On the perils of bilingualism.

One of the more charming quirks of the Russian language is the use of ‘totya’ (aunt) and ‘dyadya’ (uncle) to refer to any woman or man of childbearing age.

This has entirely replaced ‘lady’ and ‘bloke” in your house as a way of referring to people on the street.

The problem with this is that the Star cannot pronounce ‘dyadya’ properly yet and says ‘daddy’ instead. And because he is still going through that phase of liking to name things he sees, it means that he is often pointing at random men you walk past and shouting ‘daddy?’ in a questioning tone of voice.

This is nothing, however, to the embarrassment you suffer when you are out with B and his brother, the Star’s actual dyadya.

Your family under those circumstances has one Mama, one Papa and one Daddy.

You have learnt not to catch people’s eyes.

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