My eldest daughter P loves to fly. (Would’ve fooled me). Still, she is always asking to take a plane. Seriously again and again and again. It gets annoying, mostly because I want to respond:
Yes well if we had more money we would take planes a lot! But we don’t so please stop reminding me.
But I am currently able to refrain from drinking during the day so instead I calmly answer:
Bientot Cherie, bientot on prendra l’avion. Je te le promets.
This means “Soon Darling, soon we will take a plane. I promise”. This borders dangerously on promises I might not be able to keep but I guess I like living on the edge.
I tried changing the conversation by asking her to where we should fly. I expected to hear something along the lines to Yaya’s or to Michel’s château. Instead she responds:
We will take a plane to Monday!
Uhm… Ok. I was stumped there for a second. I quickly realized that I wasn’t able to explain why that wasn’t possible in French or English. So you know what they say: “If you can’t beat them, join them!”
Sweetie, Papa would rather take a plane to Friday.
On a recent outing to West Coast Park, my daughter Pacifique turned to me and said, after trying to jump up and touch the flying kites, “Oh My God, that’s WAY too high for you!”. I nearly fell over.
Pacifique took what felt like ages to start speaking – particularly as two of her closest friends were extremely verbose at an early age. While they were reaching that parroting phase, uttering everything their parents were saying, Pacifique had barely put two words together.
Even so, I was still really careful with my choice of words when speaking to her or around her or so I thought. As it turns out, since I speak french to her, I was very careful with my choice of french words to her and any other french speakers we encountered – just in case today was the day she decided to start repeating what I said. What I now realize is that I paid less attention to what I was saying in English – the language I spoke with almost everyone else including my husband.
This November, Pacifique turned two and a half. She is just finally starting to reach that tipping point where she tries to repeat anything she hears. Fortunately for her and everyone else, it appears that I did manage to kick my teenage habits of saying “like”, “you know” and the dreaded “like you know” combo. Unfortunately it has come to light that I must say “oh my god” rather a lot given how often she has started using it. Another amusing phrase that I haven’t sourced yet is “yes of course” with a done that sort of implies I am rather daft for stating the obvious.
What I am left wondering is whether I should discourage her from using the “of course” or teach her how to say it in French so that in future she answers “oui biensure maman”? (I am a little worried that she may soon start rolling her eyes as she says it as well.)
One thing I do know is that it isn’t just profanity one has to watch, but all those nasty spoken habits you may not want your children to pick up.