Not Her Mother Tongue

My younger daughter speaks a different language than I do. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s not English. Some days it resembles the Chinese or Arabic I have heard my foreign language students speak.

What language she speaks has been a much discussed topic at family gatherings. Different members of both sides have commented on the unique way she talks.

One day, my sister-in-law sent me a message saying she had figured out what language her niece was speaking. To her it sounded like the tribal tongue she heard on a commercial for the Chickasaw cultural center in our home state. (Oddly enough, there is Chickasaw blood on her father’s side.)

So, that must be it, then. My daughter speaks like her ancestors. (Even as I write this, she sits in her high chair doing what sounds like some kind of tribal chant.)

There are times, though, that her speech sounds more like her mother tongue. This is the conversation she seemed to be having with her food earlier:

“You can’t move,” she uttered to her Saltine cracker.

“No, I can’t,” the Saltine seemed to reply.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

The Saltine was not given a chance to answer this question. Into her mouth it went.

Maybe I should let her stick to Chickasaw. I’m not sure that I want to know what this girl is thinking.

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2 Responses to Not Her Mother Tongue

  1. The last part cracked me up. Children are so funny!

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