My three and a half year old son has been saying ‘Voglio un papa Italiano’ recently – this means ‘I want an Italian dad’. He still wants me to be his dad, luckily, but he would prefer me to be Italian, which is a little difficult seeing as I’m English and all that. What he really means is that he wants me to speak to him in Italian, which is something I will not do, at least not until he is able to speak English as well as or better than myself.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
I have to admit to being a little taken aback by his comments and also somewhat surprised that a 3.5 year old must be feeling a little self-conscious, which is a phase I thought most youngsters went through in their teens. I was wrong. He is obviously aware, even at this young age, that he is different in that he has a dad that speaks to him in a language that nobody else he knows uses, apart from all those people speaking on the films I bombard him with, but he does not seem to have made the connection between the films and me just yet. This is possibly a good thing as it shows that he has some awareness of what is real and what is not. He is also convinced that he is 100% Italian (He can sing the Italian national anthem quite well!!), which he is really. It’s a little difficult to explain to a little one that he has mixed-blood.
Oh the problems of being a parent, especially a parent who has a son whose father insists on speaking to him in a funny language too!