It’s beginning!

March 31st, 2011

At nine months and a few days, it is still too early to look for bilingual expression, obviously. But what about bilingual comprehension?

Last week, our little girl started waving “goodbye” to me when I left her at the nanny’s. The first time it was the situation that prompted her action, or at least that’s how I interpret it: We were standing at the elevator, same as every morning, and I was stepping inside, when she suddenly began to wave her arm. The next day, while still in the nanny’s apartment, no “Let’s say goodbye to mommy” (me, in German) didn’t prompt any reaction. Once at the elevator, however, it did.

A few days later, we were leaving while Daddy was still in the bedroom. (Lucky him! Usually he leaves well before we do.) I said “Let’s say goodbye to Daddy”, and my little girl waved to him. This in an unusual situation, and not even standing by an open door or elevator, leading me to conclude that she was prompted by the words.

Now she starts waving goodbye to me even when we are still in the nanny’s  apartment with the front door closed. And the nanny told me that she waved goodbye to her daughter when the nanny asked her to do so.

What I am getting at? Well, you need to remember that I always speak German to my baby whereas the nanny addresses her exclusively in French. The nanny will say “dis au revoir”, while I say “sag tschüß”. In both cases, she waves her arm.

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