Suzanne has only been speaking English with me, stringing words together (subject+verb+adjective but not necessarily in the right order). Sometimes she also throws in a French word which she'll say in English with some coaxing.
But last week, we were at my in-laws, and I wasn't feeling well so just sat there. Usually when we're in an all French environment, I make sure to create a little English universe by imposing myself a bit and making sure I stay in Suzanne's attention zone. But this time, I was just too blah. And I sat there and listened to my little girl speak French. She was really speaking, making real senteces, asking questions...I was in awe and a bit sad too knowing that her English is indeed lagging. But it's ok, it's normal and I don't feel bad because I know that, considering the little exposure she has had thus far, she's amazing. And we'll be in the US for 3 weeks in January, she's got her English speaking friends and so do I so we'll be ok.
But I do feel bad when she comes to me and speaks in French and I have to pretend I don't understand. Or I have to coax the English out of her. It's just so much work, and well worth it, but it me wondering if her English will ever be as strong as her French. And since I'll continue to speak to her in English, is there a part of her I'll never know and a part of her she'll never be able to express to me? I know I'm giving her a gift...but at what cost? And will she have to do years of therapy to get over the fact that her mother pretended not to understand her half of the time?
Onto happier things, a list of some recent Suzannisms (sometimes a scary reflection of me and my language tendencies):
- "Where'd it come from?" She asks this for EVERYTHING. And it's always followed by why?
- "What's wrong with you?" Um, yeah. I don't think I'll elaborate on that one
- "doubleXYZnexttimewon'tyousingformeFGH" etc. She also takes the same tune and invents words to go with it. My daughter is a natural born singer.
- "so much" as in I love you so much Mommy or Thank you so much. I think she's translating from French when she'd say merci beaucoup or je t'aime beaucoup but who cares! It just melts your heart.