Olivia listens to a local tell her about her dog
Olivia has been in school a few weeks now and has quickly decided that she loves it!
Last week, DH asked her if she had any new friends at school. She told him that she had a new friend, Maria. Later that week, I overheard DH ask her if she had a boyfriend (we’ve since discussed that “boyfriend” is an inappropriate word to use with a three-year-old!). Without hesitation, she replied, “Yes, I do! His name is Joao!”
And, boy is she learning Portuguese! Her comprehension is coming much faster than I anticipated (I was worried about the language barrier. Her teachers do not speak to her in English). And, just yesterday, she came home singing a song in Portuguese. I am more than thrilled! She’s already gained so much self-confidence and pride. This is a wonderful opportunity, indeed! I wish every American child could experience this!
Imagine, if, like most other countries where, beginning in preschool, children learn English, American children learned a Latin language (once you master one Latin language, it’s easier to master other Latin languages, and, often, any other language, in general)! Imagine the opportunities and worlds opened up to them! DH works with in a place where 29-countries (I believe that’s the number) are represented. The British and the Americans are the only countries who, typically, only speak one language. Many of DH’s friends speak up to five languages! DH tells me he is often humiliated by his lack of language knowledge.
Sorry about the rant. Back to Olivia:
Monday morning, she got up and walked outside, in her PJ’s, to greet our gardener. I was sitting in the dining room and didn’t catch what he said to her. I doubt I would have caught too much anyway. He speaks Portuguese as fast as I speak English (My international friends tell me I speak much too fast). Suddenly, Olivia stomped into the kitchen and we had the following conversation:
Olivia: “Mom, I don’t know what the gardener is saying to me.”
Me: “Olivia, what do you think he’s saying to you?”
Olivia: “I think he’s telling me to go get my shoes on!”
Up the stairs she went, where she got fully dressed and went back outside. Listening carefully, I heard the gardener thank her for putting her shoes on. A few minutes later, she sulked back into the house and, whining, told me that he asked her to go back inside. This made sense because he was watering the flowers on the deck and the deck was getting soaked.
On the way to school that morning, she begged to stay all day. Since she’ll be staying all day on Monday’s (starting in October) because of ballet class there in the afternoon, I decided to let her.
When I picked her up in the afternoon, she was playing closely with a few of her new friends. I caught her shrieking with delight as I walked into the backyard to pick her up. On the way home, she proclaimed it a good day and said, “I’m not afraid anymore, Mom! I want to sleep there and play there all day, everyday!”
If that’s not embracing preschool, I don’t know what is!