From the mouths of preschoolers…

Leo’s Chinese ability has gotten to the point where he can now embarrass us :). Out at the vegetable market yesterday, Leo ran into a friendly "Nai Nai" (older lady of a grandmotherly age) who was chatting with him. He took one look at her and said, "Nide yachi dou huaile!" – meaning, "Your teeth are all rotten!" Which actually, her teeth weren’t all that bad (she still had them after all!). I got ready to say sorry 100 times to her, when she just turned her big grin to me and said, "Wow! His Chinese is so good! Is he in school here?" Relieved, I said thank you and yes, he’s in school and we continued to chat for a bit.

Afterward, Mr. Leo and I had a little chat about being more polite, and then headed up to the grocery store. I’m pretty sure this will not be the last time something like this happens!

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3 Responses to “From the mouths of preschoolers…”


  1. 1 Mom Falk July 12, 2011 at 8:35 am

    What, after all, are the foundations of courtesy? The Jesuits don’t do everything right, but some mighty powerful minds have been called to their number—and correct thinking isn’t all bad—-we’ve kept a book on our shelves for over 58 years by one of their number—-make a note of it, Liz and John Michael, so you can pick it up the next time when you are home—-It’s called The Formation of Character—and when it is daylight here I’ll find it and send the authors name—every parent should read and integrate the deeper meaning of the author’s concepts—-for oneself as well as for the children—-brilliant man—-and studied his subjects on his knees, as the saying goes. Leo does need to be encouraged to honor the truth when he speaks—in every language—and he gets that idea very well—great step in the right direction.

  2. 2 Chris Burgwald July 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Nice. 🙂

  3. 3 Mom Falk July 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    The Formation of Character was written by Ernest R. Hull, S.J.–with a preface by The Bishop of Salford—the Imprimatur is given by the late John J, Glennon, who was Bishop of St. Louis, Missouri at the time of its publication——as a freshman student at Rosati-Kain High School (for girls)- in the 1940s I sang in the choir at Bishop Glennon’s funeral at the St. Louis Cathedral. Father Hull’s book was required reading in my college freshman religion class at St. Louis University in the fall of 1951. Remember I had had to work a year before it was possible for me to go to college in those days. But the book is well worth reading and I have read it more than once over the years.


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