I'm shootin' for the world record for the shortest Non-Native Bilingualism post ever published...let's see how I do.
Tonight, after Kaya got back from her grandparents for a few days, I couldn't help but feel astounded at the shift that seems to have occurred in her language tendencies. She's become a little German chatterbox, enunciating clear as a bell, using past tense completely accurately, telling me about things I can't believe she even notices. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is has shifted...but it's clearly something, and I wanted to get it down in fine print so that I could refer to it later should I ever feel like re-examining the various stages of language development (or some friendly reader wants to shed the light on it for me!). As I was riding home with her in the car tonight, not to mention walking around downtown with her today, it was like the German was just rolling out of her mouth and into my ears.
Truly a dream come true.
p.s. As I was sitting at the table tonight, one day after writing this, I realized what it is that's so different: speaking with my daughter in German suddenly feels like I'm speaking not only with a kid (vs. a baby or a toddler), but with a native German speaker who is simply speaking her mind vs. trying to find the right words to express herself...!