Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is He Bilingual?

As some of you know, our two year old Henry is bilingual. He speaks English and “Henry.” Now this is an improvement because previously he only spoke “Henry” and no one had any idea what he was talking about. On more than one occasion I have been out in public and have another child ask me if he is speaking Spanish. He speaks with such conviction yet it’s even now still unclear as to what he is talking about. It also doesn’t help that he uses completely made up words in conversation expecting everyone else to know what it is. Our conversations frequently go like this:

Henry: Mommy, I play you. You be a Scrapaloogus.
Me: Okay, I’m a Scrapaloogus
Henry: No, not like that!
Me: Oh, sorry. I’m a Scrapaloogus (and I do something else)
Henry: Noooo, Scrapaloogus don’t do that!!
Me: Okay, I’m done playing Scrapaloogus.

Now, Isabelle and I speak “Henry” quite fluently but we still need him to repeat things frequently which can be frustrating for all involved. Some days I think it will be nice when he joins the rest of us and speaks full English. Then I start to think about a day when I don’t hear high pitched, broken up sentences, made up words, and complete jibber jabber. That day is actually going to be quite sad. Now the day when he stops calling Isabelle, “Ju Ju,” well that day may just break my (partially frozen) heart in two.
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