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Spanish | Who's Your Daddy? | giggle Blogs


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.