When I lived in Argentina (serving as a missionary for my Church), I remember being fascinated with the children - there is something about seeing a child speaking another language. Ever since, I've dreamed of raising bilingual children. Upon meeting Brett, I quickly found out that like me, he had spent time in Argentina (also serving as a missionary). Of course, Argentina set aside, he was everything I was looking for, but this just sealed the deal.
So when we found out we were pregnant, we bought books on how to raise a bilingual child. Then Sadie came and we learned that trying to raise a bilingual child is, well, hard. But we haven't given up. Though I think my Spanish skills are pretty good, there are just some words/phrases you don't know when it's not your first language. And it's just easier and more natural to speak English. But, since being at home, I have really tried to recommit myself to speaking only Spanish to Sadie. Sometimes I succeed, other times I fail. And for a while there, I wondered whether she was even understanding the Spanish since her first words were all English words. But, she would respond to Spanish commands, so I figured something was getting through. In the past months, she has picked up a Spanish word or two (hola and agua). She never wants or says water, it's always agua (in Sadie speak, 'ah-kuh'). Then today, she was watching one of her Baby Einstein videos in Spanish and she just started repeating everything they were saying. Now in her Spanish vocabulary we've added, among others: gato (cat), arbol (tree, she pronounces it similar to her English pronunciation of the word apple, but I can distinguish), ventana (window). She also gives besos (kisses) - though she also says the word kiss - and she has a boca (mouth). There are many other words/phrases that she uses only English for, but alas, my little baby is showing her bilingual ability!
My grandma Vilma is Dominican and ever since I returned from Argentina, she and I have conversed in Spanish. We close our phone conversations with our standard 'Te quiero. Un beso. Chau chau.' And today Sadie picked that up as well. She walked around the house this afternoon saying chau chau ('tao tao'). It is just too cute. I have yet to get it on video, but just to reinforce her cuteness, here are a few pictures: