Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Interpreter

I also wrote this post on my hiatus.

Naveen speaks really well for his age if you ask me. I remember wondering if Deaglan would ever talk. He said almost nothing until he was two and a half. I can only assume having an older sibling helps language develop quicker.

He speaks mostly in clear sentences. Even the Daycare staff are stunned by his ability to communicate, constantly regaling me with delightful little things he’s said, prefacing each story with how ahead of other two year olds he is. It has occurred to me that they could be overcompensating with praise because he’s the only kid who still clings to me at drop off as if after my departure they shackle him to a wall and beat him mercilessly with an Australian bullwhip. It’s occurred to me that they want to show me how okay he is throughout the day and that he does indeed like being cared for by them.

Despite his obvious genius in the verbal arena, there are still many times where he might as well be speaking Gujarati because we don’t have a bloody clue what he is muttering. This is saying a lot from me since I am the resident expert in interpreting baby talk. Like a few weeks ago when I handed the phone to him as he was on the verge of having a small cow because I was speaking on the phone and well, the phone is his most desperately favourite thing especially when he sees one of us using it.

Anyway, I hear my mother-in-law on the other end saying things like “Oh is that right? That sounds wonderful sweetheart!” I hated to do it but I had to break it to her that he was recounting how he’d just finished smacking Deaglan in the face and was also pinching Mommy for not handing the phone over quickly enough. We had a good laugh and she complimented me on my amazing interpretive skills.

What can I say? I'm gifted.

Deaglan however does not possess this skill. He thinks he does but much to my irritation it’s just not true. Annoying though, he busies himself interpreting for his younger brother all the time. Like tonight at dinner when Naveen refused to eat his chicken nuggets and instead pounded on the fridge crying “Mama get me gagou, I want gagou!”

“Take out your choo-choo (soother) and tell me what you want, I don’t know what you’re saying,” I begged wearily.

“He says he wants Mogute,” pipes in the Interpreter. “Mommy don’t you understand, he wants Mogute.

Gee thanks for clarifying, why didn`t I think of that? 

I eventually opened the fridge and asked Naveen to point to what he wanted. Turns out he was asking for yogurt.

But other times Deaglan’s interpretive skills aren't so benign. Like when I tell him he must eat all of his dinner in order to get dessert (you swear you’ll never do it but faced with a picky eater you get desperate) his four year old self extends this courtesy to an invariant two year old who once set on something – well I`m sure you get the picture – you endure a tantrum or give in. It goes something like this:

Naveen without touching a thing on his plate: Mama I want [gobbledy guk].

Me: Honey I don’t know what you’re saying, tell me again what you're saying.

Deaglan: He says he wants ice cream.


And just like that his enunciation is dead on.

Some more pictures of us at Shannon and Jeff's cottage. It's hard to have a relaxed dinner with a three week old, two two year olds and a four year old. I think we were able to sit for about three minutes before each of us was getting up to tend to the kids' needs.


  1. T Rex is my interpreter. He does a pretty good job when I cannot understand what his sister is doing. It really is amazing how the 2nd child is so used to hearing the older child speak that they catch on sooner. However, my 2nd is not as eloquent in speech as her brother probably because he still talks like a kid.

    I've missed you and glad you just did not have internet and no one was ill.

    Is it possibly to have relaxed dinner with small children? If you've mastered that, that merits a blog posting in and of itself!

  2. Do you do any freelance interpretations because I have no idea what my kid is saying to me about 99% of the time.

  3. It's frustrating when you can't understand them and they're so adament.

    We require our boys to eat their dinner well or no dessert. It's a house rule. I'm mean that way.

  4. Haha!! I know this feeling...the interpreter, the not sitting down for dinner...I think I mostly stand up to eat now ;)
    P.S. You are looking great, Kim!!

  5. Kim-that is one big honkin' bottle of wine in front of you...just sayin'


    Seriously, I love-and I mean love hearing about life with your adorable boys! And if you'll pour me a glass, I'll stick around for more:)

    Hugs, sweet girl!!

  6. I'm pretty sure it is generally the opposite, with kids learning language quicker when they are the only child in the household. But there are plenty of exceptions, of course.

    I asked the little boy next door what his younger brother was saying to me once, and he shook his head and said, "I can't understand him, either."

  7. Deaglan is pretty clever for interpreting his brother's gobbledy guk into requests for dessert. love it! I am always interpreting my 3 yr old's sentences for my husband because she talks so fast like me. I wonder if I can use it to my advantage, like "she said buy mommy a diamond tennis bracelet!"

  8. I remember those interpreter days. My second son, James would sound like he was speaking another language at times up until he was 5. I would forget that his words sounded strange to others. I was so used to "getting" his little lingo. Love that last picture. Hope you are well my friend :)

  9. Oh, interpretations can be so fun!! Love the last photo of your beautiful family, especially the velcro baby!


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