A frustrated expat mother has scolded her daughter for yet again refusing to demonstrate her linguistic range during a video call with the little girl’s grandmother.
“And how is school going?” inquired the grandmother, aged 65, who lives in a country where people generally speak only one language. “Are you learning a lot?”
The mother turned to the little girl and gave her a stern look.
“Sweetie, show her how you can speak Luxembourgish, French, and German,” the mother said as the little girl pretended to be distracted by a pattern in the rug on the floor. “Go on, give her a little demonstration.”
After a long moment, the grandmother tried to change the subject to the price of cooking oil, but the mother was not willing to let the topic go.
“Perform, dammit,” she hissed at the little girl. “Show grandma how many languages you speak.”
After several seconds of silence, the little girl offered a fake smile and said “moien, bonjour, hallo” to the ceiling and then “happy now?” to her mother.
Later, the mother tried in vain to get her daughter to accept that from time to time she will have to be a performing monkey.
“Do you have any idea how much your father and I suffer from having to help you with homework in languages we don’t even understand?” the mother said. “You have to give something in return.”