Last night we had another swim lesson. It went well, besides for C being extremely jealous- and needed a quick dinner afterwards. Our favorite Chinese restaurant in town does a ton of take out business- but what we love about it (besides the excellent food and nice service) is that we always have the entire dining room to ourselves. This, is a blessing as I know we don’t bother anyone else while there. The great thing about last night, that made this mama beam, was the compliment we received upon leaving. And it was all about B speaking Dutch.
As usual, he was running around chatting. He jabbers constantly wherever we go and will talk to anyone who listens. He gave the waitress an earful, just like he did a few weeks ago at the airport talking to the security guard. Most of the time, I have to physically remove him and say, ‘Ok, ok, say goodbye! We have to go now!’ because he just won’t stop talking. Always in Dutch.
To offer a glimpse, I sat him down this morning just to give me a sample to share. It’s not a professional interview by any means and in the midst of morning chaos, but you get the idea:
So at the restaurant we’re putting on our coats. He was talking away and the waitress turned to me and said ‘His Dutch is flawless! You’d think he was a little Dutch boy if you didn’t know!’ And I laughed because it’s true. On the short drive home it got me thinking- it really is. I’m stunned at how much he has learned in the past year. Their minds, my friends- are ripe and then some for propencity at picking up a second language.
I tried then to get a glimpse into school- but morninng drop off is so crazy (which I’m sure you can imagine) but here he is in his element:
As a parent, you know your kids sometimes say things that might make you cringe, or give TMI, or what have you and you can step in and correct or clarify the conversation. I, can never do this because I don’t know what he’s saying. Yesterday at school he was telling a parent about the last time he threw up and I only caught on when the parent looked at me and laughed. These are the reasons (amongst others obviously) that I have got to get on the learning train. Mostly I thought how funny it is when we’re out and about and he’s talking to someone and they turn to me and in my nasal, American/midwestern accent respond. I get amused looks- every time.
I love that he has been able to do this. It gives me so much hope for our future and the boys and a feeling in my gut that this IS the right move for us, and all that we are opening for them. Dutch is a very, very difficult language- and I struggle. But I think that the freedom children have- of being unafraid of making a mistake, or looking silly, combined with the brains they have to learn, it’s natural for them. What a world this would be if we could all understand each other, eh?
We might not understand all of the idiosyncracies of the Dutch, but at least my kids can speak their language. I can only imagine how hard it must be for their little minds to switch gears- since at home it’s English. Our tv shows for them are in Dutch- and I love that. And I have to say, the way they all say ‘Peppa Pig‘ like in the first video, is priceless. The twins are coming right along as well, but being 3- they are still developing their own language. I think I am in serious, serious trouble if I don’t get some lessons in soon. Besides, I don’t want to be that old lady who doesn’t speak the same language as her kids.
Do you have a bilingual child? Have you ever considered teaching them another language?
*I should note that when B was around 2 or 3 I had him evaluated at a speech therapist because I was worried he wasn’t talking enough. HAHAHAHAHA! Oh if I only knew then…