God how I am sick of that phrase!
When I was breasfeeding it was all "Keep Calm and Carry On".
When I was introducing solids again there it was.
When I had a second child empty his older brother's potty over his own head during potty training... yep you guessed it.
When boy #2 started potty training in his own inimitable style (he could have been described as being in denial) that phrase was all I had to cling to.
Like a life buoy thrown from a sinking ship. Keep Calm and Carry On.
I don't know if it's the Spanish in me, but I'm not a keep calm kind of gal...
Maybe it's how I was brought up or maybe it's in my genes, but SOMETIMES keeping calm is the absolute last thing on my mind. And with teaching a language it seems consistency and a calm manner is what it's all about.
My kids don't always listen to calm though. Sometmes the only way to get them out the door to school is to read them the riot act (in a slightly shrill voice).
And sometimes when week after week I speak to them in Spanish to be answered in English I occasionally fail to see it as a successful reminder of how far their comprehension has come and only as a reminder that they refuse to SPEAK spanish.
Is that surprising? No. I am not a robot. Much of the time I remind myself how well they've done, how much they both individually understand. The fact that the older child takes it upon himself to translate everything I say into english for his younger bro is kind of adorable. But it creates new problems for me too overcome if I want them both to learn. I am overcoming the youngest boy ignoring everything I say in Spanish. He is slowly but surely starting to respond. I explained to the elder son today that he could start speaking to me in Spanish as though I was a human being with feelings and not his slave; Instead of "Para!" perhaps he could say "Por favor, para de cantar mama"...
But the other day I lost the plot and inadvisably yelled at them about several things including not talking to me in Spanish. It was all muddled in my head. Both boys got very upset and the big boy even apologised to me in Spanish which made me feel AWFUL.
What's left to do? Give up? Blame the language for creating a barrier between us? Or accept I messed up and seek my children's forgiveness? The latter of course. We cuddled; we talked; we explained; I said sorry. Sometimes we mess up.
I guess it's back to Keep Calm and Carry On :)
Spanish Gemma is a mum living in Kings Heath, Birmingham, UK.
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