Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Breaking my Silence with her Twinkles and Tantes

It's past my bedtime--as it usually is when I finally find the time to write--but I realized that it's been SO long since I've written...and I don't like being so removed from this wonderful little blogging community for so long, so here I go. Bedtime be damned.

I don't really know what I have to say...I'm racking my brain for something, for some story to share about our sweet little thing. Her language is incredible these days...she continues to speak to each of us in German and English, respectively, and rarely mixes. I'm not sure how it is at the German Saturday School, where she's been attending since we got back from Germany in November--but I assume she doesn't mix her languages much there, either. Every once in a while, I hear her start a sentence in English with me, but she quickly switches over to German as soon as she processes that she's talking to me. It's also really fun that she speaks English with Kensa, our dog--yet another opportunity for her brain to practice switching from one to the next. "Ich habe ihr gesagt, dass sie rausgehen soll," [I told her that she needs to go out], she told me yesterday, as she let her out the front door.

Now I'm reminded of a little story to share. She's been really into naming her "friends" lately--which is fun, because for the longest time, many of her stuffed animals didn't have a name. It's funny because that's often the first thing that people ask her. "What's your monkey's name?" they'll ask, seeking a reply. She often remains quiet, however, causing them to rephrase the question: "Does your monkey have a name?" Until my family came for Thanksgiving, her favorite monkey (the stand-in for most girls' baby) was nameless. Now, however, he's Marvin, named after my uncle and dad's brother in California. And there's Ellie, the giraffe, who was named by Craig when he came to visit. I think he helped name both giraffes, though the other name is escaping me at the moment. The names that Kaya comes up with on her own aren't your run-of-the-mill Suzie or Bobby, or even Tigger or Stripes. Instead, she names them after people in her life that are important to her. The other day, for instance, Kaya told me that "Tante Gaymie (she still struggles with her j sound) schlaeft noch." [Aunt Jamie is sleeping still]. I thought it was a bit strange that she not only knew that our neighbor was still asleep at 11am on a Tuesday, but that she would bring it up so randomly while we were in the bathroom. I passed it off, probably partly in my own world at the time. But when she said it again later, it became clear to me that she was referring to her baby--the one with the eye that won't quite close while it's lying down. Yesterday, while she and Geoff were cleaning out the van (anyone want to buy our '93 Eurovan poptop?!), she was driving him to zoo where they were going to look at the zebras and elephants. I was in the backseat, at that point, as she wanted me to go to the zoo with them. Before driving off, however, Kaya made it clear that she needed to get "Auntie Sara", and she quickly turned from the steering wheel to grab, from the other seat, the turquoise chinchilla (the one that Cannon Beach Sarah had given her last summer). "Auntie Sara" in hand, and Tante Gamie asleep in her room, we sped off to the zoo, with Kaya at the wheel, where we saw not only purple anteaters but the troll under the bridge playing hide and seek with his favorite blanket (Pooh on one side, dragonfly on the other).

In addition to that little story, I took a little video of Kaya singing "Funkel-Funkel" (Twinkle-Twinkle) the other day. I started the video a bit after she starts...but she starts over at one point, so you can hear the beginning, too. Also, if you listen closely, you can hear her say the phrase that she consistently mixes: "Be leise" [be quiet], as she tells me not to sing ("nicht singen!"). At the end, as at the end of most of our videos these days, you can hear her eagerly asking to see the video ("I wiw den Video sehn").

So, for now, I'll leave you with that, and swear I'll be back sooner next time. Writing rocks.

Funkel, funkel kleiner Stern, 
Alle sehen dich so gern
Sendest Licht in unsere Welt, 
Ein Diamant am Himmelszelt, 
Funkel, funkel, kleiner Stern, 
Alle sehen dich so gern!

(for another version, with different lyrics--and not quite as mellow:)


  1. Nice to have you back, Tamara! So sweet to hear how Kaya is naming her dolls and toys - and after people she knows and loves! These little ones are so precious :)
    I love to hear her singing! Aleksander just started singing his first song, and it's so much fun :)

    1. Hi Kate, Great to have you "back" here, too, thanks! I'm glad to know that Aleksander is singing, too, that you have these precious little melodies to build upon, also!

      I've been meaning to reach out and ask you if you want to help expand the Non-native Crib Sheet that I currently have on my blog, simply translated from our English Non-native french blogger friend...I saw that you mentioned that we might be able to do that (?), though I can't remember the details of who said what now.

      I'd love for it to be a work on progress, that we both have on our sites for others to use and benefit from. I vaguely remember you mentioning that you have one, or were working on one, but need to check out your site first to remember.

      What you think?

  2. Oh that video is so previous!!

    I am excited to see your crib sheet too!

    Hi! I will be hosting February's Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism at www.perogiesandgyoza.blogspot.com on February 23. I really hope you can participate this month too! Please send your link to perogies.gyoza at gmail.com before the 23rd and then check back to see what everyone else has posted!


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