thing as long as I talk to her and help her with her responds to me. I could talk her out of crying using words. I could help her understand the abstract concept of “waiting” by asking her to verbally chant that word (I used to chant for her first) – I found out that not all toddlers would chant the word “wait” and actually wait lol.

Anyhow. I’m not sure May understood the entire lengthy explanation, but I think she got the gist of it. My guess would be, starting tomorrow, she will not test the personal pronoun “con” on me anymore. She might start using it on her bear give or take a few days. She’s still talking like Maika, with that robotic pause after every words, especially in longer sentences. She’s pretty good with 2 words, but she slows the pace after the 3rd word. She got her “dạ không” down for sure. That’s the polite form of “no” – not exactly “no thanks” since she’s really not thanking, but it’s politely but firmly negative. She also got her polite “yes” down. she’s saying a good mix of yes’s and no’s these days. I’m guessing May is not saying “no” more often because actually listens to what’s being said and then tries to respond appropriately as a way to express her sense of self, rather than indiscriminately saying “no” to everything as a form of self assertion. It’s not rare, I have seen other toddlers like her.

I should disclose that May’s verbal progress is and will continue to get the spotlight on this blog due to her mom’s personal preference. I’m tracking her language development in so much details because, SURPRISE! I’m very interested in language acquisition and development – Hey, Helen told me that one of her grad students logged language acquisition and development of her (grad student’s) own toddler for 2 years and turned that into part of her thesis, now there’s the thought!

a few more of cute ones from Maika today: I was in the kitchen making dinner when I heard her in the living room:
“arghhhhhhh….arghhhhh… arghhhhhhhhh”
then I she said:
“May. gắn. không. được. Mẹ. giúp” (May can’t buckle. Mommy help)

Ha ha, that was the first time I hear her using the negative + verb. Pretty awesome. She was trying to buckle the Britax carseat.

In the car tonight:
“bà nội bật nhạc” (grandma turn on the music)
“em bé quê” (she said title of a song)
Son’s mom turned on the radio, but didn’t have the specific song May request.
“đổi nhạc. Em bé quê. đổi ” (change music em bé quê, change)
ha ha

and the last one tonight:
she shrieked abd clambered onto the coffee table after I chased her on all 4. I also stopped and sat down near her.
“Mẹ bò! Mẹ bò ! Mẹ xuống đất bò” (mommy crawl, mommy crawl down on the floor)


1 Response to "Maika these days"

thấy em bòn dạy con mà mình thấy mê…

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