In all the three languages Scarlett is improving steadily. Her level has become so good that we don’t usually notice her progress any more. The times when everybody was over the moon whenever she said something new are over. We sometimes need people who don’t see Scarlett on a daily basis to remind us of her improvements.

When we were in Germany after Christmas the German grandparents were deeply impressed by Scarlett’s German and underlined many times what a big step she had made since autumn. Oma said that Scarlett’s German is very precise, she has a big vocabulary and is well spoken. Her Italian accent has become weaker. I then noticed how good Scarlett had become when we went to see the beautiful “Museum Koenig” in Bonn, one of the finest natural history museums I have ever seen. Scarlett was able to name almost all the animals in German, not only the standards like “Giraffe, Elefant, Zebra, Loewe” but also very unusual ones like “Saebelschnaebler” (German for: ‘avocet’).

Scarlett always speaks German to me, but one day we ended up having a conversation in English. Scarlett wanted me to read her favourite English Snow White book. When I read English or Italian books to the kids I always translate into German. But this time I was simply too lazy and read in English. Scarlett accepted it without hesitation and soon she asked me in English: “But why the bad queen wants to kill Snow White?” I answered in English, which seemed perfectly natural. Afterwards however I had second thoughts and decided not to do it again. I suppose it is still paramount to stick to my language, even if her German now seems pretty stable.

Shortly before Christmas Scarlett got then interested in writing. She wanted us to write down words and then copied them on paper devotedly. Among her favourites were “SCARLETT”, “PAPA”, “MAMA” and “NONNA” . Once she had finished she would spell the letters individually and then say the whole word. For her birthday she then got a set of wooden cubes with letters on it and she continued her spelling exercises passionately.

Scarlett has always been intrigued by letters, since the days when her English grandma drew picture alphabets for her, where A stood for ‘apple’, B for ‘bee’ and so on. Now however she has moved on from single letters to whole words. I already started wondering about all the problems connected to learning how to read and write in the three different languages, when Scarlett suddenly lost interest in words and went back to drawing pictures of princesses.