Matisse is learning to talk, and it's beaut. We have started having the most fascinating conversations, unravelling the way her little mind works. Whilst we were finishing off lunch I was subtlely hypnotising her into having a massive afternoon nap by talking about sleeping, a lot.
"Moon sleeping?” She asked me…
I looked around, in an exaggerated manner, because these are the things Mum's have to do for kicks.
"Yes," I said, "The moon does seem to be sleeping."
"Stars sleeping too," she told me.
At first I thought she said cars, but after we clarified that, my heart exploded infinitely.
It's a peaceful afternoon in the house. Well, as peaceful as a suburban house with a dog, housewife and two kids get. When Matisse suddenly yells out, "Elsie, I'll bash you!"
What the hell? I ask her to repeat. And she does, as clear as day. Maybe I should ease up on the gangster references because things are really starting to get crazy. She runs over to Elsie and starts yelling in her face "Yani*, I bash her. Bash you Elsie, bash you..." I don't know whether to intervene or not, it doesn't look like she is actually going to hit her... Then. Elspeth sneezes, assumedly for the second time. "Bash you, Elsie, Bash you."
"Oh right, I say, you are blessing her..."
"Yeah," she says, as proud as day. "Bashing her..."
This Karama blood runs deep.
*More on Yani below.
I thought that teaching manners was going to be tricky, but it turns out they really only need to use them when they want something, so manners were one of the first notches on the language belt. Pavlov and his dogs…. Or. Not his dogs. Because I don’t want to have child welfare visiting…
Moving on. The latest development is to apologise to inanimate objects when she bumps into them. She often kisses them too, which is amusing if it is a piece of park equipment or food she knocked off the shelf at Woollies. It gets even funnier when I bump into her...
"Sorry!" I say.
"Sorry." she says.
"No, I AM sorry." I correct her.
"No. IMA sorry," she repeats, thinking I am correcting her speech. Oh man….
This has further manifested itself, and now she feels responsible every time I bump into her. I can barely get an apology out before she is looking at me with her sweet little eyes and saying sorry....
Matisse loves to tell you all the things she is doing, but clarifying all the things that she is NOT doing. So a standard conversation goes something like this.....
"Matisse, what would you like for breakfast?"
"Not eating toast."
"No, we are not eating toast."
"Not eating cereal..."
"No, just eating porridge.."
"Not eating Weet-Bix"
"No, no Weet-bix today."
Glamma took advantage of this trick a few weeks ago, to see if Matisse would have her daytime nap in a big bed, the double bed no less, instead of the cot. They made the bed and kept saying "sleeping in the bed, NOT the cot!" Not only did Matisse go to sleep without a hitch, when she woke up, she knocked on the door to come out. What a legend.
Despite never being called this name, Matisse calls herself “Teesie.” Elsie is "baby Ethpeth" or "baby Elsie;" but to be honest, it sounds a lot more like "baby Horsey.” Most of the time Matisse calls me “Mummy," but... when she is bossing me around, she calls me "Yani." She must have noticed other people getting what they want by adding this mysterious word into their sentences and now she has mastered it too. The days are dotted, no, perforated with "open it, Yani," "not reach, Yani," "more, Yani," "sit down, Yani," "put on this straight jacket, Yani.”