Friday, 25 July 2014

It's a mystery...

Ciarán  and Ethan
This is what happens when you leave 2 kids who speak a bit of French but a lot more English, to grand-parents who are in the complete opposite situation. And sometimes the "request" from the kids stays unexplainable, even for me...

Mum: "Hi, I'm calling because there's a mystery here at the moment (with an over dramatic voice), and maybe you can help"

Me: "OK, What's happening?"

Mum: "You speak English, so maybe you know what the boys mean when they say "Callus" (The spelling is of course completely imaginary, I don't know what it means and it's not even a word*, but I tried to write it phonetically).

Me: " Eerr, no... I don't know what "Callus" is. When did they ask for that?

Mum: "Well, we were in the car, coming back from the shop, and just before the roundabout, Ciarán said he wanted to go to "Callus". I thought he wanted to go to Calais!

Me: "Calais"? Seriously, mum? They don't even know where it is (It's a 7 hours drive...)

Mum: "He even told us the direction, so we turned around the roundabout twice, and went that way, but then he couldn't tell us where it was."

Me: "Right, so "Callus" is a place. I really don't know, we've never been that way with the kids. I know we have friends living in the area, but none of them are called "Callus" (or even close). I know they have a shed for the kids in the garden (French word for shed is "cabane" so it could have been that)...

Mum: No, Ciarán was pointing in a completely different direction. Then he started crying because we were not going to "Callus". Then, Ethan said he wanted to go to "Callus" too. And they started arguing at the back of the car:

Ciarán : "I want to go to "Callus""
Ethan: "No Ciarán, "Callus" is closed"
Ciarán: "Nooooo, "Callus" is open"

Me: "I'm lost. Put Ciarán on to me. Maybe he will tell..."

As it happened, Ciarán didn't want to talk to me. Nice. There was no way Ethan, 3 years old was going to solve the mystery.

Me: "Right, put me on to Ethan then"
Ethan: "Hiya Maman"
Me: "Hi baby, so, where did you want to go?"
Ethan: "I want to go to "Callus"
Me: "Right, and where is "Callus"?"
Ethan: *silence*
Me: " OK...And what do you do in "Callus"?
Ethan: "Yes.. "Callus"!

Mum: "So I guess you still don't know what they want"
 Me: " I'll ask Fabrice tomorrow, maybe he knows, but it's definitely a mystery"

I did ask Fabrice, he rang the kids and the only clue he got from Ciarán was that it's either near a petrol station, or it's a lighthouse...

I don't think we will ever know. Having bilingual kids is a challenge. I sometimes wonder if they speak English or French (or a language of their own). So I can't imagine how hard it is for my parents!

The good thing is, this immersion in the French language has really helped them, especially Ciarán who has spoken more French in the past 3 weeks than in 6 years. Trust me, when a child wants something and needs to be understood, he finds a way (well, except when it's related to "Callus"). But when he wants Ice cream, he definitely knows how to ask for it in French!

* I did look up that word on Google, it's gross. And it's definitely NOT what the kids were talking about!