Babcia is here, and why I wish I spoke Polish
It’s going to be a long, very silent weekend.
Krys’ mum is staying with us till next Thursday. And though she is an absolutely lovely person, she speaks no english and my polish consists mostly of phrases like “where is the toilet”, “tea with milk and sugar please” and “I do not speak polish, please speak slower”.
Since I don’t work Wednesdays, Krys went to work and left me with his mum and it was the longest day in history. I had so much to say, but no way of saying it, and of course, using the online translators was just hilarious as they didn’t show use the full thirty two letters of the Polish alphabet, so much confusion occurred when I was trying to ask what she would like to do for the afternoon.
What worked well and was a complete lifesaver was my copy of the documentary Babies. it has no commentary and no language, so was perfect for us to watch together in the rainy afternoon before Krys returned to rescue both of us.
Krys took Thursday and Friday off to keep his mom company and to watch Roz as well. It’s very sad though as Roz is fully into her ‘stranger anxiety mode and won’t go anywhere near her Babcia (that’s granny in Polish) regardless of what she does. So the poor woman flew all this way to be with her grandchild (god knows it wasn’t to see us, we stopped being important in anyone’s life once Roz came along), and the little imp steers well clear of her. I felt particularly bad for her on Wednesday as, of course, Roz hadn’t seen me for the previous two days and so wanted to be near me the whole time. I had to brush my teeth with her in my arms, eat breakfast on the floor with her, cook lunch with her in the sling…and to be honest, that’s how we spend most of our Wednesdays anyway. It’s just that there’s never anyone else in the house with us, so I don’t see it as her being clingy.
But this time, she wouldn’t play with her toys at all and would burst into floods of tears the moment Krys’ mum looked at her. at one stage, I was trying to feed her lunch and her Babcia was sitting in the chair beside her. Roz took one look at her and wailed. The poor woman said,
“I’ll leave, I’m upsetting her”
and I couldn’t find the flipping polish words to tell her, “no, she’s always like this, it’s not you. just stay and let her get used to you being around”
Nope. All I could say was,
“No, she’s always like this” and I ran out of Polish.
Damn this silly brain! if Ilona (my Polish teacher) is reading this, she’ll be mortified at my laziness and lack of practice. sorry babe!
The poor woman. She’s itching to just play with Roz, to hold her and spent hours with her sitting on the grass or in the sun like they did in Poland when Roz was five months old. Alas, babies are fickle, short-memoried busy creatures with no sense of guilt.
Krys described it best when he said his mum is like a person trying desperately to play with a cat. You inch your way slowly towards it and just when you’re within stroking distance, it moves away.
So we devised a plan on Friday morning. That Babcia was to sit next to Roz whenever she played, reading a book or something, basically just ignoring her completely until Roz got used to the fact that there was another person in the house. Then she would offer a toy and again ignore her. All day this went on, and finally last night, success. Roz crawled over to her and sat beside her, then offered up her arms to be picked up, and gave her granny a big kiss on the cheek.
I thought her heart would burst with happiness.
It’s amazing how the very simplest things in life can give us the most joy. They may take time and a lot of patience, but most ofen, they are completely unrelated to money.