A couple of weeks after the Comet was born you packed the Star and his Papa off to Moscow for a month.
Being the mother of a newborn baby is, in some ways, a lot easier when no one else is around. It’s not like you can go out much anyway and the freedom to sleep whenever she does is important.
The main reason why you did it, though, was so that the Star could get his Russian fix, as well as have one last fling as the centre of the universe with unadulterated Papa and Babushka time.
Now, you missed the Star when he was away (oh, and his Papa. Of course). But in almost all respects this turned out to be the right decision and it has certainly done wonders for the Star’s Russian.
When he left he understood Russian just fine. He had quite a few words and you noticed that when he was with people from the all-Russian environment of his playgroup he was starting to use Russian more and more exclusively, even in the odd sentence or two. But he was an English speaker first and a Russian speaker quite a distant second, especially at home. Much to his Papa’s consternation.
Since he has spent a month undistracted by his Mama’s habit of breaking into English a crucial moments he has developed into a much more balanced bilingual. In particular, he speaks Russian to his Papa now. Much to his Papa’s relief.
And he has acquired sentences, and largely grammatical sentences at that, which you are most impressed by as you have never really got to grips with the Russian case system. Of course, he still gets his genders confused, but since he is still slightly puzzled by the fact that Mama doesn’t have a pipiska, you feel this is entirely understandable.
He also knows words you don’t. It’s terrible to be outstripped in vocabulary by a three year old, but as he is kind enough to translate a lot of the time, you figure you might catch up eventually.
He has also discovered the word ‘Mamuchka’
Which is Russian for ‘Mummy’.
Of course, he uses it to wheedle.
‘Mama, I need watch television,’ he will say. Inaccurately. ‘Mama? Mama! Mama? Mamamamamamamama? MAMA!’
But after a few minutes of you pretending to be deaf he will become caressing. ‘Mamuchka. I neeeeeeeeed watch TV. Please! Maaaamuchka.’
Accompany this with big eyes and a gentle hug and he is almost irresistible.