Friday, February 12, 2010

As I was saying

I seem to be having trouble getting thoughts out of my head and onto (virtual) paper these days. It's not that I'm not thinking about the blog, for I'm even writing elaborate posts while daydreaming in the RER during my morning commute, but they're on hold. In general, I feel like writing more things of substance, but that means writing less often for the time to finish complex thoughts is lacking. And then there's the tiny issue of the insomnia my late-night writing sessions bring on when, inevitably, I just can't get my brain to turn off when it needs to. At the same time, there are plenty of small things that happen daily in my life with le Petit that I feel I should record for posterity. Ah, the dilemma!

In the meantime, we're off to Alsace for a week. What, another vacation? I hear you say. I'll write all about it, I promise.

I remind myself of le Petit, whose language skills are suddenly taking off in both English and French, but whose narrative skills are still rudimentary. He'll start into a description of something complex, like what he did at the park or what he sees around him, and then he'll abruptly lose the thread.

"Un hélicopter!" he told me the other day, pointing up at a plane in the sky.

"No, that's an airplane," I corrected.

"Un avion. En anglais, on dit 'airplane,'" he said, all proud of himself.

"That's right, in English, we say 'airplane,'" I confirmed.

"Et... et...et en français, on dit... en français, on dit..."

Then he was sidetracked by a drainpipe cover in the sidewalk. Bending over to feed small sticks through the tiny hole in the metal robbed him of his words and required all his concentration, and no well-intentioned prompting from me could get him to finish what I proudly thought was a complex bit of simultaneous translation.

These days I know exactly how he feels.

2 comments:

paola said...

I find this actually gets WORSE as they get older. But at some point it must resolve itself. My 3 year old often speakes better than the 5 year old, and I noticed the same thing with my (then) 5 year old niece and (then) 3.5 year old son.

My 3 year old has a smaller vocab but has fewer interests too so she tends to speak about the same things and perfects them. My 5 year old would talk about rocket science if given the opportunity, but doens't have the vocabulary to talk about rocket science. So, it's very 'um, ahhh, there's a rocket see and, um ahh, look a squirrel!'.

Elinjo said...

Your son seems to be doing extremely well, if he's only two. My grandchildren understand both English and Danish. The eldest one (9) has an excellent passive knowledge of English, but only replies in Danish. The youngest one (3½) makes an attempt to speak English. Bilingualism is a great advantage.