My ongoing campaign to ensure that La Fille speaks English has taken a blow. Central to my mission, conducted with the zeal of a religious convert, is the great God of expatriate parents, Uncle Walt. Uncle Walt is our saviour; him and the other Hollywood relatives because unfortunately we can't get Auntie Cbeebies (and I'd throw myself under a Ninky Nonk if I had to watch In the Night Garden every day.)
Anyway, the house rule is that films are watched in VO or original version and as Uncle Walt churns out far more children's entertainment than the rest of the world put together, this means lots of English lessons disguised as fun. This is the carrot to my linguistic stick; the reward La Fille gets for persisting with her mother's tongue. I can live with the Disney fluff and political incorrectness, the fairies, the pink princesses and the cute talking animals as long as whatever tosh they are talking is in English.
Then the remote broke down and we had to watch Mulan II in French. A double whammy that made me regret not studying something useful like electronic circuitry. The default language on DVDs sold in France is French. Normally this is no problem; I just go to the audio configurations, flick it to English and voila, even the insects are talking my language. But with no remote the only way to play a movie was to push the play button on the DVD which then launched itself into French. I took the remote apart and cleaned it but it still wouldn't work. La Fille wailed: "Why can't I watch it in French?" Answer: "Because even though she's supposed to be Chinese Mulan speaks English." Retort: "But Mulan's like me, she speaks French and English." I couldn't think of a good response to that so I set about dismantling the remote again.
La Fille flounced off, arms crossed, pet lip jutting. Her parting shot was: "You do what you want. I'm going to the lavatory." The lavatory? I don't know where she got that from and I don't know what I'm worrying about. This girl speaks English better than I do.
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