Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why is she Yelling at me?!

Ok, I will be the 1st to admit that Ping is pretty darned cute!
And I will also admit that I am REALLY going to miss having her yakking away at me in Mandarin.
I love it when she sits on my lap and talks to me in Chinese and expects me to answer.  Sometimes I can get a few words in, but she likes to play a game where she says something and I repeat it, then she laughs at me.  And she says it again, and waits for me to repeat it, and then laughs when I get it wrong.  Eventually, I get it "close enough" that she then adds another word to two onto the sentence as we start all over.

I'm thinking shes teaching me how to say something like "My Daddy is wonderful!"... but its probably something more along the lines of "Put me down you hairy Sasquatch!"

But there are times when I'm just left thinking "Why are you yelling at me?!  In Chinese!  I don't understand!".

Oh... I guess that's it.  I Don't Understand.

Pings integration with the family has gone exceedingly well.  Far more smoothly than I think we even dared hope for.  But that's not to say that sometimes, there are still communication issues.

Yesterday, when the kids trundled off to school, Ping started crying and would not stop.  Which is a good thing! You want them to cry... it shows that they are bonding and don't want to be without you.  But still, she was quite upset, and all someone needed to tell, was to tell her "Yes, your brothers and sister are leaving, but they will be back after school".  

So I started rummaging though all the Mandarin phrases I knew...
- yes
- no
- thank you
- do you want coffee?  
- Do you NEED coffee? 
- Yes I NEED coffee
- do you have any coffee? 
- Is the coffee good here
- thank you
- thank you for the coffee 
- Where is there more coffee? 
- Why are you out of coffee?
- What do you mean "try the tea"?!
- Are you crazy?!
- Can I turn on the air conditioning?

Darn it!  Nothing about your new siblings going to school.  And just when she finally calms down in her Daddy's arms, well, he has to put her down on the ground, and leave for work...
... as I walk to the car, I can still hear her crying as her Mama picks her up and tries to console her with more words which she can not understand.  How terrifying.  Maybe/hopefully she is thinking "Ma ma is trying to console me, everything will be OK".

Sometimes, there are times, where she is so desperately trying communicate, and just can't, that it must be frustrating and scary.

And I can't say anything to make her feel better, because my Chinese is pretty limited... and apparently revolves around coffee.  But if she is every having a coffee tantrum, then I've got it covered!

But a few weeks from now, I'm gonna miss having her yell at me in Chinese... because she will have figured out English...

But then she'll just be yelling at me in English.
... like the other 3 children.
... and wife.

I'm going to miss the Chinese... at least I can't tell if shes calling me a "moron", or just angry that there is no Yogurt left.


  1. I've taken care of quite a few kids who couldn't speak english, but eventually someone in their family shows up who knows enough english to translate, or if not my shift ends and it becomes someone else's problem. I couldn't imagine living it 24/7 without a translator showing up. Keep up the good work, it's bound to get easier. Just start pumping Ping full of coffee so you at least have something to talk about in the meantime.

  2. you will be surprised how quick a kid pick up a new language.

  3. Yea, its sad that she has learned more English in 3 weeks than me in learning Mandarin in my 18 months. *siiigh*