PARENTS

Achtung Baby Or No Need To Shout!

10/08/2010 16:28 | Updated 22 May 2015

When the day comes, there will be a party. There shall be fireworks, rivers of champagne, a pig on a spit and possibly a bouncy castle. On that day my atheism may be brought into question as I have been known on occasion to ask for divine intervention. On that day bi-national flags shall fly and there will be rejoicing in the Nowak household.

But will it ever come? Will I ever witness the day when our daughter communicates, in full comprehensible sentences, in ENGLISH?

Doubt has begun to set in.

A visit from my wonderful (non-German speaking) friend Lisa didn't help my cause as I'd hoped it may.

On the recommendation of some article or other, I was determined to try the "Tough Love" approach to bi-linguism and not translate when she spoke to Lisa. Lisa was to simply keep saying to Finje that she didn't understand until Finje would be forced to talk in the English she so clearly understands when I speak it with her every day.

It didn't really go to plan.

All the poor kid wanted was a sweet.

"Darf ich einen Bonbon haben bitte?" (May I have a sweet please. She even remembered to say please!)

"No darling, Lisa doesn't understand. Ask her in English if you want something"

"Oh okay, Darf..... Ich......Einen.......Bonbon.......Haben....... Bitte?" (as if speaking to a slightly senile old relative)

"No Finje, that was wonderfully clear and slow but it was still German"

At this point I could see Finje beginning to wonder whether the damn Gummi Bear was worth all the agro. She decided to give it one more go.

"DARF. ICH. EINEN. BONBON. HABEN. BITTE?" (said in manner of ignorant Englishman yelling at Johnny Foreigner whilst genuinly confused as to why he still doesn't understand Queen's English)

I was losing the will to live and I could see Lisa's hand wavering towards the packet in question but I stuck to my guns.

"Noooo, that was clear and slow and very loud but still German."

Inevitably the tears began to flow, both Lisa and I were overcome by oestrogen and we ended up giving her the whole damn packet.

Finje 1 Mother 0

Just when you think all hope is lost, two days later a nearly perfect English sentence.

"Mama, are you tired because papa snozed last night?"

I refrained, with some difficulty, from asking her to repeat the correct conjugation of the verb "to sneeze" one hundred times ie: not sneeze, snoze, snozen and instead gave her a big hug.

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