Monday, 22 February 2016

The month of many!

There has just been so much going on this month, I have to share a short snapshot of at least the last week: 

in addition to Masch starting to stand and pull himself up on everything, it seems that Misch is now starting to understand not only that Mommy and Daddy speak a different gobble-dee-gook (ie language) from kindergarten, but also that he can distinguish and switch between the two! 

Having arrived in kindergarten one morning last week he plunked his little derrière on the seat in front of his teacher, who was preparing breakfast, asking for 'Brot'. Before saying goodbye to his Dad, he turned around to him and translated for him 'bread'. Since then we have been indulging in much parental, obviously fully-objective praise for our little genius! 

Staying with the topic of bilingual children, I also held my first talk last Friday for a group of parents interested in raising their children bilingually or multi-lingually at the 'Elternschule', a center funded by the city of Hamburg running all kinds of activities supporting young families: playgroups, pre-natal prep courses, etc.... and these talks! 

So, there I was, having been asked the evening before whether I could step-in, with Misch, and parents from Russia, Turkey, Peru, Italy.... you name it, they were there. A big thanks to the manager of the center who had asked me to come and introduced the session.  

We spent a great hour talking about my experience being raised bilingually, answering many questions, and telling how Hubby and I are raising Misch and Masch.

Here a few of the main points for those of you interested in the topic:

  • giving your child the ability of bilingualism, or multilingualism, is a gift!! I have yet to meet a child who didn't feel that way. 
  • raising children bilingually (substitute multi-lingually here, if that fits you, from now on) is work. It does not just happen, even if you are your partner each speak different languages. It requires some effort, and dedication in making sure you speak a language that, for example, is not the one you speak with your partner, or you haven't spoken for a while, or is not your mother tongue, depending on what system your use. Which brings me nicely to the next point, and, I think, most important one: 
  • figure out a system that works for you and your family and stick with it!!! Be it speaking one language at home and learning another in kindergarten, or each parent speaking one language to the child/children, or any other variation you can come up with: make sure it is a system you are comfortable with and stick with it. Children are smart (!!) and will notice any wavering faster than you will, and take advantage. Who can blame them? Grown-ups like taking the easier route too.
  • Enjoy!!! 
Speaking from my own experience, you will be giving your child more than you can imagine!

Yours truly, 


Sunday, 3 January 2016

Double-whammy part II, or why my brain has abandoned me!

The verdict is in: parenthood has addles my brain. 

While I used to blame 'juvenile Alzheimer' for my occasional forgetfulness, my brain has definitely abandoned me now, losing all capability of retaining much of anything at this point. 

Including writing my second part of this post yesterday.... maybe I can manage to still be in Saturday in some time zone out there. For the rest of you, my brain and I sincerely apologise

Finally, a section from my drafts, a little peek into the time before Masch's arrival, for your delectation: 

We are having a relaxed Sunday at home, the three of us still in pyjamas and enjoying the fact that we having nothing to do. The sun is out again, gracing us with its presence after being in hiding most of this week, Baby is playing with his bead maze on the floor, Hubby is reading and I have decided to make some bread. This desire does not overcome me very often, but today it has. Yeast was on sale at our supermarket recently and I have a craving for poppy seed bread and challah, so away we go. Yeah for making a great big mess in the kitchen, lovely smells coming from the oven, and some junk TV on in the background. 

I am in the middle of packing away the challah dough to rise for another hour when I feel a small tap on my foot. I look down, and low-and-behold, Misch has made it all the way over into the kitchen from his spot in the middle of the living room floor to come and see what I am up to. I get a toothy grin between a mass of curls from my little boy, obviously proud of his achievement, and lift him up to celebrate this milestone. Our baby can move! And at what speed! A minute ago he was still where I had left him in the middle of the living room floor. 

I put him back down, keen to see where he will be off to next, exploring unknown territories. Off he goes, skootching his way over the floor in a Rambo-like fashion, a style similar to what I imagine soldiers learn to do when having to keep low in combat: arms pulling him forwards, and knees out to the sides, pumping along in the rhythm his feet push him forwards. Two more minutes and he has checked out at the perimeter of the kitchen and is on his way to the bin, which is made of metal and therefore a great new noisy toy to him. As yet it is too big for him to tip it over. 

Wow, our child is crawling! Of his own fashion, the but hasn’t quite made it into the air yet, but he gets where he wants to be. And that seems to be pretty much everywhere he can get to on the floor without obstacles in his way. Damn the parents and their furniture. 

It dawns on Hubby and me that now the time begins when not only to we have to secure all the sockets, which we, as good and conscientious parents have, of course, already done, but also get everything in Misch’s reach out of the way. The days of breakable items on bottom shelves and sewing kits in open cabinets are definitely over. While this realization sinks in, Misch is happily chowing down on one of Hubby’s shoes which he has found near our entrance door. Tasty!

Friday, 1 January 2016

MyMischMasch im Doppelpack / 2-for-the-price-of-one MyMischMasch

Happy New Year to all you wonderful MischMaschers out there! 

May 2016 bring you all the things you wish for, and more, but, most importantly, health and happiness! 

As a special start to this year there is a MyMischMasch double-whammy for you, two-for-the-price-of-one as it were: 

One of the great joys of holidays with two children, for us, are these: 

Misch's favourite things: 
  1. his little sibling, Masch
  2. turtles
  3. more
  4. stars
and, most of all, 'Myyyyaaaaaammmmm', or 'jam' to the rest of us. 

Masch's favourite things: 
  1. sitting
  2. Misch's train
  3. anything Misch is playing with
  4. apple sauce
and, most of all, playing with Daddy's foot. 

I don't about anyone else out there, but celebrating with two under- 2,5-year-olds can be, at times, exhausting.... :) Luckily all this is forgotten once we hear the happy squeals the above favourite things elicit. 

Hoping you had just a Christmas and New Year's Eve filled with many squeals and giggles! 

Your MyMischMasch family

Frohes Neues Jahr an alle wunderbaren MischMascher da draußen! 

Möge Euch 2016 alles bringen, das Ihr Euch wünscht und vor allem viel Gesundheit und Zufriedenheit! 

Heute und morgen gibt es ein MyMischMasch Doppelpack für Euch, zwei-für-den-Preis-von-einem, sozusagen: 
  • Einen Post heute und einen weiteren morgen!
  • Den heutigen Post gibt es in Englisch und in Deutsch!
Viel Spaß! 

Feiern mit Kleinkindern ist ja so eine Sache: auf der einen wunderbar und intensiv, auf der anderen Seite ermüdend, sodass man Abends nur so in den Seilen hängt. 

Ganz wunderbar finden wir Folgendes: 

Mischs Top 5: 
  1. sein kleiner Bruder, Masch
  2. Schildkröten
  3. mehr 
  4. Sterne
und, am aller wichtigsten, Marmelade! 

Maschs Top 5: 
  1. Sitzen
  2. Mischs Zug
  3. alles, womit Misch spielt
  4. Apfelbrei
und, am aller wichtigsten, mit Papa's Fuß spielen! 

Wir hoffen, Ihr habt Feiertage voller Kichern und Spaß verbracht und Euch steht ein ahnlich erfreuliches Jahr bevor! 

Eure MyMischMasch Familie