February 18, 2013

first words

We all remember our kids' first words (or at least they are written in the baby book).  A baby's first words are usually "Mama" and "Dada," which pleases us greatly, and we hope for happy, wholesome words to follow, such as, "Love you," and, "Sorry," and "More peas, please."  The reality is that their first words after "Mama" and "Dada" are more often "No!" and "Mine!", or in the case of my big brother, Kody, I believe his first phrase was, "Daddy farted."

Around here we are learning Chinese.  The kids have a friendly graduate student who comes over twice a week with a satchel of lessons and gimmicks to help them acquire their second language.  She speaks just enough English to guide them along, and I've grown to trust the content enough to leave them to their lessons, while I make dinner or whatever.  Though I've been assuming they are learning a few phrases, I've not actually heard them speak.

Until yesterday.

I was discouraged (something that is not altogether uncommon lately on account of my having to wait a few months before the proper natural hormone therapy is available.  BOO HOO), but this time my discouragement was warranted.  I had purchased my favorite snack, youzi (honey pomelo), only to find that it's thick, usually very dry peel was heavily laden with water.  The fruit had been injected with water to make it heavier and therefore more expensive.  I would have just eaten it, but the water that is used for this trick is not the purified kind (BOO HOO, again.)

I tossed the fruit in the trash.
Bright said, "Why don't you ask for your money back?"
I said, "Oh honey, I don't know enough language to go into all that with the fruit stand owner."

"Just say, 'Wo yao wode qian!'" Bright said.

And there you have it, for all our training on contentment and gospel-centered living, my son's first phrase in his second language was, "I want my money." 

Aren't we proud.