Learning Polish and three-year-old (in)sanity

Sometimes I get so involved in my routine that I forget I’m in a European capital.

Then I look at a street sign and see three embassies nearby.

I’ve been spending a lot of time learning Polish, and the grammar is beginning to make sense to me. If I can take my time, I can usually figure out what case to use, for example. If I have a chance to rehearse in my mind what I’m going to say, it usually comes out properly. The other day I was at an office supply store. There were a number of things I had not been able to find elsewhere so I had to ask the clerk some questions. I was able to clearly communicate with good pronunciation (at least to my ear). The clerk was impressed, and said, “You speak Polish very well.” Then I had to go off my rehearsed script to try to answer her follow-up questions, and suddenly I couldn’t communicate anymore. I thought it was ironic that right after someone complimented my Polish I lost the ability to speak it ;).

I try to just go with the flow when I can’t understand something. Today I was doing some grocery shopping. As I was entering the building, I saw an older man approaching. He wasn’t right behind me, but I waited for him anyway and held the door. I didn’t really think about it. Anyway after he got inside he put his arm around me and then said something I didn’t understand at all. I caught rodzice (parents) in there somewhere, but that was all. So, from the context, I can guess what he might be saying, but I don’t really know. He was obviously pleased. I think at this point what I need mostly is just lots more practice and a wider vocabulary.

Thanksgiving came and went. I wasn’t feeling well on the actual day. We ended up celebrating it on Sunday with our friend Doug. Since our fridge is so tiny I figured a turkey would be a little much for us so I roasted a duck instead. It was nice to carry on an American tradition on this side of the pond.

Speaking of traditions, my family always sets up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Often for us that was a bigger holiday than Thanksgiving itself. We kept that up here. Paul was very excited to set up the Christmas tree and had a very hard time waiting for me to get home from my service project that morning (I was continuing the work on the roof I spoke about last time).

As you can see, we got a very small tree, but it’s big enough to give us some holiday spirit and get Paul excited.

It’s been cold enough that Paul hasn’t gotten out as much as he would like. A three-year-old that gets cooped up for too long starts to go a little crazy, but we do what we can to restore his sanity.

Amazon UK brought us a gift for Paul. It was supposed to be a Christmas present but I couldn’t bring myself to make him wait. It’s a great way for me to spend time with him; there’s nothing quite like attacking a castle with alien spaceships with Daddy. Building stuff with blocks like this was one of my very favorite things to do as a child, and I still remember all the best designs for spaceships from my childhood.

And when Paul goes really crazy, we just make him a killer robot and turn him loose to wreak havoc on our humble abode.

1 Comment on "Learning Polish and three-year-old (in)sanity"

  1. I loved this post! Paul is so much like you were as a child. Remember when we spread a sheet on the floor of the family room, took the lid off the popcorn popper and let the popcorn fly. You weren't content to catch the popcorn with your hands. You ran around trying to catch it in your mouth. I love you…All!

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