Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Don't Know Spanish, But My 14-Month Does


My daughter is picking up a lot of Spanish words from her sitter these days. She’s begun to use lots of English words (“No!” being a big one) but sometimes she just starts saying things that just sounds a lot like babble to my wife and I. But it's not; our sitter has informed us that she's using Spanish words (which we...or "I" of course don't know). This scares me a little. I don't mind her learning another language like Spanish (it’s now essential living here in Southern California) that's all “coolio” with me - my fear is this:

I don't want to be somewhere (store, mall, Canada) with my daughter, when she's 4 or 5 years-old, chatting or laughing in Spanish to some stranger while I'm just standing there, smiling like cousin Balki from Perfect Strangers.

He could be plotting to kidnap her or directing jokes at me and I wouldn’t even know it. He could be talking to my daughter about jumping into his van for ice cream and ride's on princess pony’s or about my ‘big pore’ problem and I would just stand there smiling like an idiot. That scares me.
Maybe I can do something about this…possibly watch Dora or that cheesy Playhouse Disney show "Manny and the gringo talking tools" and learn how to say things like “Monkey, bring my banana hammer here, por-fa-vor?”

13 comments:

T. said...

Doesn't it just suck when your kid makes you feel like an unenlightened stooge?

Wait till they start bringing home the math. Woo.

My only advice is to start watching Dora. Lots and lots of Dora.

Oh, and up here in Canada, we don't speak a whole lot of Spanish. It's francais that you have to be aware of...

crazedparent said...

just teach her not to talk to strangers in english OR spanish. viola. problem solved:)

lynsalyns said...

It could be worse, she could learn her Spanish from Dora The Explorer. Like my baby girl.

ps - she is ADORABLE.

kittenpie said...

what T said.
"Voulez-vous venez avec moi, petite fille?" is the one to watch for.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Thanks for that image of cousin Balki. Too funny.

radioactive girl said...

We bought the Muzzy program (google it if you don't know what it is...in fact if you want it, let me know and I'll send it to you) for learning Spanish. I am not a fan. My kids loved it and seemed to understand it, but I threw it in a box somewhere because I just didn't have the patience for some huge monster who mumbles his words in another language.

dadinprogress said...

Ironic...a friend of mine and I were just talking about this very topic. Apparently the nanny speaks Spanish to the 4 and 2 year olds and they are both fluent. The funny thing is, the nanny also speaks English, but only talks to the girls in Spanish. Que pasa?

BTW, between the kitten pic of Dana Plato aka Kimberly Willis and the Cousin Balki reference, I've got my daily yucks once again, so thank you Tony.

Handy Manny (or Mandy as my girls call him) is MUCH more tolerable than Dora. I can't stand her shrieks and that stupid map. I love that Disney Channel is going toe to toe with Nickelodeon (or, as we thirtysomethings called it "Noedolekcin" -- remember all the Canadians on "You Can't Do That on Television", eh?) by ripping off Dora and Bob the Builder to create Handy Manny.

And you're little girl is awesome.

Waya said...

Hola! She is adorable, your bebe! I get my Spanish lessons from Dora and Miguel and Maya, gracias!

I took 7 years of French and the only thing I know for sure is "croissant".

Kristen said...

OMG! Balki from Perfect Strangers - that was hilarious. I loved him.

Rob Barron said...

P.Pie & I want to hiring a (an? neither sounds right) Hispanic (what's pc? Spanish, Mexican?) nanny/au pair/sitter just so they can speak a second language.

Learning a new language is soooo much easier when you're under 10. I took three semesters of Spanish @ CU when I was 31.

I passed, but all I really know how to say is, "Neccito otra cerveza, por favor" (I need another beer, please) and "No sabĂ­a que ella era su esposa" (I didn't know she was your wife).

I use one phrase much more than I use the other :-)

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

dadinprogress - i totally agree. Dora bothers me much more than Handy Mandy. There's something about Dora I just don't like.

Waya - I tool 4 years of French and all I can do is speak Jerry Lewis. My wife actually can speak fluent French. She lived in France for some time.

radioactive girl - Muzzy? I'll check it out!

T. - I know Spanish isn't spoken is Canada. It's Swahili.

junebee said...

I joke that the schools will put my kids in ESL classes. I just engaged a non-Hispanic nanny (the last 2 were South American, I highly recommend South Americans). She took my kids to an activity last week and the Blossom gave her an awful time. Two other mothers commented "Oh, I guess she only listens in Spanish". The poor non-Hispanic nanny probably felt about 2 inches tall. In the meantime, I've gotten past the tourist-level Spanish. I'm not yet fluent but I'm workin' on it.

Ryan said...

I know basic present tense spanish and so I teach my near 3 year old some words. So far he only knows hello, cheese, milk, and maybe a few others. I'd love it if he were fluent. At the same time, I sure wouldn't want him to be able to speak something that I don't, so if he progresses quickly in school, then I'll have to get a book too and brush up on my skills. For now though, it is nice that my wife and I can communicate in another language at times though without him knowing what we are saying. That's golden.