Being a full-time working mother, one of the few joys at work is to receive a telephone call from Matthew. All thanks to PoPo, who helps to choreograph this every time.
When Matthew started “calling” me at the beginning of last year, all I could hear was my own voice carrying out a monologue, and probably sounding crazed to my colleague.
Now, with Matthew at 20 months old, I probably still sound insane to my colleague, but what reverberates from the other side of the receiver is no longer silence.
Disclaimer: Matthew is not, and will not be brought up to be a purist in language. His vocabulary comes from a variety of languages, mainly English and Mandarin, but also includes Cantonese, Hokkien, and miscellaneous sounds.
Yesterday’s conversation. PoPo spoke first before passing the receiver to Matthew.
Me: Hello Matthew, it’s Mummy.
Matt: BaBa? (at this point, PoPo’s voice could be heard correcting him) Har-o MaMa.
Me: Have you been a good boy today?
Matt: Good boy. BaBa where?
Me: BaBa at work. You miss BaBa, yes?
PoPo’s voice could be heard yet again, giving instructions.
Matt: 我, 有, 画, 画 (I did drawing)
Me: Oh? 你有 画 画? (You did a drawing?) Fun?
Me: 在 school 画, 还是在家 画? (You did the drawing in school, or at home?)
Matt: 在家 画 (did the drawing at home)
Me, with widened eyes and nearly speechless: Wow! Continue to be a good boy, and listen to PoPo ok? You must also listen to YiYi, GongGong…
PoPo: Hello girl, what did you say to Matthew? How come he ran away so quickly?
Oh well, I guess who wouldn’t run once the mother starts to nag…