As I'm sure you'll be totally enthralled to know, Ash has started speaking. Not like political debate type sentences or anything, but random words, and he's copying words a bit too. (Dangerous, as I say fuck at least 15 times a day.) He sometimes says things that resemble words but are more like organised gibberish, but the other night, when I pulled out his sickeningly cute kindy hat he pointed at it, and in a very clear, big voice said, "BOU-SHI!" (HAT). It actually shocked the hell out of me, how did this little ball of lard turn into a walking, talking, mini-human so damn quick!?
Of course I praised him for his language win, but then I got defensive. Why did he say it in Japanese first? This really shouldn't get me so miffed, we live in Japan, he goes to a Japanese speaking kindergarten, all his relatives apart from me speak Japanese to him. Why am I surprised, pissed off even??
I tried to get him to say "hat" I even poked his fat little belly in an effort to persuade him to say it in English, but there was no eigo love, it was all about the Japanese. I think it pisses me off most when I'm at the in-law's house. MIL isn't too bad, if she knows the English word she'll say it after she says the Japanese word (granted, in a horribly katakana accent, but still, better than nothing, no?), so at least she tries. She also supports me somewhat when I try to tell him something in English, like she'll ask me what it means and try and remember it.
Grandma is the one that pisses me off most. I get that she's old, she doesn't want to learn any other bastard language that isn't her own, and fair play to her. But just a teeeensy bit of support would be good. For example, Ash knows the word "momo" (peach) very well, so last night I was trying to get him to say peach...
Me: (pointing to the book) What's this Ash?
Ash: Mo mo!
Me: Yeah, good job! In English, it's PEACH, can you say peach??
Grandma: (Who I thought was watching TV but obviously was keeping one eye on her great-grandson's brain being infected with foreign languages) もも！もも！ね～アシュくん、ももね！
The rough translation is: momo! It's momo isn't it Ash! (With the implied meaning, you don't need to learn that other filthy foreign word, ignore your mummy and keep saying momo!) If she's not going to help me teach him English, she really needs to zip it in my opinion! Maybe I should hide her teeth in the middle of the night so she won't be able to talk properly... You know, just for a day or two...
I've never been a bi-lingual nazi, I'm all about the natural course of things when it comes to language. If I couldn't speak Japanese at all I'd definitely be making more effort to teach him English, but seeing as though communication in one or the other language probably isn't going to be such a problem I really wasn't that worried. Saying that though, I want to give him maximum opportunities to be exposed to English as I can, just to help him along the way. I say that, but now I'm getting language jealousy whenever he says something in Japanese.
He also says "Taaa-chiiii", which is supposed to be "touch" which in normal Englishey type words is "high five" but this one pisses me off too. Don't fucking steal English words and then use them as you want. Touch is not the same as high five people! I guess I just have to be consistent and keep plodding along giving him as much English as possible, either that or accidentally flush Grandma's teeth down the dunny...