Growing up bi-lingual doesn't just happen. It takes dedication, a great deal of patience and repeating words, over and over again. French Husband spoke French to the children, and naturally, I spoke English to them.
When Chelsea was three years old, she said with sweet reflection at the dinner table, "Mere de Dieu." I glanced over at French Husband who was beaming with pride. He whispered to me, "Chelsea said, Mother of God, in French she is praying."
Chelsea repeated, "Mer-de...Dieu!" Then she started to giggle. I leaned over to 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 giggled louder.
Next, she went on to say with the sweetest little voice, "Mere de Dieu." She repeated this over and over, once with a sweet voice, and then Merde Dieu with a stern voice giggling at the end of each round. "Mer-de Dieu. Mere
de Dieu. Merde Dieu. Merde Dieu. Mere de Dieu..."
French Husband, was speechless, a tad shocked. 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," which means shit in English.
One of the best things about being a bi-lingual family was moments like this.
Beaming at French Husband I said, "At least I know she didn't learn it from me."