While most people reading this have been suffering from a wet and cold winter in the northern hemisphere, we in the south have been enjoying our summer. On Boxing Day our family did the traditional Curitibano thing and left the city to go and enjoy the sunshine at the beach.
And boy, did we get a lot of sunshine.
New Year’s Eve clocked up 40° C, but it felt even hotter. We also had another couple of days that were just as hot, before it all ended in the last three days with torrential downpours and floods.
Just your typical Brazilian summer, then.
But as well as just having a good time we, or at least our 2-and-a-half-year-old son, learnt quite a bit as well.
What’s in a name?
Up until now, Mr T has never used his name. He has been aware of his name for a long time and would usually respond to it if you shouted it loud enough and for long enough, but whenever you asked him to tell you his name he just said ‘Me’. He also uses ‘me’ whenever he wants to refer to himself, for example ‘Daddy, me no nar nar now.’ (‘Daddy, I’m not going to sleep now.’)
But a few days ago, after a lot of encouragement and persuasion, he finally said his name. He hasn’t quite got the pronunciation right yet, but it was quite a milestone for all of us.
As well as learning to say his name he learnt the word ‘beach’ and its Portuguese equivalent ‘praia‘.
He learnt to say ‘bicho‘ which is a Portuguese word that can be used to talk about any animal, but especially small creepy crawly ones. If this creepy crawly animal doesn’t actually crawl but instead flies, Mr. T now calls is a ‘bee’. This is another example of him having to fine tune his understanding of words in the future.
Another animal that he named was ‘monkey’ because we saw some a couple of times in the garden next door to the house we rented. He is more likely to, make the noise of a monkey, but he did say the word a couple of times.
Mr. T has been going to swimming classes for the last 18 months or so. When he started he was the youngest in the class, but later this month he is due to graduate to the next level when he will be entering the pool without his mamãe. This means that he is very comfortable in the water, but has always had to hold on to someone as he can’t, by any stretch of the imagination, actually swim yet.
For Christmas we got him a buoyancy vest that he can wear in the water to make sure his head doesn’t go under for more than a few seconds. This was the best present we got him as it meant he had total freedom in the pool at the back of the house we rented. Obviously, there was somebody with him at all times (one of the things he learnt in his class was to sit on the side of the pool and call for somebody to help him enter the water) but he was able to move around on his own by kicking his legs. He spent hours in that pool.
And last, but certainly not least, we have started potty training. We have had quite a bit of success so far, although there have also been more than a couple of accidents. And this process has meant a few other items of vocabulary have also been incorporated into his vocabulary.
I finally found the time to finish reading ‘Magus’ by John Fowles. It really wasn’t what I was expecting at all, but I am glad that I read it. The story is about an English man in the 1950’s who finds himself teaching on a Greek island because he can’t figure what else he wants to do. The book is about the nature of reality and what it means to have freedom. At least I think that is what it was about as the plot has so many twists and sleights of hand that it was at times a bit difficult to follow.