Sunday, July 25, 2010

Speak Slovak please! and How Baby K Came To Be

Lots of Slovak the past few days. With my mother-in-law here visiting, I've decided to try something new this time: speaking only CZ/SK when she's around, even to K. I'm also regularly reminding K to speak Slovak, providing words when she can't think of them and providing a running translation for Babka when K speaks English anyway. In the past I've always spoken English with K and then felt bad that Babka doesn't understand. I know there are different opinions on this issue, but that's how I feel, so I tried speaking 90% CZ/SK this time. It's actually having an effect, since Babka definitely appreciates being let in on our everyday conversation and K is surrounded by more sorely needed minority language.

She's learned (or activated) some new words, including "vý-bor-né!" (excellent!) at dinnertime, which made me pretty happy. I'm most proud of her for how well she is counting in Slovak, though! We counted yesterday several times in English and Slovak, and K counted on her own in Slovak from 1 to 5 without prompting (!!), and then 6 to 10 with prompting.

It's interesting to me that she doesn't mix the number systems together when counting, although "sedem" (7) does occasionally come out like "sevem", which is kind of funny. I've also noticed that her "ďakujem" (thank you) sounds suspiciously like "thankyouem". They do kind of sound alike, we've discovered.


I thought I'd try to answer another question today. You can find the first one here.

veronica.maria.rojasdelaparra also asks:

Also, how did you meet Apo? I'm a sucker for romantic stories!

I gave the short version of how we met in one of my first posts.

I can't say that how we met was very interesting in itself - we saw each other and didn't make much of an impression. I had just come to Prague and didn't act like his idea of an American. He had just come from some out of town team-building exercise with work and kept saying "I'm too old for this", giving me the impression he was much older than he actually was.

Sparks started flying pretty quickly - but not romantic ones! We are both sharp-tongued, sarcastic types, so the banter got sharper and sharper until we started wondering if the other one was serious. He thought I was annoying, and I certainly thought he was annoying, except...

Within a few weeks I was starting to realize that of all our friends, the two of us had the most in common, and that he had a lot of positive qualities you look for in a partner. "He'll make somebody a good husband," I told myself. "Just not me, because he's, like, rude." As time passed and I saw the books he was reading and the topics that interested him, I realized that he would make a good husband for ME - if he would just lose the attitude!

The only thing standing between us and eternal happiness was that he didn't like me. I COULD WORK WITH THAT.

I wasn't exactly pining after him, either. I was just clear-sighted enough to recognize potential compatibility when I saw it. I let it be and went on with life. In the end, it was actually him who fell in love first.

Truly all it took was for both of us to lose the attitude enough to have a normal conversation like normal people, and when we did, we started getting along pretty well. One fateful day we went for coffee together (he had just come from the dentist and was just trying to enunciate properly for the first hour or so) and romance was born. Or at least, the possibility of romance. We texted and e-mailed a lot over the summer and by fall were each fairly sure we should get married, that is if the other one wanted to. Of course, I had known that for over a year by then, but I didn't let him in on THAT detail until much closer to the wedding.

After we started getting along, we REALLY got along and arguments or other tension became pretty rare. We are sweet to each other now. And if that's not happily ever after, I don't know what is!

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