"How do you say that in 'Fanish'?" Elliot asked me the other day, when I lazily used the English word for "roller" in a Spanish conversation with my son about some construction equipment I'd seen.
Thanks to my iPhone, we quickly looked it up. Thanks to preschool, Elliot wanted to know.
After two weeks and five days in Spanish immersion preschool, I'm already noticing a positive change in Elliot's use of Spanish. When I use an English word in a Spanish sentence (a bad habit) or say a word in English that he doesn't know in Spanish, he'll ask me its "Fanish" equivalent. He's increasing sticking to Spanish to answer my questions in Spanish, rather than answering in English as had become his habit.
And his teacher tells me that he'll switch to Spanish with her whenever she tells him that she doesn't understand English...a little white lie.
That's the good part of the early days of Elliot's preschool experience.
But, it's been really tough...much tougher than I imagined when I naively wrote about how well Elliot's first day at preschool had gone:-(
After the first day, Elliot understood what going to school meant...and decided he didn't like. So, each school morning is a battle. "We should not go. We should not go to preschool," he wails and wails. Then, he changes tactics, trying to tell me that it's Sunday, a day when he knows he doesn't have school. By the time we arrive at the school, he's worked himself into a tizzy. So I'm forced to carry him into the building, and hand off a bawling and tear-streaked Elliot to a teacher once I realize my attempts at distraction won't work. There's nothing so heartbreaking as kissing him through his tears, and then walking off to the sound of his cries.
Pick-ups aren't much better. Either he's once again crying because of something that's just happened (e.g., truck-playing time had come to an end) or he sees me and realizes he's missed me...which he tells me repeatedly. It's touching, but tough.
I know it's in my baby's personality to take a while to get used to new experiences. I know Elliot has never been in a similar setting before. And I realize that since he's only going two mornings a week, the adjustment period is going to be a little dragged out. The good news is that Elliot always tells me "sí" when I ask him if he likes preschool. So, I'm just hoping that everyone is right when they tell me it will get better!
This post is part of the September Bilingual Blogging Carnival, to be published on All Done Monkey on September 27.