More tales from the life of our (fictional) bilingual mother.
How time flies! We have been here for almost four months now and we are learning the ways of the country and also becoming more and more fond of it. I will take time to get used to the seemingly overwhelming friendliness of everyone (sorry, if that sounded sarcastic, but I just can’t believe that the baker LOVES my quirky bag and has baked his lemon tarts only with me in mind), but we can’t but be moved by it. Oh, the kettle that was lost during the move – I did find it in the end! The people that came to help with the move were big tea drinkers, so the kettle was one of the last things to get packed. It was carefully wrapped up in a blanket on top of our winter shoes!
S still enjoys his new school and is actually not looking forward the summer holidays, because he will miss his new friends! Luckily one of them doesn’t live too far away from us, so they can still meet. S’s language skills are improving in leaps and bounds. Every day he amazes me with the new words and phrases he has learnt to understand. Apparently he has also started to speak the local language at school (his teacher was very impressed with him, I am please to say) – he however refuses to speak it with me or his dad. I am fine with this – to my big relief, he has also given up on the idea that we should all switch to the local language at home. We do still have the occasional language session to learn vocabulary about certain topics with him, but he is not insisting on them as he did a couple of months ago.
D’s is learning new words what seems like every day. Best of all, she is using both of her languages! She does happily mix her languages to make herself understood, but is clearly getting hang of this who-speaks-what malarkey in the family. She has even learnt some of the local lingo! The neighbour has a boy the same age as her and they love playing together in his sand pit. Oh, that’s another thing we’ve had to get used to – fences between neighbouring gardens are a no-no, so the kids are free to wander about. It felt a bit strange to start with, but now I love it, once I have got to know all the other neighbours. I am thinking that D would actually do well from spending time with other kids … there is a gorgeous-looking small nursery just a couple of streets away … hmm, need to think about that.
Always be prepared for the unexpected, that’s all I can say! The gorgeous-looking small nursery may well get a new customer soon! Last night we went to an event organised by the local university and I ended up speaking with the Head of the Language department. When I told him about the languages I knew he got all excited, and when he heard that I am a qualified teacher his joy knew no bounds. The university needs someone to take over the beginner language lessons in my native language as the current teacher will go on maternity leave after summer. I must admit, in my mind I have been craving to get back to work and to spend more time with other adults, but haven’t really given it much more thought as I didn’t know what to do about it. I have briefly discussed it with hubby and he thinks it’s a great idea, so watch this space!