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You are what you say

My Beirut Baby turned three last week. Watching her language develop still astounds me. And it’s not just linguistic; listening to her speak teaches me a lot about her personality, too.
My little control freak, having breakfast on the terrace:
“Wind, don’t blow my hair when I’m eating!” …or…
“Fly! Fly! Come to me!”
My little humorist, who loves the huge calendar I make her every couple of weeks, with a cheeky smile:
“Is there a “L” in the middle of Wednesday and we say ‘Welensday’?”
Or, deliberately showing me her “Domino” box upside down:
“Do we say ‘Onimod’?”
My little obsessive (eating an olive oil biscuit called torta con aceite) the day after discussing how we don’t say the last letter often in French:

Wolf at the door?

I know I’m not the only parent in families with several languages to obsess over how much exposure our progeny get to each language. When I read other blogs or forums there’s often a sense of the struggle for survival. Parents racing to stay ahead of the majority language, an unstoppable wave. If we hesitate for but a moment, we’ll see the minority language(s) engulfed by it.
Just to update on our situation, Beirut Baby is nearly three, and Paris Baby is now ten months. I speak English to the kids, my husband speaks French (one of his three family languages) to them and together we two speak English and French. We have been living in Spain for a few months. We spend a lot of time with English friends and there aren’t many French living in the area.