Daddy's An Idiot

People ask me if I speak English or Swedish at home with Bash.  Obviously I speak English to him.  I do so in part because I want to be able to fully express myself to him.  Me searching trying to translate my thoughts into my second language for him would be frustrating for the both of us.  I also want him to learn English like I speak it.  Here they learn the queen's English in school.  That's not exactly Miami talk.  He would benefit from learning Daddy's language from Daddy.  Another major factor is my confidence in my Swedish.  I understand just about everything and can make myself understood, but my Swedish grammar is far from perfect.  Bash would certainly pick up bad habits from me if I spoke Swedish to him.  Furthermore, he would realize at a way earlier age that Daddy is an idiot.  I'd rather he figure that out as a teenager or so.  Like we all do.

Recently Bash and I went to the park.  I like spending time together just Bash and me.  Father and son.  It's like a storybook or a movie.  I saw it all the time as a kid and I even remember it from those times when my father chose to be engaged with us.  Back then he was my hero.  I want to be Bash's hero.  If he has half the adoration for me that I had for my father, I'll be a happy guy.  I was insanely "Daddy's Boy".  Actually, if he has more adoration for me than I had for my father, I'll be a bit worried.  I don't think that would be healthy.

We have fun at the park.  Bash likes it when I go on all of the stations with him.  He doesn't quite understand size yet.

       - Daddy's too fat for that, son.  Everything at this park would collapse if Daddy got on that.

He takes it in stride.  Maybe he thinks I'm lazy.  I just don't want to break something.  That would be embarrassing and likely expensive.  Bash is good at park playing.  My completely unbiased opinion is that he's very smart and very strong for his age.  I guess he's my hero now since it didn't pan out with my first hero (Dad).

On this day Bash was excited about the park.  He went through his annoying routine of "I'll do it myself" faster than usual.  Independence is cute and all, but not when we have somewhere to be.  Kids have ZERO concept of time.  Plus... you're not even really using the shoehorn properly!  We weren't in a hurry anyway, so it was all good.  Bash did it all himself and wasn't the absolute stubborn perfectionist that he tends to be.  He REALLY wanted to get his park on.

Then when we were walking over, Bash pointed towards the big park area.  He was really excited.

       - RUTSCHKANA, RUTSCHKANA!!!

Now I was lost.  He was very excited, but I didn't know what the hell he was talking about.  I assumed it was something from Masha and the Bear or one of those shows he watches on Netflix.  Dammit Netflix show!  Why would you have a character named Rutschkana?  I decided to do some parental investigating.  This was a chance to talk to Bash and teach him a bit about the real world and make-believe world that exists in fantasy and Netflix series.

       - Rutschkana?  What's Rutschkana?  I don't know what that is.

He pointed more aggressively now.

       - Rutschkana!

I tried to follow his point.  I've never been big on imaginary friends and the like.

       - I'm sorry, man.  I don't know what you're talking about.

I kept walking.  Sometimes you have to disappoint with the truth.  This was like tough love.  Daddy was showing Bashie that Rutschkana is some TV shit.  But we're living life right now.  Life is real shit!  Bash stopped walking.  Probably pondering this life lesson that I dropped on him so delicately, yet ingeniously.  He cocked his head to the side.  The kid was in deep thought.  I stopped a step or two ahead of him and waited to bless him with more worldly insight.  He pointed again.

       - SLIDE!  I want SLIDE!

He was pointing at the big slide!  How didn't I know the word for a freaking slide?  That's some elementary stuff there, Dad!  And that's when the sadness hit me...  Oh no...  He already knows that Daddy's an idiot.  I guess it doesn't matter what language I speak.  Until next time...

Comments

  1. Oh man! Hahahaha. It'll pass soon enough. Luckily for you, he's still a kid with short attention span ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha thanks for the encouragement!

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    2. Wow. Just wow. He's probably forgotten already! Great read.

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  2. Hi there Jonathan!

    It's alright, just embrace the Swedishness! In Sweden Daddy can be an idiot, nobody's perfect and we don't have to be, not even Daddy ;)

    In regards to the language thing, I don't know if there's a right and wrong but here's my experience, maybe you can take away something from it :)

    I'm Swedish, my wife is British and our children were born in Australia where we lived for quite a while and they identify themselves as Australians but we now live in Sweden.

    My son who was between two and three when we moved back to Sweden, had only just started speaking when we moved and his language quickly turned into what we call in our family "Swenglish" which got even more pronounced after a short time being in Sweden. I had spoken a fair bit of Swedish to him already in Australia (likewise with my daughter but she didn't like it and just got frustrated, so I didn't so much with her). But I upped it once we got here to speed up their integration into daycare and preschool.

    However with me speaking mainly Swedish and my wife still speaking English to the kids, we noticed that they quickly started losing their fluency in English, they could still understand and speak English but you could hear in how they structured their sentences that they were thinking in Swedish and then doing straight translation into English, which of course works and you can make yourself understood that way but it doesn't sound right to a fluent English speaker.
    By that time my daughter had started preschool and was getting “home language” lessons (as all kids in Sweden who have a non-Swedish language as their mother tongue, are entitled to) and her teacher there, gave us the advice, that if we wanted the kids to be properly fluent in English (which we do), just speak English at home. They get enough Swedish, from daycare, school, friends, TV etc.
    This has worked pretty well for us, my wife and I, has anyway always spoken English together and were doing so throughout that period of time. So we made it a rule that our “family language” is English. This has also gotten around the potential problem of my wife speaking English to the kids and them answering in Swedish or not wanting to speak English etc. If either of the kids have friends over, who don’t speak English we of course switch to Swedish, when talking about things that concerns them, so they don’t get freaked out. But most of their friends are now used to me and my wife speaking English and us speaking English to our kids even if they are around.
    I can’t say that it’s perfect and that it works all the time, my son who’s now 8, has a tendency to fall into Swedish, especially when speaking about what they’ve learnt at school that day and some other times as well. However my daughter who’s now 11, is pretty much fluent in both languages and swaps freely between them.
    The one main drawback of this, I feel has been that it took my wife a lot more time and effort to learn Swedish, then it would have if we had spoken more Swedish at home. As it is, she’s had to work hard though various courses and schools but got there in the end and is now at the level where she’s totally ok with Swedish.

    This got a bit long but as I said, hopefully you got something out of it, keep being the imperfect idiot Daddy and thanks for the read about the Rutschkana, it put a smile on my face :)

    /Ola

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