Allow me to briefly say that when I was little I had a great deal of trouble with writing in English. My Mom is a native English speaking as is my Dad (although he spoke German at home when he was little and English to everyone else). My brother and sister’s first words were in English, mine were not.
As the middle child I appear to have caused a lot of grief in my household. After my brother, I was a shock to the collective system of what my parents considered ‘parenthood’. My brother was the kind of kid who played with empty cereal boxes, slept for 10 hours a night, and loved anyone who fed him. My Mom could set her clock by him. Suffice it to say, she thought she and my Pop had the whole ‘raising kids’ thing down. So when I burst onto the scene in a shower of meteors, explosions, and general awesomeness, they were stumped. I slept an average of two hours a night, I would only eat if my Ma was feeding me, I walked at a ridiculously early ag,e and insisted on climbing anything and everything in my path, I destroyed anything that was handed to me in an average of 0.5 seconds, and inexplicably was always covered in grass stains, even if there was no grass.
My parents tried dealing with me in the same way as they had with my brother. When he was around 18 months old he used to sit in a cardboard box on the table in our country house. From the box he could survey the kitchen and see all that was going on, the box was parallel to the window and he could keep an eye on my Dad reading the paper, and my Mom cooking. He would sit there for hours doing very little, content to observe the world around me. Two years later the box remained on the table and my optimistic mother put me in the box, assuming I would placidly look out on the world. Which lasted all of thirty seconds. I chewed, tore, smashed, and burrowed my way out of that 2 and a half year old box. I escaped down onto the bench and ran amok in the house, gurgling with mischievous glee the whole time. I think that probably consisted of a decent enough wakeup call for my parents to realize I was nothing like my brother in temperament or action. The differences were soon to grow.
My brother at age 2 spoke, a lot. By the time I was 2 he was 4, and he had progressed to full speeches about the injustice of cookie-time, how the one Mom controlled 100% of the cookies; how it flew against all Western values, and how the kid at school had blown his nose on his sleeve, and this had impacted him emotionally. My parents realized at age three that my two words were ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’, and that they weren’t in English.
My parents sent me to the local kindergarten, it was intended to get me to be bi-lingual (which had failed with my brother, so he concentrated on speaking in Shakespearian English at age 4). To the chagrin of my parents, I spoke no English, I could understand, but wouldn’t speak. This didn’t really become an issue, until I hit the big oh-four. I was still using un-English baby-talk and not speaking in full sentences. I was, instead, cart-wheeling and doing gymnastics down the banisters of our house. I also had a penchant for climbing up the wall-to-wall bookcases in my Pop’s office and refusing to come down, which resulted in my Dad fetching a step-ladder, climbing half-way up, and then me jumping down past him.
When my sister was born I began to use English words, because it was explained that the baby understood English, and that it would not respond to anything else. Honestly speaking: she responded to very little, but in my own hodge-podge language I would lean over the crib and explain to this shrunken, wrinkly, purple human all of my problems and worries. I would pour out my little soul, to what appeared to most people to be a fleshy, deflating balloon.
I’d like to claim that from then on I spoke fluently but no. I was sent to the local primary school which was again, not English-speaking. I learnt grammar and structure, but not in English. When I wrote letters to my parents they were phonetic. I am lead to believe that my mother has kept these to read, phrases like “aye wolde laik to gow tu de beetch, bat di wavez ar skerrie” exist somewhere in the endless documents my Ma has kept over the years, along with Doctors reports, Psychologist reports and baby pictures.
This preamble is to basically introduce you to one thing (I realize that for a pre-amble this has taken a very long time so I shall be brief!), a friend of mine introduced me to this site http://shitmystudentswrite.tumblr.com/ and I have giggled through most of its pages.
I freely admit that my English needs attention, that I frequently mess up is no secret. BUT as I have recounted, I have my reasons, these kids are just lazy!!!