Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mommy, speak English!

My three-year-old daughter seems to have inherited my interest in and talent for languages; she can comprehend some Spanish and German on an elementary level and will occasionally use foreign words when speaking herself. But being the garrulous, outgoing toddler that she is, she sometimes gets frustrated when I speak to her in other languages and will demand, "Mommy, speak ENGLISH!" or, "I don't understand that language!" I'll usually compromise by saying the same thing twice, once in the foreign language and then repeating it in English.

My 20-month-old daughter still speaks in fragments, seldom saying more than two words at a time, and the only foreign word I've ever heard her say is "Nein!" Nonetheless, she's fully aware when I'm speaking another language. This evening, while I was playing with her after her bath, nuzzling her clean baby hair and cooing, "You're all clean! Du bist sauber! Du bist meine saubere Tochter!" she looked me right in the eye and insisted, "ENG-ISH!"

Like sister, like sister....

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