Please note: this is a Guest Post I wrote.

So as I’ve mentioned here a few times, we are raising a bilingual baby. Right now, there are a couple words Maya is preferring to say in Spanish — her new favorites being “pan” (for “bread” and “pollo” (“for chicken”). We’re working on “vamanos!” for let’s go (she is like Dora, except blond and blue-eyed).

Thanksgiving week (11/19) we leave for a week-long trip to El Salvador to visit Luis’s family and to celebrate his mom’s 75th birthday. I’m mostly geeked to see family and friends and hit the beach, but I’m also looking forward to my Spanish coming back.

Continue reading “Vamanos!”


Raising a Bilingual Baby

Fact: the earlier a child learns another language, the better. In addition to little kids being sponges, they have fewer inhibitions and are far less worried about pronunciation and verb tenses than older kids are. They learn faster and are less afraid to make mistakes.

I didn’t take Spanish until 9th grade and I truly regret not having been immersed in the language sooner. This is why it’s been really important to both of us to raise Maya bilingual from the start.

The only problem is, we have no idea how it’s supposed to be done — we’re just trying to speak to her in both languages as much as we can: Daddy in Spanish (and English); Mommy in English. All we can do is hope we don’t screw up our child as we speak to her in two languages. I have hope: Luis turned out OK and he speaks three languages — but he only spoke Spanish at home and English and German at school (he graduated from the German School in San Salvador).

What’s hard is in our nearly 11 years together, we’ve only ever spoken English together — even when I lived in El Salvador, it was just more natural for us to speak English. We met here in the U.S., speaking English. It doesn’t feel right to speak Spanish — and we’ve tried. We’ve  just always reverted back to English for ease.

Which means my Spanish pretty much sucks right now because the only practice I get is when his mom comes to visit or when we visit family in El Salvador. That said, I’m hoping my Spanish will improve as Maya gets older and absorbs more and more of Luis’s native language. Continue reading “Raising a Bilingual Baby”

Words + Expectations

I don’t really know why I expected Maya to be this super-chatty kid by now (15 months).

Maybe it’s because I’m super-chatty myself (and was as a baby).

Or maybe it’s because she’s been blowing raspberries to communicate and babbling since 4 months (and saying “dada” since 6 months) all of which, in my mind, meant she was clearly destined for an early talking future. (I can hear the Motormouth Gods laughing at me now in unison).

Or maybe it’s the fact that she’s been diligently following directions for the past several months, which I took to mean if she comprehends so much, surely she can start expressing it, too. In the words of my dearly-missed friend Jason … “Hmmm … not so much.”

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter why I thought she was going to be headed for the fast track of verbosity. The point is, I really expected her to be a chatty machine … and she’s not (yet).

Yet, being the operative word. Continue reading “Words + Expectations”