Ami: I think I’m gonna write about OPOL.
Ami: OPOL. I wanna write about it.
Karen: Write about what?
Ami: OPOL. Jesus, do I have to spell it out for you?
Karen: Yes please.
Ami: O-P-O-L. OPOL.
Karen: The car?
Ami: Not Opel. OPOL! OPOL! We do it everyday!
Karen: We do an OPOL everyday?
Ami: Ya know what? I think I like this game…
Karen: Damn it Ami, what is it?!
Ami: But you just gave me a great start for my blog entry.
Ami: For what?
Karen: I think I know what it is…
Karen: One Parent One Language?
Ami: Darn. Thought I could’ve kept it goin’ a bit longer. Oh well…
Karen: Nice try, Ami. Nice try…
A few days ago, I picked Emma up, and asked her where her ear was. I like to ask Emma where her ear is. Not because I think she’s lost it or anything, but because I like hearing her say “ear” while shoving her cute little index finger down it, almost enough to scrape her eardrum.
After she did it, she immediately pointed to her nose and said “Af!”. I think I scared her when my eyes almost popped out, and then yelled “Karen! She knows nose!”
In a way, it was the first time we got a glimpse to see how this whole OPOL experiment was going. We knew from the get-go we wanted Emma to be bilingual, and after a few searches on the net decided to try out OPOL – One Parent One Language. The rule is, I speak to Emma in Hebrew, and Karen in English. No ifs, ands or “aval”s… Emma’s about 20 months old now, and even though she goes to Hebrew day-care, she knows quite a few more words in English than in Hebrew. I believe Karen’s teaching abilities might have something to do with it. And till now, Emma would point at the various features on her angelic face in English alone: “Eeya!” (ear), “No!” (nose), “Chee!” (chin), “Mau” (mouth) and “Eye” (thank God).
But lo and behold, here she was, in my arms, pointing at my “Af!”, scratching my “Naim!” (oznayim) and inserting her hand, albeit at times deep enough to make one gag, down my “Peh!”.
Still, I can’t help but be a bit apprehensive about the way it might affect her development in a Hebrew speaking society. The rule of thumb is that OPOL might at first slow down one’s verbal development, but later on in life it picks up to normal speed. We’ll just have to wait and see.
But all in all, it seems like she’s off to a good start. She cetainly makes her “Aba!” proud.