My mother came to visit back in June. It was the turning point for me to really start working on P’s Spanish. I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I am fluent in English and Spanish. My husband only speaks English so it can be hard to speak to P in Spanish. It’s not his fault. He is very enthusiastic and supportive of P being bi-lingual, it’s me who lacks the motivation at times.
One benefit of spending time with my family is P’s progress with language. After this recent trip to Florida I see a change again. Both her English and Spanish blossom after a week of mostly hearing and speaking Spanish. I’m not sure what it is about one language that prompts the other. I’m not even sure it would work the other way around.
Simple words like “dog” or “cat” are not so simple in Spanish. They are double consonant words and are harder on the mouth. Dog = perro. Cat = gato. And while in English I speak in simple toddler-ease phrases to P, in Spanish I can’t. I can’t simplify a sentence and get the same meaning across.
This week after our Florida trip P has been talking and talking. Most has been her own blah, blah, blah but interjected here and there are real words. Bah, blah, bah, pants blah blah up. And her hand gestures and expressions are sooo vivid. I can’t get over the dialogue.
While in Florida, I was giving her a bath and I wanted her to get out. She looked at me and said “I want to stay”! It was the first time I’ve heard a full sentence expressing a desire so clearly. I asked back “you want to stay?”, P: “yes”. How could I not let her get what she wanted when she had expressed it so clearly for the first time EVER! Since then she’s been expressing her desires, ie: opinions a lot more.
Now, back in LA I hear her saying things in Spanish. At night when she wants a glass of water she says to Pappa: “un baso de agua Pappa”. Holy Smokes!
What gives me such great pleasure is to see such a blonde little Gringa speaking such great Spanish! I love it!!!