Jaromil 1

And what about her son’s soul? Was that not part of her kingdom too? Oh yes, yes! When Jaromil uttered his first word and that word was “mama” she was deliriously happy. She told herself that her son’s mind – now still consisting of only a single concept – was completely filled by her, and that even later on when his mind would begin to grow, branch out, and flower, she would continue to remain its root. Pleasantly stimulated, she carefully followed her son’s future attempts at words, and because she sensed that life is long and memory short, she bought a notebook bound in dark red and proceeded to write down everything that issued from her son’s mouth.

If we were to consult Maman’s notebook we would see that after “mama” there soon followed a number of further words, “dada” taking seventh place after “baba,” “yaya,” “toot,” “huf,” “hum,” and “lulu.” After those simple expressions (Maman’s notebook always included a brief commentary and date), we find the first attempts at sentences. We learn that before his second birthday he declared, Mama nice. Several months later he said, Mama is kaka.

For this statement, made when Maman refused to give him raspberry juice before lunch, he received a whack on the behind. In tears, he shouted, I find another mama! But not long afterward he made his mother very happy by saying, my mama is beautiful. On another occasion he said, Mama, I lick you a kiss, which meant that he stuck out his tongue and licked Maman’s entire face.