Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu

Day 152 – Some sort of conversations with Ephia (Part II)


Almost fours months ago, I wrote here, about some attempts to communicate with Ephia throughout the day. Let’s go back and compare how much did we achieve during this time, since she is joggling three different languages.

– Good morning Ephia! How are you?

– Heou! (Hello) Enough? raising her hands into the air for me to pick her up.

We go towards the bathroom, her holding Thumper tightly, and I leave her alone on the toilet. From the kitchen I can hear her sing the song of the seven dwarfs from Snow White. “Aii oooooo!!!! Aiii oooooo!!!! Aiii oo, aii oo, aii oo eii!!!”

Having breakfast, holding either Thumper or her favorite pillow. She hears the sound of cereals being put in the bowl:

– Si! Si! Want!

During breakfasts she eats by herself, and gives me a little speech I could never reproduce, then looks at me and hands me the plate and the glass of milk, and says: “Grazie!”

At the bar, drinking her milk foam and talking to the bartender:

– Ciao! she waves at him.

-Ciao Ephia! Che bella bambina!

– Uududubye! (Good bye!) she looks at me and pushes me away to leave the bar and her alone with him.

They start talking for ten minutes, she gives him a speech too, although this one is much more enthusiastically said, using a lot of hand gestures, struggling not to lose Thumper in this process or let him fall on the floor. The bartender pretends like he understands everything she says and sometimes when the bar is empty, he turns the music volume up and they dance together. After all this show she starts counting for him in English:

– Uan, tchiu, three, four, fav! and then clapping is in order.

Whenever he has other clients she tries getting his attention speaking Italian:

– Uno, du, tre, qatro, cinq! Grazieeeee! Ciauuuu!

If she is not ready to go from there or any other place for that matter:

– Nouuuuuu!!!! Nouuuuu!!! with the most perfect English accent.

At the bakery to get her daily schiacciatina:

– Grazieeee!!!! Ciauuu!! Uududubye!!

After lunch watching Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

– Winkle, winkle, itle star, ou I oder what you areeeeee! (Twinkle, twinkle little start, how I wonder what you are)

This goes on for a while, then she remembers about Old McDonald who had a farm and starts “Iai iaio -ing” and by the time we get to napping she goes back to the seven dwarfs and the song they sing on their way home.

She has the exact same reaction as she used to whenever she sees a bus go by, only that now she sends the drivers a little kiss too. Kisses from Ephia are precious because she is really picky and she kind of makes everyone work for them.

Whenever I come home:

– How are you Ephia? Hug?

– Ugggg!!! She runs towards me and gives me the biggest hug ever, making my day worth it.

In the evening she starts counting in all three languages again and sometimes she puts a blanket over our heads and we play pick-a-boo for a while, until she forgets about our little game and we find her in her room, talking to her toys and sometimes feeding them with a little spoon. After a quick snack and a small conversation with Thomas, who’s name is still Tatas for her, she drags us to the front door to let us know she wants to go outside again. We, of course, obey.

Before our jumping in the bed routine, every night we build a train together that has letters instead of wagons; as soon as she says “Go!”we spin that thing round and round the room both going : “Uuuuu chu chu chu!”.

Bath time arrives quickly and after she plays for several minutes with a sprinkler, filling it with water and spilling it on her while explaining to me the importance of the process, she is dressed in cute pajamas and ready for our family hugging and kissing ritual. Whenever we kiss and hug her goodnight she loves to put on a shy face and send her dad a kiss wishing him “Ududunight!” and then waving and saying “Ciao!” to him.

There is so much more that I left out, so I guess the conclusion would be that during the last four months she did amazing language progress and it’s really interesting for us to observe her joggling perfectly between three different languages. She always lets us know that no matter what language we want to use with her she completely understands what we are saying. For now, English seems to be her favorite one to use and she never misses the chance of trying to reproduce the words she hears whenever we meet our English speaking friends or whenever she hears a new English song. Giving that I feel we are on the right track, as Ephia would say: “Ududubye! Umorrow!” (Good bye! See you tomorrow!)




About the author

Ela Vasilescu

I’m a writer based in Florence, Italy.

Human nature inspires me, different cultures, traditions, folk stories and the differences which make us unique. Documenting stories is a privilege, a glimpse into humanity, an unforgettable experience, one which I embrace and honour every day.

If you have a story twitching in the back of your pocket, one that is ready to be told, shared and heard, chances are I will be ready to listen; so don’t hesitate to send me an email.

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By Ela Vasilescu
Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu