Friday, May 16, 2008

Deutsch, bitte!

"Deutsch, bitte!"
Ahhh, those two magical words which have such power, such influence, such resonance.

As I wrote in my last blog entry, we have been entering a new phase in our household - an English phase. The language of choice for my children when playing has become English, English, English. (Luckily they are still speaking German with us.)

In addition, my sons have been asking why they are expected to always speak German at home with one another when my husband and I don't even do it all the time. Good question, indeed! So, my husband and I, supporting this argument, suggested to our children that we would make an effort to speak German with one another more often if they would do the same. Agreed all around.

This doesn't mean that our children now automatically speak German with one another. That would be too easy! But it does mean that a gentle reminder of "Deutsch, bitte," elicits the friendly reply from our kids (in German) "Oh right, I forgot!" followed by at least 10 minutes of German discussion until it slowly spills into more and more English (followed by another gentle reminder). But hey, that's something!

Who knows what will happen in a month or two months or eighteen years but I do know that this current solution to our "German language problem" has brought me oodles and oodles of delight!
No arguing, no fighting, no cajoling, no begging, no long discussions, no defense, no attacks. Just a simple reminder followed by a simple agreement. Ahhh, it makes one want to sit back with a cup of tea and just feel the joy and happiness.

And, as if all of this weren't already too good to be true, I often hear my kids reminding his or her siblings to speak German! Talk about awesome! What kind of magic has taken over my household?

Ok, ok, before I faint from a euphoric swoon, I do know that this is but a temporary hiatus along our usually bumpy language road. I know this isn't the end of our language journey.

But I figure after all of those pot holes, there are bound to be some smooth patches here and there along the way so I'm going to enjoy it for all it is worth.