Last night Biggie was still under the weather. He spent the whole day in bed reading and sleeping. At about 10 pm I heard him rustling around - he had had a nightmare about some of the characters from Harry Potter.
This morning he finished reading the first book in the Harry Potter series. He read the whole thing on his own in English. I am so pleased he loved it. I bought that book for him five years ago and was saving it until he could read, understand and love it for himself.
Today at lunch we were discussing the book and some of the lead characters. Little Guy piped up with something about a book. He said clearly "where's the book mummy?" then he turned to his father and said "where's the book daddy?" in perfect (two year old) Japanese. It was the first time I have heard him switching, that is seamlessly choosing the right language for the conversation/person at hand. It was exciting for me even though we witnessed the same development in Biggie. It's just really really cool!
For those of you who don't know me personally, we live in Japan but I am from New Zealand so English is my native language. Both of our boys were born in Japan (their father is Japanese). Since birth we have practiced OPOL - one parent, one language. That means my kids and I speak only English to each other and they speak only Japanese to their father or any other Japanese native speaker.
It's probably quite fun to watch the kids switching languages at the dinner table when we are all together. Mr. Mee a Bee and I speak English to each other. The three of them have an advantage in that they can all understand most of what is said in English. But when they are rabbiting in Japanese I confess to tuning them out a lot of the time since I can't pick it all up. They don't know how lucky they are to be bilingual.