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Language | Who's Your Daddy? | giggle Blogs


November 3, 2009

Little Man Big Decisions

Our Little Man participates in his school’s afterschool program a few days a week.  So for one day of the afterschool experience, we had thrown in a Spanish class.  As I mentioned in other posts before (see Màs?), we would love to give our son the gift of a second language.  Before the school year started there were many protests and “discussions” but we held fast thinking he gets to choose two days and we get one.  Fair enough, right? 

As the year has gone on, the protests had not stopped, but in fact had multiplied.  The entire walk home from that day was a recount of the atrocities he experience in his 50 minute Spanish class.  It was enough that we decided it might be best not to forever brand the second language option as a terrible forced experience.  We agreed to change that day to Soccer Club (with all his friends) with hopes of preserving another chance at language in the future. 

Little did we know what an impact this would have on the Little Man’s world.  It started this weekend and continued right into this morning.  He got up today literally singing and joking like he Emceeing a comedy roast or something.  If he wasn’t six, I might have checked his backpack for some kind of mood enhancing substance.  Laughing at everything, doing what we asked, telling us he loved us at every turn, who was this kid?

Thinking more about it, it’s not that surprising.  As little as it seemed to us, this was a major change in his world for the better (in his opinion).  Our little ones go from school to activities to homework to meals to bed, very little of which they have any control over or say in.  Perhaps the most important lesson was him teaching us “No Màs” might be the right call sometimes.

September 29, 2009


After a week traveling in Europe, I am once again humbled by the linguistic abilities of the rest of the world. As Americans, we are spoiled that the global community has adopted English as its second language of choice. My wife and I have long wished our son would learn a second language while he still has the gift of a young and sponge-like mind.

 We came out of the gates strong. After a few months at home with our newborn son we both had to return to work and thus needed some help. We were lucky that we were close enough that my mom could take him two days a week but a nanny was still needed for the other three days. We found a wonderful Nicaraguan nanny that we insisted speak only Spanish to him.  He (and we) enjoyed this three day a week immersion for over a year. We added to this reading at least half his books to him in Spanish and we were well on our way to bilingual bliss.

 As they always do, circumstances changed upsetting the apple cart in a big way. Fast forward to years later with us in New York and a trip to Chevy’s being the closest we get to Spanish in our house. To be fair, my wife has high school Spanish in her back pocket and can speak the language better than she gives herself credit for. I have what remains of my Spanish learned from children’s books including foods, farm animals and clothes. Not super helpful.

 As we reveled in our return from Europe and the inevitable silliness with our little man, we came across a new version of an old game, the tickle game.  Everyone knows this game where we tickle our little one until they are hysterically gasping for mercy after which they want it to immediately restart.  As a newly traveled man of the world, this time I insisted that all begging for mercy or any other form of communication be done in Spanish. Amazing how fast your six year old (or probably anyone being tickle-tortured) can learn words while laughing like a hyena who can’t breathe and trying to remember to say “tio” (uncle) or “no mas” (no more). So while my wife and I dream of our house sounding like a United Nations General Meeting, maybe we can just laugh ourselves a few steps closer to a bilingual household.