Despite his doubts before she was born, Hubby was great about speaking to baby girl almost exclusively in his native language. When we visited his home country, his relatives were very impressed. But now that she’s begun not just to listen but to talk back, he’s having a harder time, muddying his sentences with the occasional English word, his version of Spanglish.
It must be very difficult for him. She’s talking. But when she says “light,” he has to say “or.” He wants to encourage her, not confuse her.
It’s important to both of us that she learn his language. It’s not widely spoken, outside his home country, so it doesn’t give her much of a practical advantage. But there are members of his family, specifically her cousins, who don’t speak English. She needs to be able to communicate with her family.
Right now, all the words she says spontaneously are in English. That is, after all, the language she hears most often. But she is beginning to imitate Hubby more and more, which is amazing. And she understands him, too. When he asks “Eifo baby girl?” she covers her eyes. And when he asks, in his language, “What does the snake say?” she responds, “sss.”
It’s so cute to see the two of them interact like that, and I can only imagine, as she gets older, the secrets they’ll share right in front of me. (My learning of the language has not been nearly as quick as baby girl’s.) It gives them a special connection, a bond I both admire and (only slightly) envy.