New year, new (and old) challenges for our fictional multilingual family!
Oh my, I haven’t written in my diary for what feels like ages! Christmas and New Year have passed and we had the opportunity to spend some time with both sets of grandparents. Lots of new books and games in the house! S had fun chatting away with his grandmas and grandpas – and probably even more so, hubby and I enjoyed watching him do it, reassured in the knowledge that our move does not seem to have impacted our little boy’s ability to keep up with both his family languages. D was also able to say some words, more in my language than in her dad’s and that was a bit tricky, as her grandma was worried she wouldn’t be able to speak with her. We know it will be alright, but we still decided to have some focused language one-to-one time with the kids. Hubby and D have been spending quality time for a couple of hours every Sunday.
Today is is my boys 6th birthday! Where did those six years go?! He wanted to invite a few friends over for a party on Saturday, so I am in full party-planning mode. S asked to invite 15 friends but we settled on eight – I still want to have our house intact after the party! I am happy that he has so many friends so quickly though, I can’t remember ever having that many friends to invite to my birthday … well, he is more chatty than I was as a kid.
D is thriving at her nursery and is also making more friends. She is more quiet than the other kids, and I still sometimes get asked by other mums if she does not like to play with others. When I have looked at the kids playing, I can see that she does participate – okay, she is not speaking as much, but children of that age do not necessarily need a language to play together and communicate. It is all very hands-on – when S was not able to draw the attention of a boy that seems to be her best friend at the moment, she just went up to him and took his hand. I would not call that shy! She is learning more and more words, and follows the nurses’ directions well, so I have decided not to worry.
“Mum, can you please speak so that everyone understands today” was the first thing S said to me this morning. Like always, I was a bit taken aback that he didn’t want me to speak my language at all and was about to start bargaining with him on when I could and could not speak “our” language. Then I stopped myself. It’s his party, his birthday, I really should do what he wants, so I promised it would be the majority language only from me. S was happy.
Party went well, the house is still standing and nothing was broken … apart from a house plant (but I was not too fond of that one anyway, so I was just spared the agony of getting rid of it). Kids had fun and kept themselves occupied. I stuck to my promise – funnily enough, it was S who swithed to our language when he wanted to point out that they wouldn’t mind if I and hubby were to leave the room and let them play on their own. He obviously realised the benefit of speaking a language that the others didn’t understand 🙂