Friday, May 15, 2009

Knowing it All

After a long and harrowing flight, Papa Kay made it to Lyon today. While we'd hoped that the direct JFK-Lyon connection would make for easy international travel, this leg of the journey ended up in quite the fiasco. About two hours into the journey across the Atlantic, the pilot had to turn around and head back because the computer navigational system failed! I'm just so grateful they managed to find their way back to Manhattan before the plane went glub, glub.

Naturally, the grandkids were delighted to see their grandpa again, especially since he donned an entire suitcase full of goodies like mac and cheese, peanut butter, and Fruit Loops. In turn, Brooklyn was excited to show him the book she checked out during her class field trip to the library. Talia, on the other hand, couldn't wait to unveil her new potty (actually, she did most of the unveiling.)

Brooklyn took Papa Kay on a trip to Marché U, our local supermarket, to pick up a couple of last minute dinner items. It must have been quite entertaining to watch this 4 year-old tell her grandpa who's half a century older exactly what to do and say. She was trying to teach him a complicated phrase in French, but when Papa Kay didn't remember it all, she settled for "merci."

When Brooklyn got home, I asked her what exactly she was trying to teach Papa Kay to say. This was the response I got:

"I was teaching Papa Kay to say: Est-ce que je peux speak-er l'anglais?"

This response totally cracked me up for two reasons: first of all, it's a request for permission to speak English. Not exactly the most common speech act when interacting with the grocery store clerk, but imaginative nonetheless. I'm guessing that Brooklyn learned it at school--now that she's more conversant in French, she probably has to get approval before she resorts to her native tongue. What's even more hilarious is Brooklyn's innovative use of the verb "speak-er" instead of "parler." It was conjugated correctly and spoken with a very French accent, yet the verb stem was completely borrowed from English. It would be like a four year-old francophone saying "May I parle French?" Even more, it took me a while to convince Brooklyn that "speak-er" wasn't actually French and that "parler" would be a more appropriate word choice.

I guess I shouldn't feel too bad that it took me a moment to establish my credibility. Today Brooklyn tried to convince me that her teacher was singing the wrong lyrics to a French song--and then she wanted me to tell the teacher so! Wouldn't it be nice to be four and already know everything...


Tanja said...

Enjoy your trip together !!!
Como estas? Muy Bien.

Mom L said...

Cute! What more can I say?

chou said...

I'm rolling with joy. Have a great trip!

Summer said...

I hope you never stop blogging. I enjoy reading yours so much. Its always something thoughtful, witty, and interesting. I hope we can meet up with you guys sometime when you get back.