Dienstag, 15. Juli 2008
from the mouths of babes
Working at a Montessori kindergarten, I write down LOTS of observations. I record trends that are troubling (like a certain child's sudden pliability and tendency to do whatever another child suggests) or spates of bullying and what-not. We also have language booklets. We record full sentences or sentence fragments that the children accomplish in one of the three foreign languages. I, however, like to record some sentences in the children's mother tongues, as well. A rant of one of our students that is quite clearly the parroting of a parent ("weisch, Ich will nüüt zu der neue Schule geh, ich ha'zu viel zu tun, und s'wäre noch eiz umfahrt.": "'ya know, I don't even wanna go to the new school, I've got so much to do and it'll only be another detour to take."), or something so damn cute I don't wanna forget it ("America is like cookies, it's the best, but you can't have it every day.")
My colleague and I have argued about which things the children have come up with themselves. The only ones we can agree on are when the children are role-playing and imitating the teachers. This is never a proud moment for us. I cringe when one of the girls announces that she is Jessy. "Alright. That's enough!" "I don't like that kinda talk" "Calm down!" They are pitch-perfect and simplify my role in their lives to an embarassing degree.
Ivo came hiking yesterday with the kids, and I found myself parroting my parent. "We're almost there! Just a little further!" That is parroting a parent. We had he best time. I was a little cheerleader when those with shorter legs complained. Ivo was a pedestrian rickshaw when he heard their complaining. He came up with the "let's throw stones in the river!" idea when one of our more frequent criers fell down and got a boo-boo. He spoke in everyone's own language, which raised the question "Why do you speak Italian?" in Italian from Arianna, our Italian students.
Arianna's rather forthright blathering in English and German is often quite priceless. A few examples:
"A man came to visit. He doesn't have pretty teeth like ours."
"When you go to Rome you can eat anything you want and sleep all morning." (This in response to our asking for advice for our trip to Rome this weekend.)
"St. Nicholas is old and ugly and smells and I don't like him. I think he eats children."
"Ich liebe Ivo, ganz einfach."
This is interesting, as St. Nicholas, this year, was played by Ivo. She doesn't know this. Her mother tried to explain that her opinion of St. Nick may be because she has a beard phobia. This, Arianna has not parotted.
In her ever-honest way, Arianna's new found love, Ivo was honored in her art work today. She wanted to make a thank you card for Ivo and drew big hearts and "Ivo" and "love" all over the place.
Feelin' pretty good about my man. Because, let's face it, I do say "Alright! That's enough!" quite a lot.