Monday, February 24, 2014

English as a Second Language

English is not my daughter's first language. Nope. Her first language is crying, screaming, wailing, and doing the limp noodle.

She's a toddler. For the last year and a half the above methods have constituted her entire communication repertoire.

But not anymore, no, not anymore. Darby is learning her second language: English.

And just like anyone learning a second language, her vocab is rather limited. She knows the basics.

It reminds me of my experience trying to communicate in Italian during a college semester overseas. I thought I was so cool walking around talking to real Italians, but in reality, all they heard was,

"Where is groceries?"

"I have art studies."

"Can I walk to ice cream?"

"Shower no hot water."

So it recently dawned on me that talking to my toddler is incredibly like talking to an adult who does not speak my language.

There are only certain words and phrases she can actually grasp, and so when I need to make her understand me, it can get pretty hilarious.

Here are some things I've actually recently said to my English as a Second Language student, AKA, my toddler:

1. "Darby, please don't scream. Mommy doesn't like it. When you scream it-it gives mommy's ear a boo-boo."

2. (while trying to scavenger for chocolate in the kitchen without her noticing) "Darby, no ... m-mommy needs privacy. Yep, like when I go in the bathroom. I-I need some privacy in the kitchen."

3. (explaining her father's two week trip to Africa) "Daddy is getting on an airplane by himself. And when he gets off the airplane he is going to be where all the lions and zebras live."

4. (when entering an antique/d├ęcor shop) "We're going into a fun store! But-but we can't touch anything. The things inside this store can break ... they're not Darby toys, they're Grandma toys."

5. "I know you don't like this right now, but ... it-it's medicine." (I can pretty much get her to go along with anything by telling her it's "medicine." Terrible, I know.)

I know there are more examples, so I'm going to add to this post as I recall them or I say them. Meanwhile, tell me some of your own! I know you have them.

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