Growing up bi-lingual doesn't just happen. It takes dedication, a great deal of patience and often repeating words, over and over again. French husband speaks French to the children, and naturally I speak English to them.
When Chelsea was three years old, she said with sweet reflection, "Mere de Dieu." I looked over at French husband and saw he was beaming with pride. "Chelsea said, Mother of God, in French." He translated, "She is praying."
Chelsea repeated, "Mer-de...Dieu!" Then she started to giggle. I looked over at French husband, and asked if I was missing an inside joke or something? He shook his head no, but studied Chelsea with a very stern look.
"Mer...de..dieu." She repeated and giggled some more.
Then went on to say, "Mere de Dieu." She repeated this over and over, and each time giggled harder and harder. "Mer-de Dieu. Mer
ede Dieu, mere...de Dieu. Merde Dieu." Glancing over at French husband I saw he was nearly choking with shock. Chelsea was hearing the sounds of the words "mere de," which means, "mother of." Then saying them quickly together mere-de, realizing she was saying, "merde," a bad word (which means shit in English.)
One of the best things about being a bi-lingual family is moments like this. I leaned over to French husband and beamed, "At least I know she didn't learn it from me."
Photo: Vintage holy cards that pray lovingly to the Mother of God correctly in French.
Note: Sally's comment, I thought I'd put it up-front and center for everyone to see: "I’m chuckling over your post today, that’s so cute. No doubt either of those expressions are coming in handy right now during Chelsea’s testing week. "
Merde also means Good Luck in French.