I must admit that listening to my child say, “Mommy I know Spanish” is music to my ears, though far from reality I know he still has a long way to go. This past week I was on the phone rambling in Spanish with my sister from Puerto Rico, and my son asks, “Mommy is that Abuela or Titi?” (Abuela – Grandma/Titi – Auntie). I responds, “It’s Titi.” He remains quite for a while, and interrupts me.
This is our conversation, while Titi was listening and patiently waiting for him to finish.
Him: “Mommy, Mommy, excuse me!”
Me: “Yes, lindo.”
Him: “Mommy, my friends (he said their names) at school don’t know Spanish.”
Me: “Is that so?”
Him: “Yes, Mommy. I was trying to teach them and they weren’t listening to me.”
Me: “So what were you teaching them?”
Him: “Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho…”
Me: (I laughed) “So you were teaching them the numbers in Spanish?”
Him: “Yes, Mommy. I know Spanish like you, and they don’t!”
Me: “Don’t worry baby, they will soon learn. Now let me finish talking to Titi.”
Him: “OK, Mommy.”
My sister was cracking up at the other end of the line, since she had heard our conversation. Of course, I had a sense of pride and excitement listening to my child talk that way about the “Spanish” language.
It gives me hope that one day, he will be bilingual. I need not to be in despair, and worry so much about him learning Spanish. He’s showing interest, and is receptive to me speaking to him in Spanish. He often asks, “Mommy what does that mean?”, and I find myself translating for him. Then out of the blue, he’s repeating what I am saying.
For instance, there’s this children’s song: “Sana, sana colita de rana.” It’s a children’s song that my Mom would sing to us all the time when we got hurt. She sang the song as she rubbed or “healed” the bruised or hurt part of our body; and of course, we instantly felt better. This is a song that I often sing to my son, and that he sings to me when I complain about my back pain as he gently rubs my back! Sweet isn’t he?
♫♫♫Sana, sana, colita de rana, si no sanas hoy, sanarás mañana.♫♫♫
♫♫♫Heal, heal,little tail of the frog, if you don’t heal today, you’ll heal tomorrow.♫♫♫
So, with counting numbers, or singing children’s song in Spanish my son is getting closer to one day being bilingual; and I will be enjoying every step of the way! You can read more about our challenges here.