The haiku of blog posts in honour of this month’s Raising Multilingual Kids Carnival. The Carnival will be out around the 24th. Sign up at the link above to get it while it’s hot!
There were times I thought I couldn’t possibly embarrass myself linguistically more than accidentally telling my boyfriend’s mother that I was muy embarazada or ‘very pregnant’. Her genuine excitement put her in my good books forever. Anyone who can set aside religion to embrace an accidental baby is my kind of gal. And now she takes everything I say in Spanish with a grain of salt.
Embarrassment-babies aside, I did manage to take my verbal gaffs to a whole new level — this time involving my kids to boot!
Here’s how we became total social pariahs at the pool. Was it my penchant for topless sunbathing? Nope. I packed those babies away after they decided to go South for the winter and never return home.
It was the little seal toy Pea and Plum were given in Singapore by their swim teacher as a parting gift. It’s also a toy Pacifique wouldn’t leave the house without, a toy she loves to cradle and calls: Phoque-y which is pronounced FUCK-Y.
Picture a lovely crystal blue pool, sun shining, kids splashing happily. And then imagine an argument break out between two sisters over a toy:
“Give me back my FUCKY!”
“No it’s my turn for FUCKY!”
Blah blah blah Fuck, blabla bla fucky. One ends in tears, the other holds the prized possession.
“Oh my sweet little fucky. I love you little fuck. Isn’t he cute?”
Un phoque in French is –as you’ve probably guessed by now –a seal.
And that lovely happy scene I painted? It turned to an expat poolside version of Munch’s Scream. Me? I was left nervously laughing and mumbling about the joys of multilingual parenting whilst packing the pool toys, cradling my boobs, and glancing around for a guard to call me a tuk-tuk home.
What painfully awkward moment would you like to share? I promise, it’s feels good to let it out. And yes you should trust the woman who vlogged about diarrhea and car journeys.
This month’s Carnival is hosted by The European Mama. She is a rock star on so many levels, I don’t know where to start. Not to mention the incredible Annabelle from PiriPiri Lexicon who revived the Carnival. If I didn’t like and admire these women so much, I’d cower in a corner, yellow with envy at their unbelievable productivity and kindness. Please check out all their hard work showcasing a bunch of great entries!
ah! I could have written something similar as L loves seeing the seals at the zoo and people always turn around when she says ‘phoque’
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Love it! “I love you little fuck” ! Growing up bilingual (Eng/French) my friends and I had so much fun with the word – and indeed knew what it sounded like…
Thank you! I never realised that moving to a tropical country would create so any opportunities. We would relentlessly embarrass my mum as kids. I wonder what will happen the day thy are in fact aware of the meanings. Hopefully not for a long time!
Here’s my favorite “f-word” anecdote: When I was teaching my nephew French, as a toddler he couldn’t pronounce two consonants together, so “facteur” (mailman) became, yes, “fucker.” Can you imagine the looks we got when he would see the mailtruck and start yelling “fucker, fucker, fucker!” with glee?!
Sarah – that is too funny! My friend’s mono-lingual son confused Ts & Fs and LOVED trucks. You can imagine the rest. Bless kids. they are so awesome.
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It is a great scene you have painted! We sent our children to French Immersion, and they had quite a bit of fun with us and their play on words when they were young.
Catherine thank you! I hope we keep having fun and perhaps a few less awkward moments. Lol!
Haha! I’ll never forget the first time I hear my husband reading(in French) a book about a baby seal to our daughter. “What did you just say?!?!?” LOL
Fortunately my husband is Mexican so it isn’t much better!