Infant as a Second Language
When you leave
college with a degree in East Asian Studies and Classical
Studies, no one beats down your door to offer you a job. I
should know. Nine years of studying Latin (including high
school) and two of Japanese earned me a job as an
administrative assistant at the world's oldest and largest
Three years later I was
promoted - the Executive Assistant to the Vice President
of International Relations. International Relations. At
least this sounded as exotic as my degrees. Our relations,
though, were limited to Poles, Turks and Argentineans who
were - thankfully - eager to practice their English skills
on me. I was able, however, to say "hello" and "good
morning" in Japanese to the manager of the Tokyo office.
Then I took the biggest
promotion of my career. At the time I transferred to her
office, my boss was two feet tall and weighed all of
twelve pounds. She also drooled. But, then, what nine
month old doesn't? Several months later, I'm finding that
my foreign language skills are not only handy, but they
give me a distinct edge over my coworker - er, husband -
when it comes to understanding our suddenly vocal boss.
"Cackulore," chirps my
daughter, making a beeline for the den, "cackulore!"
"No, dear," my husband
tries to redirect her, unsuccessfully. "You can't play
with Mommy's computer."
"The calculator," I call
from the kitchen. "It's on my desk and she can play with
"She can say calculator?"
He looks quizzically at the baby, who is now lying under
the kitchen table, happily shouting out numbers and
jabbing at buttons.
"Wok chews," she shouts.
"You can't go down the
stairs," my husband is referring to the steps on the front
porch. "It's too cold outside."
"The shoes, walk shoes,"
I don't even look up from the coupons I'm clipping. "She
wants to put on your shoes and walk in them." I soon hear
the unique sound of a size 6 foot in a men's size 9 shoe
making it's way through the den. If we had not made the
den off limits, she'd never want to go in there.
Early the other morning,
long before the moonlight faded and the sunrise hinted at
its arrival, a tiny voice came over the nursery monitor,
"She's calling you," my
darling murmured as he pulled the covers tighter around
Funny, he understood that
just fine. . .
Doloski is a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer from
Illinois. She is a regular contributor to The Daily Times
of Ottawa, IL.
Suite 101 Parenting Humor