Our little toddler babbles a lot, but he doesn’t have many words yet. We are raising him with three languages: Polish, Italian and English and so his speech at the moment is a combination of a small number of words and short phrases in those languages alongside a continuous and imaginative chatter that we politely follow (frequently bewildered). I often wish I was able to understand what he says to us. To join in in his observations and appreciation of the world. To get his perspective.
The word that our son says often is ‘Grazie’ (‘Thank you’ in Italian). I hear him saying it hundreds of times every day. I take him out of his cot, he responds ‘Grazie, mama’. I dress him, he says ‘Grazie, mama’. I give him bread, tomatoes and pears and I hear ‘Grazie, mama’. I put a scarf on his neck, he says: ‘Grazie’, I open the door for him and again, he shouts: ‘Grazie, grazie, grazie, mama.’. I cover him with his duvet in his cot and he quietly whispers: ‘Grazie, grazie, grazie, mama.’
As I switch the light off and I close the door I feel overwhelmed by his appreciation of the smallest of things that I do for him. He never loses an opportunity to acknowledge my efforts, however small, they are recognized.