Potty Trained Young English Speaker

1 Conversation

My first real experience of the English language was at the age of four when I found myself surrounded by 20 other four year olds none of whom I could understand. The first thing I learnt was the word “present”, every morning the teacher would mispronounce my name and after the boy next to me had elbowed me a couple of times I would answer “present”. After a week or so I was getting quite good at pronouncing it, although when I found out what it meant I was a little disappointed that I didn’t actually receive anything.

The next word I remember learning was the word paper, pronounced “pepper”. I was given a blank piece of paper, a few coloured pencils and sat in the corner. Every now and again the teacher would come over, take the pencil from me, write something on my piece of paper, point to it with her finger and mispronounce my name very, very slowly. Then she would give me the pencil and rub my head. After I had totally rubbed out what the teacher had written and filled the paper with my own drawings I would get up, walk over to the teacher and shout “pepper, pepper”. After looking at what I had drawn she would shake her head, give me another piece and send me back to the corner.
After a few weeks of this I was able to spell out my name and had even learned how to pronounce it properly in English.

I cannot remember learning the word wee-wee but after a few accidents I do remember that all I had to do when I felt like going was to stand up with one hand in-between my legs and the other hand pointing towards the teacher. The teacher would jump up, grab my hand and we would both run to the toilet. It took me a quite a while to get rid of this habit and remember getting several detentions for it when I was older.

Besides the word “fire” which I learnt from playing with a red fire engine I cannot really remember how I learnt all those other words, they just sort of popped into my head.

Ps: Since moving back to Italy I have realised where some of my gestures came from although in Italian it doesn’t mean show me to the restroom miss.

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