Kaia’s bilingual comprehension: on the up and up

At school on the weekdays during morning circle time, Kaia’s class goes through a few routines, such as counting from 1-10, colors, shapes, days of the week, and body stretches/identification of body parts. The majority of the language used in class, unsurprisingly, is in English, but the teachers do work on introducing American Sign Language as well as a few words here and there in Spanish. I noticed that once Kaia started daycare in May that her affinity for Chinese songs had started to decline, so I’ve been a bit more deliberate about trying to continue her exposure to those songs at bedtime. In addition, I also try to do things like count in Chinese and discuss colors in Chinese, as well.

It’s hard to know sometimes what she understands and what she doesn’t given she’s still quite young. She’s increasingly verbal every single day. My Pookster is a total sponge, constantly studying what you’re saying, doing, and even how your lips are moving when you speak. Last night, we were counting in English and I transitioned to counting in Chinese and let her know I would count in Chinese. I asked if she could practice counting in Chinese. She initially looked at me thoughtfully, then climbed off the bed and made a beeline to the bookshelf. She immediately grabbed the Chinese counting/food book we have and handed it to me and demanded, “Read!”

That made me so, so happy. My baby does understand what I’m saying, and she also knows the difference between Chinese and English. Every day, I feel so excited and proud by her development. At the same time, it makes me feel a little sad that she’s growing so rapidly. Sometimes, I still have moments when I just want to bottle her up and freeze time to make a note of exactly how adorable, sweet, curious, and intelligent she is.

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