I speak to the Bhabs in Bengali, mostly. Till he was about 2, I spoke to him in Bengali only. To ensure that he learnt it properly, mainly, but I also did improve my own fluency. (Or so I thought but more of that anon.)
Anyway, so when he joined school last January, I figured his teachers would teach him English. I believe they've been trying to do just that but with a marked lack of success. People told me I need to rectify this 'failing', because it would hamper him in big school but really, come on. English is my language of choice. Vicky and I speak about as much English in a day as we do Bengali. Even if we didn't speak it to the boy, he definitely heard it. So I was puzzled and rather suspicious when I was told that he can't follow the language.
A month ago his teacher requested us to please speak to him in English at home so that he'd be more comfortable trying to speak in it as well. Vital for school admissions, apparently. So I tried, didn't get very far, although he did learn enough to call himself Sunayana Roy and me Soubhik Niyogy and his jethu (the BIL) Kingshuk Sharabh Niyogy. Still, no real progress seemingly but all the while I was more and more convinced he followed us perfectly when we spoke in English.
Yesterday we were at Giga's in the evening, out for a little airing after a flue-ridden fortnight. Dididi (aka Giridi, Giga's help) had just returned from the shops, bearing a carton of juice for Himself when I decided that he ought to have dinner instead. The following conversation took place:
Me: Let's not give him the J-U-I-C-E just now.
Giga: Is the J-U-I-C-E here already?
Vicky: I think she's back.
Little Pitcher: Eshe gechhe? ("She's back?")
The next time somebody tells me he doesn't understand English, I'll, well, I'll probably make them babysit for a week. If that isn't punishment I don't know what is. Not only can the little blighter understand us all perfectly, he is also picking up on the spelled words. Whatever next!