No more secrets

From the time that the lils first began to really understand us, Willy and I would switch to French when we wanted to discuss something that we didn’t want them to hear.  This most often surrounded what vegetable was hidden in their pasta sauce, whether or not it was bath night, or who would be putting which child to bed.  None of these were really conversations that the lils would have been harmed by if they had heard them, but they were occasionally tantrum inducing, so we played it safe.  These weren’t secrets, per se, it was just convenient.

As they got older, we began to use French more and more. They were starting to get more independent, and our conversations no longer revolved around what they had eaten , who had pooped last, or how many times either had gotten up I the night, so we started to talk about life and the world around us more.  Some things, like things from my work and some current events were too much for them, so we spoke French.  I needed the practice, so we ended up talking French more than we needed to.  It was nice, actually.

In the last year, Woo started to get upset with our use of the secret language.  He knew that we were talking about things that he was not allowed to hear for a variety of reasons and it frustrated him.  We got a bit of a reprieve when he started learning Spanish at school, as it gave Woo and Goose a secret language of their own, a language that we did not speak or understand.  They reprieve ended when we returned to Canada and he was no longer learning Spanish.

The demands to know what we were talking about increased.  We were no longer able to have even the most innocent conversation in French without Woo and Goose being curious.  Then one day, after they had been in school for about three weeks, Woo interrupted our conversation to ask what was “red”.  He’d been paying attention, and picked up on the word “rouge”. Several days later, they asked me to count in French for them, and when I got to trente-huit, Goose interrupted and told me that I had reached my age (she was right). Now it seems that every day they identify more in our conversations and learn more words.

Now we have no secrets.  We have to be really careful when we chose to use French, and more often than not we chose to defer conversations that are sensitive to when the lils are not within earshot, and hope that we remember to resume them.  A lot of the time, I don’t remember.  I think it is time that we learn a new language.

Category: life, Lils, Parenting | 11 comments

  • This is when the smartphones are handy. When I am with my sister and we need to have a conversation that the children need to not be in on, we text each other. Jason and I do the same when we are in “mixed company” and something comes up that we need to discuss privately – although in this case it’s more of a: “ask me about when we get home.”

  • This is when the smartphones are handy. When I am with my sister and we need to have a conversation that the children need to not be in on, we text each other. Jason and I do the same when we are in public and something comes up that we need to discuss privately – although in this case it’s more like: “ask me about such-and-such when we get home.”

  • Neeroc says:

    I’m not going to say it again, but you know *g*

  • Lynn says:

    Ha! I had to laugh at Erin’s comment about texting each other. I’ll have to keep that one in mind!

    My husband and I speak rudimentary high school French at best, but our “Franglais” was enough to keep the kids in the dark when they were very young. Now, however, French Immersion has turned our 9 and 8 year olds into better French speakers than us – and the tables are turned! They can now have little conversations on the side that we can’t understand.

    Right now they are only using their powers for good – helping us understand their homework or teaching our youngest a few introductory words. But I’m sure it won’t be long now until we’re desperately trying to figure out what is “red” ourselves :) .

    • Lilbunnyrabbitz says:

      Oh, good luck with that. I worry about that as I search for Spanish lessons for the lils… I was thinking that I would need to take the lessons too!!!

  • I used to do this with certain friends and family. Now my DD is better at French than I am and I need to use my phone to speak about certain topics to keep her in the dark.

    Could be a good excuse to take a new language class.

  • allison says:

    Eve always hangs around when I host book club because she loves my book club women. At the beginning of a discussion, one of them spelled out the word ‘bitch’. Eve came over and whispered to me “it’s so cute that she thinks I don’t know what she means.”


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