Thursday, 9 August 2007

Suzanne flaunts her stuff

My father flew out of Brussels a couple days ago. There's always a pang of sadness when I see my parents go because I know I won't be seeing them for a while. But I'm also so glad that I'm not going with them (and sometimes that I won't be seeing them for a while). My mother's staying on as temporary nanny for the next 2 weeks.

So while Jerome and I are off looking for flooring, tiles and kitchen sinks...Suzanne is proving to us all that she is one smart cookie (or is she a biscuit?)

Over the past 2 weeks, Suzanne's shown us what bilingual babble is all about. Not only did she come up with a name for my father - Bopi - but she's also proven that she's fully bilingual which assuages my mother's fears of not being able to speak to her granddaughter and reassures us in our parenting decisions. She still isn't sure what to call her grandmother, much to my mother's dismay but Suzanne has put on a good show (maybe Baba?).

She can name a dozen or so animals, major body parts, follows commands and can point out various household objects like flowers, plants, foods and other random things like shoes and watering cans. All simultaneously switching between French and English. Having my parents here had the effect I was hoping for - like an epiphany where Suzanne understood that her mother's garbled babble is actually a form of communication and not just a special language for us two.

My mother claims she already has a French accent and that she makes certain sounds that are most definitely not English, but come on! Baby babble is an international language. Besides, it's just so cute when she chases me through the house saying "ma-meee ma-meee!" Funny but true, she does seem to have a French accent. But she also seems to be mixing the languages where the French dodo has become our term for sleep and creating words like chat, pronounced with a T as a combination of cat and chat.

We also started watching some sign language videos that a friend lent us. We were skeptical at first, but Suzanne has caught on really quickly and enjoys signing. So we hope it'll help us pa0st the terrible twos which are probably even more terrible when the child is grappling with 2 languages. On verra.

In any case, we're all really amazed and excited by Suzanne's linguistic capabilities at 14 1/2 months and can't wait until she can really talk...or can we?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

How very exciting to hear Suzanne use both languages at such a young age! I'm sure that having other anglophones in the house was a revelation for her.

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