Today was Pumpkin's 3 year check up. Yeah, we're a month late. I was a bit too slow in making the appointment.
After doing the usual physical exam, the doctor asked Pumpkin a bunch of questions to make sure she was on track developmentally. One of the questions she asked was, "Can you count to ten?"
Pumpkin dutifully starts counting: "yi, er, san, si, wu, liu, qi, ba, jiu, shi".
The doctor's eyebrows went up, and she looked at me.
I blushed and said "Um, that's in Chinese."
The doctor laughed and asked if she can also do it in English. I assured her that Pumpkin can count to ten in English as well as Chinese (and Spanish). Pumpkin went on to sing her alphabet flawlessly, and I was able to testify that yes, Pumpkin speaks in complete sentences. Complete paragraphs, even, run together into extended monologues. So she passed her developmental exam.
The backstory: Hubby is jealous of our various bilingual friends who are raising multi-lingual children. He really wanted to try to get Pumpkin to learn another language now, when she can still hear all the different sounds. He argued that we should have her learn Chinese, since so many people speak it, it is only going to get more important in the coming years, and some of the sounds are so different from those found in English. I argued for Spanish, since it is more practical in our particular part of the world and would be easier to teach. He wouldn't give in, so finally I said "fine, she can learn Chinese- but you're in charge of figuring out how to do it."
A couple of weeks later, I told the story of that argument to a friend of mine who happens to be of Chinese descent. She said "I'm going to start [her 3 year old daughter] in Chinese lessons soon. Do you want to split the cost of a tutor?" I said sure, and Hubby got his way without doing any work. Pumpkin and my friend's daughter now have a 30 minute Chinese lesson with a tutor ever Saturday. My friend has even sent us a list of good books and DVDs to use to supplement the lessons.
Lest you think we're some sort of weirdo gung ho parents trying to ensure our daughter goes to Harvard... this is the ONE class we do. We haven't even gotten Pumpkin in swim lessons yet, although I think that should change this summer. And I think Hubby should research those and get them set up, since he got a free pass on the Chinese lessons.