A typical day with Matthew can be spent talking about the following:
I’ve mentioned before Matthew loves helping out with housework. In this instance, PoPo is engaging Matthew’s help with the beating of an egg.
PoPo in Mandarin: What are you doing, Matthew?
Matthew with a smile: Daad Daad (Matthew’s nickname) 打鸡蛋 (beating the egg)
Several fighter planes and helicopters fly past PoPo’s house daily. Whenever Matthew hears the distinct drone of the engines, he will demand to be carried and watch the planes or helicopters fly past. On such an occasion with YiYi, this was their conversation:
YiYi in Mandarin: What is that flying past, Matthew?
Matthew: Cokter (Helicopter, the Chinook to be precise)
Without pausing, Matthew: YiYi 买 (buy)
YiYi, nonplussed: Hah? (certain she had heard wrongly)
Matthew: PoPo 买
(Sorry Matthew, no way in this lifetime will any of the adults earn enough to buy the Chinook for you. If it’s even allowed in Singapore…)
Give Matthew a paper bag and he will try to wear it on the shoulders.
Mummy: Where are you going with the bag, Matthew?
Matthew: Go market
Mummy: What do you do at the market?
Matthew: 买菜 (buy vegetables)
(if this continues, Matthew may make a good house husband one day. Any takers, ladies out there?)
For some toddler reason, Matthew likes to throw things on the floor.
PoPo in Mandarin: Why did you throw that on the floor, Matthew? (or some other Why? question)
Matthew: Don’t know, don’t know
What happens when a toddler has his first taste of the confusing English Language? Not to mention the burgeoning stubbornness.
Mummy, pointing to a banana from the fruit basket: What is this, Matthew?
Mummy: No, Matthew, this is a Ba-NaNa
Matthew, giving Mummy a good stare: BaBa-Na
Mummy: Fine, then it’s a BaBa-NaNa, like you used to call it. It’s also like when you say PaPa-YaYa and CoCo-NutNut
These are the conversations I can remember thus far. More often than not, the adults are the ones left speechless, and not Matthew. I guess this is the golden and fun period to be with a toddler. Before Matthew discovers the magic of answering back or asking the dreaded Why? questions…