2018 has just begun and I’m full of hope and I have confidence in our future bilingual journey. We have tough days but a day like today always fills me with optimism and confirms we are on the right track.
Today started as nothing special. What’s more, we woke up in Hungarian, which is always a kind of disappointment for me. Half way through the breakfast the girls asked for a book to read. I was hesitating as we were running late from the kindergarten, but I had decided to say more YESes this year so I gave in. We read 2 or 3 short stories in English and somehow we stayed in English.
E. helped L. get dressed into the thick winter clothes, directing and encouraging her to do it alone in English. We were chatting about the day all the way to the kindergarten in English. I promised E. to pick her up early, right after L.’s nap time. She was blue, she wanted to stay with us and go to the playground together.
Right after dropping E. off at the kindergarten we headed to the playground with L. who was singing : “Let’s go to the playground, playground, playground, come on and play”. (see video on this link)
She was sliding, running around, hiding in a little house with her little red nose and cold hands. The weather wasn’t too bad but a bit chilly. We played games in English like in the swing. She was holding on tight and I lifted her swing up higher and higher on the count of 5 and pretending to be aeroplanes flying high. Or she hid in the little house and I was the bear chanting Round and round the garden like a teddy bear. When I reached to the point – one step, two steps – I stepped into the house and once I tickled her at another times kissed her all around. Her laugh was the sweetest and I didn’t have enough of her “again”s.
We went to buy our lunch to the nearby take-away and slowly walked home, L. pushing her buggy or jumping in puddles and shouting out: Yipee!
After lunch L asked for Hush Little Baby and I rocked her to sleep while singing. Then I had a little me-time. I could go on with the unfinished Days of December blog post, as well as the album, plus I finally managed to sew a long forgotten button onto my husband’s coat while watching an episode of the series 24 (in English, of course).
I realised L. woke up when she was playing with a balloon in the dining room, tiptoeing in her sleeping bag and saying: funny balloon.
We quickly got ready – L. helped me choose what snacks to take – “Mommy pretzel yummie” and “fruit puree” and went to pick E. up. She was happy to see us and it was no question that she used English immediately when she heard we’d been in English with L.
The three of us visited the same playground as earlier and had the snacks on a bench before immersing ourself in playing, mainly swinging and trying a little boy’s backhoe in the sandpit. Little L. asked for the digger in English (Can I get it, excavator?) then E. instructed her to ask it in Hungarian instead (Kérem szépen) so they could try digging with the digger.
On the way home E. was holding L.’s little hand explaining her how some building had been “crashed down” (sic) by big machinery. She also pointed out a broken car to L.’ amazement. All in English.
As we were getting closer to our house they started to play a game. E. gave the instructions what to do and also demonstrated it to L. Touch this brick, step into this puddle, hug the water-spout, climb up on these steps, come down etc. L. asked E, for help who eagerly assisted her little sister: lifted her if she couldn’t reach something or held her hand to help.
At home I started to prepare for dinner while they were playing in the living-room. Together. In English. E. helped L. draw some atoms, then they had a look at the “match the lid” box. E. applied imaginary body lotion on L, which she fancied so much. Next I saw them on the floor looking at some books.
Later Daddy came home, we played a card game that E. made up (she made the cards herself in the kindergarten) then he took L. to take a bath. They kept on using English. I stayed with E. and played a few more rounds of her card game (Snap the pair) and we also looked up on the Internet some carnival costume ideas. (She wants to be an atom or some chemical element.)
When L. was ready I took E. to take a shower and her plush spider joined her too, which we scrubbed thoroughly as he was filthy.
We were still in English at the dinner table talking about our day and discussing tomorrow’s programmes.
The girls watched some videos (Blippi mainly) while I took a quick shower myself. Then in bed I read The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl, which seemed to capture E.’s imagination as this was the second time within 4 days she’d asked me to read it. (She’s asking a lot about words/expressions like baffled, famished, filthy, swoop and swear on your honour that we met while reading it.)
I could hear Daddy in our bedroom reading to Little L. in English too.
Days like today encourage me and lift me up high. I feel we are capable of anything, no obstacle can stop us on our bilingual odyssey. I needed to write down this ordinary and at the same time extraordinary day to take heart from it on the difficult days. I hope this little writing will give you hope and a little boost when you feel down and disheartened.