|Photo courtesy of: rakratchada torsap|
Normally, talking to kids is no cause for anxiety for me (I was a teacher after all), but in the past I've also been talking to kids in English. I know my grammar is often... um... awful... and I know I have a strong American accent (read as: don't pronounce things correctly). The first time a school friend of Little Man's came over, I tried a "Kan je je schoenen afdoen, alstjeblief?" ("Can you take your shoes off, please?") when the boys came in. The kid looked at me and said, "Wat?" And after a few more of my attempts the poor thing looked at me again and said, "Ik kan je niet verstaan." (I can't understand you.) I resorted to "Schoenen. Af." (Shoes. Off.) - which worked, but was not exactly what I was going for.
For the most part, talking to young kids isn't too bad. They are also making grammatical and pronunciation mistakes so speaking with them doesn't carry the same potential for embarrassment from making mistakes as it might when talking to an adult. I also figure that the teacher wouldn't have asked me if she didn't think my level of Dutch was good enough for fending for myself for a half hour. And I've recently learned a lot of the imperative in my Dutch lessons, so I can say "Get off that" and "Eat your bread" more effectively, so that helps.
I think I'm safe from reenacting the famous scene from Gulliver's Travels, but if you don't see anything here tomorrow or somewhere on social media, please call the school. Just in case.