My wife is a bad mamãe. My dad is a bad do doe (granddad) and my mum is a bad nana.
How do I know this? Because my son has told us all exactly how bad we are. And the thing is I am very happy about it.
My parents came to visit for a couple of weeks (hence the lack of posts) and one of the upshots has been the change in Mr. T’s language. In the week before my folks arrived he seemed to be experimenting a lot more with different sounds and words, but when they were here and giving him their undivided attention he really started to use a lot more words.
One of the interesting things has been his sudden use of adjectives. He was already using the words ‘big’ and ‘ninho‘ (little) but now he uses them for more abstract ideas, like a big burp or a big fart. He will also occasionally call somebody silly.
He has also started to say that things are hot by saying ‘too hot’. I love this phrase because he is using ‘too’ to mean ‘very’, which is exactly what a lot of my Brazilian students do until I tell them that ‘too’ actually carries connotations of excess and so doesn’t mean the same thing as ‘very’. His pronunciation of ‘too hot’ is also interesting as he says ‘too wot‘, changing the /h/ sound for a /w/. This is actually a feature of connected speech because if you drop the /h/ sound you are left with two vowels from the end of ‘too’ and the beginning of ‘ot‘. In order to move between the two sounds without having a pause we make a small linking /w/ sound. I was fascinated to hear him saying this as it shows he is picking up on minor sounds that as adult speakers of a language we would probably just miss.
Anyway, to get back to why I am happy to be a bad dad. Mr. T’s new favourite adjective is ‘bad’. Everything is ‘bad’, even when it’s good. He knows what it means because he corrects you when you say something is ‘good’, although he hasn’t said ‘good’ yet.
So if you are playing a game with him he will suddenly stop and say, with the biggest and most beautiful grin, ‘Bad daddy!’ and then repeat it over and over again. If you are tickling him, in the middle of one if his belly laughs he will sneak out a ‘bad mommy’ which will set him off all over again. If you are being a bit naughty he will tell you so in no uncertain terms.
I am happy with this because he has picked up a new word and is experimenting with it. He is checking out how it can be used with different nouns and seeing the reaction he gets. And he is having great fun in doing so.
Further Reading I have now moved on to ‘1974’ by David Peace. It is the first in a series of detective stories that take place in the north of England. It is brutal, but eminently readable. I’ll be reading the rest of the series, but I think I deserve a break first because this first one is all bout extreme violence and pedophilia.