|Griffin with his friends and his birthday waffle at his fifth birthday celebration|
This, then, leads to an awkward situation that reminds you that not everyone thinks as highly of bilingualism as you and your family and close friends do:
Me: ....early literacy...library...reading...blah blah blah....
Elementary school teacher: ....early literacy...school...reading...blah blah blah....
Me: ....yes, and vocabulary acquisition....blah blah blah
Teacher: ...and what about other languages? Some parents are actually trying to teach their children other languages just 'cause they think it will make them smarter. Get this: I was at the Erie library and a mom was speaking French to her kids* and one of them bumped into me so the mom apologized to me in English and she had a totally Southern accent which means she's not really French but she speaks it to her family? Ha, ha! What a loser! What a snob!**
Me: Well, in fact, raising your kids bilingually is a true gift to them....blah blah blah....
Me, to myself: How is it possible that an elementary school teacher is so dismissive of the idea of choosing to raise children bilingually?
Me, to her: By the way, I'm one of those snobby loser Americans who speaks French to her kids. Even though we live in northern Colorado. And guess what: it works! That little boy over there putting his fingers in his nose and then wiping them on his bowling ball? He's mine. And he's bilingual. But not for long: he's learning Spanish in a dual immersion school. He'll be trilingual.
Teacher, removing pied from bouche: Oh, that's great! I still don't understand how and why you're doing that, but hey, whatever floats your boat!
Me: And how many languages do your children speak?
Teacher: Just one--English, naturally.
Me: Hmm. Pity.
Teacher: I myself speak only one language.
Me: Hmm. That figures. Pity. If you'll excuse me, I see my bilingual boy grabbing his crotch, so I'm going to take him to the toilettes. Lovely chatting with you--au revoir!
So, does this make me a snob? (As Miss Piggy once said, "What, pretentious? Moi?!") Maybe. But a loser? Most definitely not. My kids are the winners.
*I never go to the Erie library, so I can guarantee that she wasn't talking about my family.
**Okay, she didn't actually use those words. But her tone did!