this morning when we were in the bathroom miss e kept throwing her buzz lightyear action figure into the tub and saying “buzz xi xi.” it sounded like buzz xing xing (stars). her actions and what she was saying didn’t make much sense so i just made a perfunctory comment just to respond to her babble. she said it again, but i still couldn’t catch it. she probably realized from my dislocated responses that mama wasn’t getting it, so then she threw buzz into the tub again and said, “wet, wet” (shi shi). it caught me by surprise that she knew to switch to an equivalent word. for a period of time she would only say certain things in chinese or english depending on whichever vocabulary is easier to say. but this is the first time she’s used different words to convey the same meaning (apart from animal names and their corresponding sounds).
i’m not trying to raise miss e to be bilingual (because that would require my chinese to be of a more proficient level…aaand it is not). but i do try to speak chinese to her when i can. my hope is that then the grandparents can feel free to speak chinese to her, but whether she will continue to speak in chinese…only time will tell. nonetheless, this morning’s exchange is a small encouragement to me that my endeavor is not a hopeless cause.