I'm still really struggling with my own thoughts around carrying on with our bilingual endeavour. I'm pretty tired with all that's going on at work and at home so it doesn't leave huge amounts of time to sit and think all this through rationally! One thing I have decided though, is that I must keep going unless and until I decide to stop. By that I mean, it doesn't make sense to stop speaking French to my children whilst I grapple with whether or not to continue since, if I do plump for continuing, I will have wasted time and potentially confused my children into the bargain.
That said, I have let myself speak English on a few occasions with both children recently. Apart from the nagging pang of guilt that I am letting them and myself down, it actually feels pretty liberating!
However, Poppette (who is now 31 months old) really doesn't seem to like me speaking English with her.
In fact, she positively resists it.
On the few occasions over recent weeks where, for one reason or another, I have chosen to speak English with her she hasn't accepted it at all.
On one of those occasions, I needed to carefully explain to her why what she had done was wrong (as in why it was not good behaviour) and that she shouldn't do it again. I switched to English because of my own fears of not getting the message across right and not wanting to cock up the lesson for her.
Another time it was because she picked up an English language book at story time and, quite honestly, I just didn't have the energy to translate so I started reading in English.
This morning, it was because she asked me a question in English "What's that Mummy?" she said, pointing at a traffic sign. I had a blank... what on earth is traffic sign in French. eek... "It's a sign, baby", I said.
"Non, Maman! Parle en français" [No, Mummy! Speak French!] she demanded just as she had done on each previous occasion.
Obviously I'm pleased! I mean, even when she chooses to speak in English to me, she still wants and expects me to reply in French. I am rather astounded though.
I remember reading somewhere long ago, when I was first weighing up whether I dare embark on our non-native journey towards bilingualism, that bilingual children tend to identify people by the initial language they speak with them and can feel uncomfortable when that person changes language with them. I guess that in Poppette's mind, mummy equals French.