language lessons and claire’s electra complex

Claire speaks Spanglish, but mostly in Spanish. We’re trying to teach her the Queen’s English, with limited success. We lie abed of a morning having full and frank exchanges of views on linguistics:

R (pointing at one of Claire’s huge blue eyes): Eye!

C: ?

R: Eye!

C (giggles)

R: Eye!

C (firmly, pointing a fat finger at own eye): Ojo!

R: Well, yes, and you are beyond adorable when you correct me like that, but… humour me? Eye? It’s like “bye” without the b… Eye?


Jeremy (arriving damply from the shower): Yes, ojo!

R: Very good, but we’re trying for English.

J: Oh. Eye!

C (overjoyed): Pappy!

J: Eye!

C (wiggling towards father, source of all joy): Pappy!

J: Eye!

C (pointing at eye): Eyee! Eyee! Eyee!

R&J (thrilled): That’s right! Eye! Yes!

C: Eyee! Eyee, Pappy! Eyee!

R: Do you need further proof that you’re her favourite?

J (complacently): Am not.


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