My 19-month-old son is always surprising me with the language he’s acquired. Sometimes the words he says are as clear as day. “Deck!” “¡Otro!”
Sometimes what he says isn’t clear to others, but my wife and I easily understand what he’s saying. “Cops” (Crocs shoes (no judgement… they’re cute on the kid)) “omba” (alfombra).
And sometimes he says things that crack us up when we figure them out. “Oma Inti Wawa Bah”. Can you guess what that means? Let me tell you a quick story while you try to riddle it out.
About a month ago from the time I am writing this post my family took a trip to visit my wife’s parents. They live on the other side of the state where temperatures can easily get into the low 100s Fahrenheit during the summer. The first thing our son notices about any building interior is if it has ceiling fans. He’s obsessed. It just so happens that his abuela Norma and his abuelo Vicente have not one, not two, but three ceiling fans in their house, presumably to help survive the brutal summers.
I’m not sure where this obsession with ventiladores started, but I know he grew fonder of them at my mom’s place, where she had some ceiling fans as well. She would consistently tell him, “Mateo, look at those fans! They’re going round and round and round and round!” Now every time he sees one he lets everyone know that they are going round and round and round and round.
Later during the trip to visit the in-laws we had to give him a bath. He was going through a “no-bath-for-me-phase” and this particular bath time was somewhat of a traumatic experience. Lots of tears.
When we got back to our place sometime later he started saying his phrase over and over. “Oma Inti Wawa Bah, Oma Inti Wawa Bah, Oma Inti Wawa Bah”. Have you figured it out yet?
Norma, Vicente, Round and Round (ceiling fan), Bah (bath/baño). Oma Inti Wawa Bah.
He was remembering his trip to see his grandparents in pretty good detail.
For me, my son’s experimentation with sounds is one of the most interesting parts of watching him speak multiple languages. At this point he sometimes speaks Spanish. Other times he speaks English. But most of the time he’s speaking in his own unique version of the two languages, and that’s just fine with me. With time he will develop his skills in both English and Spanish, but for now he’s just playing, and I’m in love with his creativity!
Thanks for keeping us company!
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