Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Moving beyond Baby Talk

The other day, as I was on a walk with Kaya, I started to talk to her about things other than what she's doing or seeing (I OFTEN ask her what she sees, or what she wants, or what she needs, and do a lot of narrating of her actions). Through my feelings of frustration and fear, I realized that some of these overwhelming feelings might stem from the repeated creation of sentences and use of words that simply don't come naturally to a non-native speaker: stick that on there; put that in there; slide that open; stack the blue one on top of the yellow one, etc. At least these terms aren't coming naturally to me, so I end up feeling awkward and experiencing self-doubt as to whether I'm saying things properly. So, I started to talk to her about topics that I do know about--things like college, and the subjects that one studies there, and the fact that one day she might go there, but that we need to save up money for that because it's already twice as expensive as when I was in school. I let one thought take me to another, and another and another, and my sentences flowed along with my thoughts--and the positive feelings followed.

This was enlightening for me, and gave me hope that one day, when conversation flows in both directions between us, the conversation will "feel" incredibly different than it does now, and I won't be so overwhelmed by the idea of having a relationship in a foreign language with my baby.

Baby steps. =)

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