Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In which you do my job for me

So with the cleaning and mild panic that go along with my mother-in-law coming for a ten day visit tomorrow, I haven't devoted much thought to blog topics. And that, my friends, is the perfect opportunity for a question and answer session!

What have I not written about that you would like to read? What would you like to know about me, the Slovak of my dreams or Baby K? Questions about us in particular, multilingual child-rearing in general, what we had for dinner last night?

Comment with your questions and I'll write them up over the next several days. Now is the time to come out of lurktown!


Also, my mother-in-law is coming to visit! I anticipate an intensive Slovak environment for the duration, which should be good for all of us. I've tried to prepare K for speaking more Slovak, meaning I've told her that while Babka is here we will be speaking Slovak/the way Apo talks because Babka doesn't understand English/the way Mama talks. She agreed, but then she agrees with pretty much anything you say, because she is an agreeable little girl. It makes a refreshing change from the constant negativity in some of her peers, at least, though it comes with its own challenges.


Over the weekend we made some new friends with children who are 7 and 5. The 7 year old was playing with K and asked her mother, "Mummy, how do you say 'Let's go play'?" Her mother answered, "She does speak English, dear."

I could have included that in my guest post about reactions to bilingualism: K was speaking English, and I was speaking English, but since the girl heard K's father speaking something else to her, she assumed K wouldn't understand her. She's not exactly the only one to think that way, either. Either way, the two girls had a lot of fun together.


  1. Bilingualism is woefully misunderstood and maligned, and the capacity of children is often underestimated. When you consider what children learn in their first 5 years in terms of coordination, socialisation, language, rules etc, it is almost unbelievable.

  2. Do you think you'd be equally diligent about teaching your daughter Slovak if you lived in the US?? (I ask because I know our future children would just NEVER learn Turkish if we lived in the US!) (I mean, I know you're in England right now, and we even will be soon, too, but I personally imagine that the US would make us EXTRA lazy!)

    How significant ARE the differences between Czech and Slovak, linguistically and/or culturally? According to a Czech or Slovak? According to a well-informed outsider?? I've always been curious about that!

    I'm here via LJ and finally able to comment since I'm not reading at work for once - but I try to not make any public connections between my LJ account and this public blog - I hope you can figure it out! ;)

  3. Hi! I'm delurking as requested! :)
    I'd like to know how do you handle K's relationship with your family in the US. Have you ever visited? How do you feel about it? I ask because we visited my family (in Mexico) last Christmas when my son had just turned 2 and it was a disaster! He couldn't get used to the new environment and the new people, and I ended up feeling quite sad that my son and my mom couldn't get along as I had hoped they would. (we live in Belgium -married to the Fleming of my dreams-, BTW, so we only get so see my family every couple of years).
    Also, how did you meet Apo? I'm a sucker for romantic stories!

  4. LTOB - There is definitely a lot of misinformation out there about multilingualism and children's capacity. And I totally agree about how much they learn in those first five years - amazing! That's what I meant the other day about the ordinary genius of any child.

    Leslie and Veronica - thanks!! I'm looking forward to writing out some answers to these questions and putting them up over the next week or two. It'll give me something to do while entertaining my mother-in-law!

    And Leslie, I'll keep it quiet. :)



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