I’ve been re-reading and brushing up some old posts. Our language journey and life in general seems shiny and bright, full of laughter, success, and happiness. E. looks so cheerful and contented in the pictures and this whole bilingual project appears to be easy-peasy and the greatest fun ever.
The truth couldn’t be farther away from it.
If I want to paint a realistic picture I really need to write about our melt-downs, tantrums, bad moods, lack of energy and motivation, bad-BAD days, failed projects, no-time-for-English days and I could go on listing the other difficulties.
So here is the dark side in 5 points:
- The most difficult and disappointing experience for me is when I prepare some activities for E. for days and she is just not interested or isn’t in the mood to take part in it. Sometimes I leave it for a few days and try with the project again and she goes berserk about it. (During the summer time she was extremely into dinosaurs and fossils so I made her a special play-dough with which she could make dinosaur fossils. To cut the long story short, we ended up with a great mess and a crying child)
- Another tough situation is when the circumstances ruin an activity or due to circumstances I can’t reach the aim I’d proposed to myself. For instance, I haven’t managed to find a native nanny since A. (our British nanny for almost 2 years) left us. All my attempts for finding one have been futile. I bumped into unreliable people, arrogant ones, or some who charges for babysitting as much as I prepare someone for a CAE exam.
Another example: In the summer I wanted to make a really good science experiment “What melt in the Sun?” We had an extremely hot summer this year with 5-6 heat waves, which meant 37-38 Celsius degrees for weeks. I myself almost melted in the Sun. By the time I put together the activity and managed to thrill E. about the experiment the weather turned bad (cloudy windy and a drop in temperature) within minutes. I was on the verge of crying after spending 3 days with the preparation.
- Lack of time is a major issue. Since E. is in nursery during the day her Hungarian has started to rocket and her English has fallen much behind. We can’t spend so much time in English as we used to. Frankly, it frustrates me. She can’t express herself as well and precisely in English, then she gets frustrated. She’s mixing the languages more and more and although I know it’s just a phase, it really disheartens me. I really try to do my best to connect English usage with fun playtime that she enjoys but most of the time we’ve been in English lately is when she was home ill.
- I’m really concerned about her choice of language as well. She used to play in English and it was her choice. She used to ask me to be in English because it’s fun. Nowadays she rather plays in Hungarian, she hardly ever sings in English as her choice and mixes a lot of Hungarian in her English (mainly when it’s easier for her to express herself in Hungarian, although when I ask if she could say it in English she can – without any problem)
- I’m tired, exhausted… yet more knackered. I lack the energy and motivation to prepare the tasks that E. is always asking for. I feel alone in our language project though Daddy helps as much as he can. I find it extremely laborious to find programmes that are in English, or playmates, nannies, or any other events that involve some English. At the end of the day I often feel I failed and we stepped on a downhill and there will be no stopping.