Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alara and her balls

One of Alara's first words was ball. It is a word she says about a hundred times a day. She loves playing with balls. She plays soccer and basketball, she throws and rolls balls, she kicks and chases after balls. It is so adorable. She definitely has some athletic genes in her that come from her father, not me.

At a few of the shopping centres around town there are play areas that have ball pits (like the one in the picture). These ball pits combine Alara's two favourite play things, balls and slides. She absolutely loves sliding into balls.

She loves these places so much that now if we go to one of these shopping centres the first thing she wants to do is go and play with the balls. I love seeing her having fun.

The thing that is really interesting about ball being one of her first words is how she reacts to the word. We live in a bilingual house. Seyfi and I both speak English and Turkish. He always speaks in Turkish to her, and I always speak in English. Seyfi's parents are learning English at the same time as Alara, so obviously they are always speaking Turkish. However, with the word ball (and there are many others), Alara decided that for at least a year she was only going to call it a ball and never a 'top' (which is Turkish).

She called it a ball to everyone, her grandparents, children in the park, other adults, and rarely did they understand, but she kept going and a ball was what it was. It has only been this last week, that she has started calling it a 'top' to people who she seems to know won't understand.

This is a huge step in her language development. She has always known that with me she should use the English word (if she knew it), and for a long time she was just choosing to use the shorter or easier word. Now, we are seeing her switch back and forth between the two languages, and it is amazing!

I remember when, and actually still to this day, people ask how can a child learn two languages at the same time? I knew deep down that it would be alright, that we weren't creating a freak, but, let me tell you, I was worried. So far it seems to be going well, and I couldn't be happier.


  1. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Love your blog.

    Have a nice day!

  2. Hi, I've been reading through your blog which I found off a site about expats in Turkey. I have been living in Turkey for a year with my Turkish husband, and we have a 4 month old daughter. I can really relate to so many of your posts and it makes me more confident that I will eventually become more comfortable in Turkey.

    This post in particular struck a cord with me because we are also raising our daughter to be bilingual but of course I'm a little nervous about it. This post really encourages me! My husband does not speak turkish to her yet though, even though I encourage him to. He lived in the US for most of his life and is more comfortable speaking english. I'm hoping to find alternative ways to expose her to Turkish as much as possible.

    Thanks for blogging about you and your family's experience.