Z is in bed, fighting off a headache and our son's attempts to interact with him.
"Look, Daddy look!" M warbles in our mother tongue. "Here is an exciting thing and the thing that I balanced on another thing!"
"Mhhmmmm," says Z.
"How do you say that in Englih, daddy?"
"So in Serbian we say 'Mmhmmm', and in English we say 'Very Good'."
I am lying on the sofa feeding the baby and attempting to get the room to stop spinning through sheer willpower. M is bouncing around, engaging with the kind of foolhardiness and danger he favours indoors when not safely hypnotised by Disney cartoons, while I glare at him and flop around on the sofa trying to wave him away from the path of hazard/destruction.
This is not proving to be very effective parenting, and when M attempts to pull a set of shelves onto himself in his efforts to get at my handcream in order to smear himself head to foot with it, I shout
"No, stupid!" at him in Serbian.
Matei stops and gives me a stern look.
"Mummy you're not supposed to say "Ne, budalo!". You're supposed to say "No, sweetheart."
I stand corrected indeed.