Before Kah Yen was 18-month old I was still trying to count her vocabulary on a monthly basis - not that I worried about her speech development, but I was just too excited everytime I hear her utter a new word. Things changed now she has passed 19-month old, she can copy almost every word we were saying and is also trying to form simple sentences. Looking at the speed she is learning to talk, both husband and I are starting to feel pressuried that we may have a chatterbox in the making - as we both are very quiet people sometimes.
Here are some of her simple conversations with us. She is bilingual but speaks mostly Chinese with us now. For the below conversations, I am talking to her in Chinese but since this is an English blog, I will write them down in English.
(1) Sleep on Mummy's bed
When she was not well, for some reason she didn't like to sleep on her own bed. So this was what happend when I was putting her to bed.
Mummy: Ok. Kah Yen. It is time to sleep.
Kah Yen: (Pointing at our bed) 睡妈妈床. (Sleep on Mummy's bed)
Mummy: No, Kah Yen. You cannot sleep on Mummy's bed. You have your own bed. If you sleep on Mummy's bed, where is Mummy going to sleep later?
Kah Yen: (Pointing at the same bed) 睡爸爸床! (Sleep on Daddy's bed!)
(2) More please
Last time she only says one word "More, more", now she is giving clear instruction of what she wants. Pretend we do not understand her requests? No way.
After finishing her bread,
Kah Yen: 还要吃面包! (More bread!)
After finishing her biscuit,
Kah Yen: 还要吃饼干! (More biscuit!)
After Daddy making a silly face to make her laugh,
Kah Yen: 还要！还要！(More, more!)
And after repeating the same silly face for 10 times, Daddy clearly regretted what he has started.
(3) In the park
Talking about having an observant eye and getting excited over small things in life, neither of us can beat Kah Yen.
Kah Yen: (Pointing in front) Wow, 鸟鸟! (Wow, Bird Bird!)
Mummy: Oh yes that's a bird.
Kah Yen: (Pointing to the sky) Wow, 太阳! (Wow, The Sun!)
Mummy: Oh yes that's the Sun.
Kah Yen: (Pointing to the sky again) Wow, 白云! 好多白云! (Wow, cloud, so much cloud!)
Mummy: Oh yes that's the cloud.
You can hear the monotone in my voice because this is already like our fourth or fifth time outside the house for today.
(4) Speaking like a real Singaporean
That's what happens when you speak both English and Chinese.
Kah Yen likes to watch the rain, so whenever it rains I will carry her to the front door to show her. That day after a heavy downpour, the rain has finally stopped.
Mummy: Kah Yen, look, the rain has stopped.
Kah Yen: Oh, No more 下雨咯. (No more raining loh)
(5) The difficulty of teaching her ABC
I have never expected how bilingualism will work against me when it comes to teacing her ABC.
Mummy: (Pointing to the Apple on the ABC chart) Kah Yen, what does A stand for?
Kah Yen: Apple.
Mummy: Very good. (Point to the Bird on the chart) How about B?
Kah Yen: 鸟鸟! (Bird Bird)
Mummy: No Kah Yen. B stands for Bird. One more time, what does B stand for?
Kah Yen: 鸟鸟!
Mummy: Ok, never mind. (Point to the Cat on the chart) How about C?
Kah Yen: 猫猫! (Cat Cat)
Mummy: No Kah Yen. C stands for Cat.
Kah Yen: 猫猫!
(6) An expert at saying "No"
Of course it is only fair if I also share with you the below conversation, similar conversations happen at least 5 times a day in average.
At the breakfast table, Mummy is trying to get Kah Yen to eat more variety of food.
Mummy: Kah Yen, do you want some pancake?
Kah Yen: 不要! (No)
Mummy: How about some egg?
Kah Yen: 不要! (No)
Mummy: How about some of Mummy's cereal?
Kah Yen: 不要! 不要! 不要! (No, No No!)