As I write this, baby boy is sitting on my desk staring at the screen and his inquisitive eyes are wondering what mom is up too. As he stretches to punch a few keys and make his own blogger debut, I gently swipe his hand away and say
"Kai, ma she"!
Did I mention that I try to speak only Yoruba to my son? Yup, no English up in this house because baby boy HAS to learn Yoruba and I am quite confident that he will learn English as he grows. I see it EVERYWHERE and I bet you do too; Mexicans, Chinese, Indians; kids born within the US speaking their native Spanish, mandarin or Punjab as if they were born in their home countries. Do they have 2 heads and 3 brains? NO! So if they can do it.... teach their kids their language within the US, well SO CAN I!!
From the time I was about 4 months pregnant, I started doing research, reading and making plans on how I was going to raise my son speaking Yoruba. Whenever I saw a mom in the grocery store speaking a foreign language to her kid, I would stop her, point to my belly and ask for tips, taking note of everything. I even went as far as having a family meeting with my folks and the hubster to etch out my desires and ask for their help....
Fast forward 16 mths....
Well Baby boy is 16 mths as I speak or type and I am pleased and grateful to God that my baby understands Yoruba. He knows
Maa no e e oo - I will spank you (Which I do but that's a topic for another day)
Kai- Stop it
joosi -Juice...( Technically its Omi eso, but he is 16 mths for goodness sake!...lol)
Maa bo- Come with me
and our current project is the word joko- Sit. I have started stringing words together like "Gba joosi" and "Maabo,joko"
I am the ONLY one among my peeps doing this and it can be frustrating. For example, I'm teaching baby boy joko; I physically have to keep getting up and sitting him down while repeating the word over and over (He likes standing close to the TV, so I am always pulling him back and sitting him down). Imagine doing this 10 times in a row! Another thing is that bilingual babies speak later than monolinguals because they have to process 2 languages in their heads. So, besides one or two words, I am yet to hear my son speak Yoruba back to me.
But it will be worth it, when I have children who appreciate their culture, love the food, people and have a tight grasp of their mother tongue; everything will be worth it. I daydream about being in a store with my kid and speaking code in yoruba and having a convo that no one else understands....heheh. YAY!
PS: If you have any tips, resources i.e Blogs of someone doing something similar, sites where I can buy yoruba flashcards or storybooks PLEASE email me or leave a comment! Thanks~!
...Musings from atop the potter's wheel...