Monday, March 26, 2012

National identity: sometimes all you need is good negotiations skills!

As you might recall from several earlier posts, one of the main questions I had at the begining of this multilingual journey was: who will my kids will cheer for at the Olympic games?! Which national identity will they choose? As a monolingual by birth, born and raised in one place, I had a hard time to project their vision of things, having their young lives already split between three countries. However, it did not take long to have a cristal clear vision of the situation: both Milo and Zeno have been spelling out that they feel French.
They cheer for France at international sports games, they always choose the French flag, when traveling they are proud to showcase their (supposed) nationality They have assimilated a total identification with their daily environment.  A few nights back we had again this conversation:

Milo: " Mum, I'm French, right?
Me: "You are not, my dear: you are half Italian and half Belgian!"
Milo: "Bullocks! I was born here!"
Me: "Yes, but from foreign parents. The law in France is different and you will be able to request the French nationality when you'll be 18, if you wish so.. for the moment it simply mean that you don't have a French passport."
Milo: "Yes I do!"
Me: "No, have exactly the same rights as any other French kid, but technically you are not French. You are...European!"
Milo: " Pffff...n'importe quoi!"
Zeno: " But....we ARE Parisians, right?!"

Zeno found a compromise and managed to snatch the Parisian badge for himself! That's so him!
He's also the one that, during a fantastic summer vacation on the Italian Alps, on a glorious, sunny afternoon, let himself fall backward on a heep of grass and whispered: "Aaah....I wish I was born here!"

Next on MTK: how the Belgianite and I are applying for an international school which has both the Italian and the Dutch sections and if accepted, we'll need to throw a coin!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2 years later...

Hello multilingual blogosphere...I can hardly believe two years have gone by since my last blog post...we are alla alive and well, still in Paris and more quadrilingual then ever. I missed this place: I missed keeping track of my life and of my kids' linguistic development. I kept on observing, but, I guess, life took over and missed the time and energy to record it. I want to come back, I will try my best! I have to tell you all about Milo and Zeno communicating mostly in French with one another, but handling perfectly well Italian and Dutch when we go see family back home; how they begun spontaneosuly uttering sentences in English during a summer holiday in Crete; how I still don't speak Dutch and kinda don't feel like ever learning it; how Milo learnt to read and write in French and I felt so bad for him because it is a damn hard language to learn in elementary school; how he seems to be mathematically giftend and really lazy with reading, while Zeno, who's still in kindergarden, just learnt how to read by himself, Italian and French; how they want me to tell them the good night story in Italian, and no other language is allowed before night time;  how we had a little cousin in the meantime and the boys are all gaga about him; how the Belgianite and I got engaged in the meantime (insert as many question marks as needed here); etc.etc.etc. I have my share of blog posts to work on in the next few weeks, as you can see. Stay tuned, I won't deceive you .