Yesterday was summer (it comes but once a month), and so we grabbed the ever-ready pool bag that sits permanently and hopefully next to the front door and made for the Burg’s rather lovely, tree-shaded swimming-pool. I chose to put my swimming costume on before I left, because lax though I have become in Germany about body issues, I didn’t fancy stripping publically, or having to baby whisper three kids in a minute changing room (have done that; won’t do it again). We leave for the pool, with me already in costume. Ollie turns to me and says,
“Mama, you wearin’ your soggy?”
I did in fact spend much of the next four hours being soggy, either soggy in the pool or soggy out, but I think my little fella meant “cozzie”, which is the South African contraction for “swimming costume”. I like “soggy” though; I may have to keep it.
(I love language acquisition. I find it adorable. When Daisy was about the same age as Ollie, she coined a good one. Instead of saying “cuddle” or “hug”, she would ask for a “cuggle”. To this day, we still cuggle.)
Meanwhile, Ollie is acquiring German. His version consists of very long sentences, of which only the odd word is discernible. He is not shy, and accosts big kids at the pool, and then converses with them Germanically while they look at him, confused. A typical conversation might go:
Ollie: Nein! (Diverse Germanic sounds) Meine Bagger! (Germanish) Nein, kind.
Ollie: Ich und meine Mama (more Germanish) schwimmen (Germanigook) Daisy.
Child shrugs shoulders and departs.
Ollie is completely convinced he is speaking comprehensible German. At the moment it sounds like German, it contains pieces of German, and if you wrote it down it might look like German. It is excellent mimicry of the sounds of the language, which is what he started doing with English when he was about one. Perhaps he’ll call his Badeanzug a “zuggie”.