Childhood, from the mother’s point of view, is just a gradual process of letting go: a snowball gathering pace to an avalanche. Another era is drawing to a close right now, taking with it my job as chief translator for the secret language I share with Alpha Blondie.
“Dah wah BIIIG dang dong,” he might say.
“That is an especially large dinosaur,” I explain to blank-faced father, family and friends.
“Man goddit brokey lay, go HOZZ-dible now,” points out Alpha Blondie, as an ambulance passes.
“Someone has a broken leg and needs to go to hospital,” I clarify.
But now he’s reached the grand old age of two, Alpha’s getting clearer by the day and another maternal role is wrested from my grasp. Of course, there are still moments when he baffles us all, even his big sister, Curly Girlie, who has a highly-developed ear for Alpha Blondese. This occurs most often in the car, when I can’t turn round to see what on earth it is he’s on about.
“Mummaaaaaay, I goddit rang-jon”.
“What have you got?”
“I goddit rang-jo”.
“You’ve got a mango?”
“No Mummay. I goddit rang-jo”.
“You’ve got a banjo?”
“No Mum-MAY. I. Goddit. RANG-CO”.
“Curly Girlie? Can you see what he’s got?”
“No, Mummy, I’m asleep”.
“Oh, OK, sorry. What have you got, Alpha? Say it again...”
“Pane-corn, Mummay. I goddit panecorn.”
*thinking* “Oh, a pine cone?”
“Ja, I goddit PANE-CORN”.
“Oh, yes, that makes much more sense than a banjo”.