Monday, 20 January 2014

Multilingual Maths

I find the second hardest task to accomplish with three young children, after international travel, is the morning school run.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock
In our household, school mornings are the most chaotic and loudest times of the day. Between DD1 lounging in bed (she is a night owl like her dad), DD2 deeply absorbed in a sticker book and DD3 playing with Ariel and claiming it is "not morling!, I despair. So from wake-up time at 7.30 and leaving the breakfast table at 8.30, I become une horloge parlante (a speaking clock), telling the time every two to twenty minutes depending on the situation.

We had a great weekend, doing gymnastics, having a school playdate over, a family cinema trip and bike/skate ride. So this morning we all took a particularly long time to get ready. After much barking encouragement, everyone was finally sat at the breakfast table, enjoying the weekend's remnants of waffles and petits pains au chocolat.

At 8.30, it was finally time to leave the table, put shoes and coats on, and convince BK3 that she needs to have a wee if she is to accompany her sisters to school.

BK1 interjects: "Das war zwanzig Minuten" (That was twenty minutes)
BabelDad: "Was war zwanzig Minuten?" (What was twenty minutes)
BK1: "Von wann Mama hat ten past eight gesagt" (From when mum said it was 8 past 10)

Turns out BK1 was doing maths in three languages. I told the time in French, she calculated mentally in English, and said the answer in German! Just like that!