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[personal profile] percival
... here are five from [ profile] buzzy_bee:

Boys vs girls:

Not sure whether I have much to say on that point, because DS is still so little (turning one this coming week!). To me, he is my child first, my son second. Although DD loves her some pink and insists she is Sleeping Beauty, she also adores trains, plays a lot with cars, and is fascinated with monsters and all sorts of creepy crawlies. She's also very much into rough play - no gentle cuddles for her baby brother! Instead, she likes to make him walk, sit, and lie down. The pink is far easier to cope with than I feared. I love seeing her dress up. Part of the reason why I'm glad I have a daughter is that unconsciously, my family has primed me to prefer sons / boys. Thanks to DS, I've been able to make peace with my own femininity.

DS's preferred mode of play can be summed up with one word: inquisitive. He loves to take things apart and figure out what they do, whether they are edible / chewable. He's very alert and hands-on, and loves to engage with both people and things around him. On the bus, he scans the seats for impressionable victims, and the first person to smile back gets the full coo, smile, and charm offensive. The one thing I regret is the dearth of nice, bright clothes for boys - it's all dull browns, greens and blues.

Multilingual kids:

YEAH! DD recently got a certificate for speaking Gaidhlig (Scots Gaelic). One of her nursery teachers and one of the mums we know speak Gaeilge as well, so [ profile] actionreplay or any other Oirish LJ friends, if you meet DD and speak to her in Irish, you may find yourself understood. And this is just. so. cool. Although some people claim that Gaelic is useless (the linked Language Log piece contains some critical discussion), to me as a linguist no language is useless. I'm not too bothered about potential cognitive advantages of bilingualism - just being able to speak three languages is COOL BEYOND WORDS, and I take a very language-geekish delight in my daughter's abilities.

We are fortunate in that DD is German-dominant, and the household language is German. DD also has little German-speaking friends through the German Saturday school she attends. However, I am still aware that I need to make a conscious effort to speak a lot of German to her, so that she gains a rich vocabulary. I am also painfully aware of the need to keep speaking and reading German myself, so that I don't lose my mother tongue. A real risk if you're surrounded by English all day! That's why I go out of my way to speak German whenever I can.

Because we encourage German at home, DD's English lagged by half a year, enough for nursery to note a slight delay in her English production abilities. I'm happy to report that she's caught up now. She initially spoke a lot of English to DS, because he was another child, but is now using a lot of German, as well. It will be interesting to see how he develops.

Living in Edinburgh:

Sea, mountains, open green spaces, playgrounds, history, a fantastic university, a beautiful city - what more do you want? Both DH and I agree that we love to live here.

If I won the lottery:

I would still work. Part of the dosh would go on a nice house in the Grange / Marchmont area, part would be invested to provide us with a steady income, leaving the capital untouched, from which we would then make charitable donations as and when. And I would teach my children the value of money. I would probably use the financial independence to homeschool if state school doesn't pan out. I love teaching and learning ...


I had a Tech geek phase as a teenager, now I'm more of a science and social science geek. They're tools, I hope they work, and I don't have sufficient time and energy to devote to keeping my programming skills up to date. I'd rather restrict myself to R and Python, thank you very much.
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December 2010

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