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Showing posts from January, 2020

Does Bilingual Upbringing hold you back?

It took a long time for Maya to start speaking, unlike rolling over, which she did at three months, and walking, which she mastered by nine months. By two, she could only say a few words. Her lexicon included “Mama,” “no,” and “agua,” but not nearly as many words as her monolingual peers. She definitely didn’t have the 50-word vocabulary of the average two-year-old, and still had yet to string any words together to create phrases or short sentences. But I wasn’t worried, because I knew in bilingual households, it can take longer to acquire two languages than one , and slowly I began to see her understanding of both languages develop.  Although we received some pressure to “Teach her English because she’s American” (yes, that’s a direct quote), my husband and I chose to persevere in her bilingual upbringing, with an emphasis on her Spanish language development, and for good reasons.  Besides the obvious benefits of being able to communicate with 80% of the world, a rece

We may not share the same name, but we are family just the same

On Thursday I took everyone to the doctor's office. We are patients at a large medical group in Framingham, and I like it because all of our doctors--pediatrician, adult medicine, OBGYN, phlebotomy, and even radiology, are all in one building. Even though we have moved out of Framingham and now it's a bit of a trek to attend an appointment there, I absolutely love our doctors, so I made the decision for us to remain patients there. But, I am always cognizant of the 25-minute travel time to and from the office, so I try and double-up appointments whenever I can. Back in July, I actually scheduled my 6-week post-opp, Maya's 2-year, and Mateo's 6-month appointment all on the same day, and in December, I scheduled Maya and Sofia's flu shots on the same day as Mateo's 6-month check-up. It makes for quite a long morning to have three abutting appointments in one day, but it beats having to travel back and forth on three separate days.  Although I lugged eve

Spanish are from Spain, Hispanic are from.... everywhere

My friend Ashley, the kids, and I went out to my favorite lunch spot last week. As we were greeted by our server, she asked us what we wanted to drink. I turned to Maya and asked, "Quieres jugo o lechita?" Maya responded, "Lechita." The server, a friendly young white female, seemed impressed. She fumbled over her words a bit, clearly trying to articulate how to ask us how a blonde, blue-eyed mama and daughter duo can speak Spanish to one another. I sat there with a smile on my face, but let her stumble. I cannot say that this scenario is uncommon when I go out with my daughter and people see us speaking Spanish in public, and I choose not to rescue people when they inevitably put their foot in their mouth. Eventually the painfully awkward exchange ends with the server asking us, "So, is her dad Spanish?" "My husband speaks Spanish," I nodded, gently correcting her with a smile, and she left to retrieve our glass of water with lemon, Coca Cola w

Speak English!

Well, it happened. My daughter and I encountered our first resistance to bilingualism, in the form of a three-year-old new friend. On Friday, we went to Jumperoo toddler time at Urban Air , a local indoor trampoline park, and Maya and Mateo had an amazing time. It took just a few minutes for her to open up, but once she felt comfortable, my little gymnastic was all over the place. She jumped on every trampoline, into the cube pit, across the balance beam, and climbed all through the obstacle course. These types of indoor playgrounds are the best place for her to get out her energy, and meet some new friends. It was the last day of winter vacation week, so the place was bustling with toddlers, preschoolers, and their caregivers, and Maya interacted with many of the other kids. Additionally, when some of them asked, "What's your name?" I was happy to hear Maya respond with "Maya." It prides me that her productive Spanish is so good, but she also understands