Conversations with a bilingual preschooler: Overtranslation

October 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Parenting, Spain, Spanish

Bottle CapThe other day I was out walking with my bilingual four-year-old daughter, and we passed a pair of elderly women. One of them was carrying a plastic bag full of plastic bottle caps to recycle, probably for charity. Out of the blue, my daughter begins this conversation:

“Do you know what Grandpa likes to do?”

“No, what?”

“He likes to go to bars and get tops.”

“Tops?”

“Like bottle tops.”

[huge burst of laughter!]
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Nora’s English Report Card – Year 1

June 21, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Photos

English Report CardToday was Nora’s last day of school for the year; her first scholastic year is in the books. This school year has flown by. Nora has received three report cards (different columns in the same booklet) throughout the year, and it has been interesting to chart her progress. I’m convinced that the teachers intentionally give low marks early on so that they can show improvement throughout the year, but that’s understandable. In each “subject”, the children receive a grade of either one, two or three X’s, with XXX being the best grade. From the very first time we saw the report card, we were curious as to why she only received XX in English, since she’s very clearly bilingual.
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Home Economics 101 – How To Iron

January 11, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

How To Iron - ThumbnailI have a very vivid memory from my Developmental Psychology class in college about a study in which a diapered infant was given to adults to babysit for a short time. Half of the babysitters were told that the infant was a boy and half that it was a girl. The half that were told it was a boy went to the toy chest and selected cars and hammers to play with, and the half told it was a girl selected dolls and combs and kitchenware. The experiment did an excellent job of calling into doubt the origin, Nature or Nurture, of our societal gender stereotypes.

When I learned I would have a daughter I promised myself that I would make every effort to not provide her any gender stereotypes. I’ve never bought her any pink toys or “girly” stuff.
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State of the Offspring Address – October 2011

October 03, 2011 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Photos

Beach GirlNora has taken very, very well to her potty training that we started in June. We’ve had just three bed wettings in the six weeks since returning from her three-week summer vacation and going “off diaper” 24/7. We’ve had a few bowel surprises that weren’t quite anticipated in time to “RUN TO THE POTTY!!” (an exclamation heard often lately). About once a day she lets enough drops of “pee-pee” escape to require a new pair of panties, but the outer garment almost never needs changing. Quite often, she’ll head out of the room like she’s going to get a toy, only to utter, five minutes later from behind a closed bathroom door, a “Poppy! Come limp my bottom!” When I enter, I find her sitting on the toilet with a gigantic, er, “creation” in the bowl beneath her.
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