Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Language Barrier

Pappa Kas and I normally manage pretty well language-wise with each other’s parents, but today was a day where it all got mixed up.

I speak terrible Spanish. Aitxite Sebas once said that I speak like Tarzan. I actually took that as a compliment; I thought he would say that I spoke like a monkey. Despite attending a couple of different courses my progress is slow. It comes down to mainly one thing- I do not practice enough. At home we have fallen into the trap of mainly speaking English between each other. It has always been that way. However we’re trying to raising Little H as bi-lingual, Pappa Kas speaking Spanish and me Norwegian with her. Of course that makes us pick up a word here and there but the vocabulary is somewhat limited and not very usable when not talking to someone older than two (or another monkey).

Today we had a hitch.
Grumpf and Gran
 It was a lovely day and I had taken some time off to spend quality time with the little “Lady” (she’s very stroppy these days, and I think that Lady is a suitable nickname for someone as fuzzy and determined as her).

Grandma B was suffering from Little H withdrawal syndrome, not having seen her “Little Princess” for about a week. We agreed to meet in the city centre of our lovely town -Drammen, for a stroll and a picnic by the beach (- yes, we have a beach in the city centre, and it is rather nice for the little ones. I would not be seen dead sunbathing there, but for the young, fit and hip ones it is a place to show off, and good for the kiddies when they get tired of shopping with their parents).

Before leaving the house I had spoken with Amama and aitxite about the possibility of meeting up in the town centre around 4 pm. What I thought I said was that I would call Pappa Kas (at work) and ask him to call his mum IF we were going to meet to avoid misunderstandings due to the language barrier… Apparently, what I said was something like: if I do not call, we will meet on the square around 4 pm.

So when me and her Royal (pain) Highness returned home and disturbed Aitxite in the middle of “the Tour” he got confused. After stuttering, pointing and playing pantomime (you should have seen it) I understood that Amama had gone to the square to meet Little Lady Stroppy and myself. Crap! When these things happen I go completely off my hinges, I called Pappa Kas and demanded that he sorted the situation, as if it was his fault... Then I got really really sorry and wanted to go and fetch Amama with the car, as she must be getting tired of staring at the pigeons and the pensioners on the square.

Amama and Little Lady H

But Little Miss Totally-Unreasonable was overdue her snack and would rather be placed in her bed (as if) than back in the car seat. There was no way I could take the car to go and get Amama. After calling Pappa Kas a hundred times whereby he called Amama for then to speak with Aitxite (standing next to me, but we were unable to go into details of what to do due to my Tarzan-Spanish and his limited Spanglish).

After countless telephone calls while trying to feed Little Miss Grumpf, we all agreed (I think) that Aitxite and Little (now) Miss Sunshine (funny how the mood changes as soon as she sees her grandparents) would walk to meet Amama. So now they’ve hopefully met somewhere, and what am I doing? In true Lady B style I am baking Amama’s favorite chocolate cake and practicing my Spanish verbs as to try to make up for all the trouble caused and to avoid similar misunderstandings in the future. ..

Grandparents and Little Miss Stroppy

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