Ever since Suzanne began speaking. No wait, ever since Suzanne was born I've possibly been a little too worried about her being bilingual and if/how her language skills would progress. After 3 years, I should feel a bit relieved, right? But i seem to constantly be on my toes, waiting for her to turn to me and say, "Mom, je veux parler comme Papa" (I want to speak like Papa). But, so far, she doesn't cease to amaze me. That's also part of being 3 years old though. A lot of jaw dropping. A lot of snickering behind the kid's back...
With school being well underway, her English doesn't seem to be suffering in the least. And why should it? I mean, it's not like she's spending more time away from me than she ever has. In fact, the school schedule leaves us more time together than her nanny schedule did. The difference is the amount of conversational French she's getting in such a social environment. Peer pressure begins young...
But I have noticed some interesting language phenomena going on. Whether it's age or French or just language, I'm not sure.
For some reason, she has decided not to use posessive and personal pronouns in English. Instead she replaces them with subject pronouns like, "Where is shes toy?" or in response to me asking who will do something, she answers "I" instead of me.
She's also crossing her language wires in French where she uses English structure in French sentences like ,"Papa, tu peux donner ça à moi" (Papa, you can give that to me) instead of "tu peux me donner ça".
But she's clearly not phased (at this point) by the bilingual thing - and still not questioning it although I'm sure that's to come. What school has given her is more confidence and a sense of irony.
On our way home the other day, she asked the question any intelligent parent would dread, "Mom, can I watch Dora?" I answered as diplomatically as possible, "well, Mommy doesn't really like Dora". Suzanne hesitated and said, "Mom, can you leave me alone so I can watch Dora?" She applies the same negotiation tactics to eating, sleeping and wiping herself.
She's also begun expressing emotions much better. She tells us when she's said as in "I'm sad so and so said no" (translation: I'm sad Max is sitting on your lap). Or "I like Papa" in response to whether she wants me to bring her to school (translation: I'm pissed off at you for having a baby). I just wish she'd stop that year old whining thing! It's enough to make you want to bang your head against a wall.
As for Max, I realized that if Suzanne continues to speak to me in English and she does indeed speak English to him like she told me she would, he'll have an advantage...fingers crossed.
PS I also caught Suzanne saying, "Attends pour moi", literally "wait for me". In French, there's no preposition after this particular verb.