Becoming Bilingual at Two

One of the amazing things about two-year-olds is the speed in which they learn new things.  Jared continues to astound me with his level of comprehension of the world around him and his ever increasing vocabulary.

Jared pushes Luke in his stroller

Jared pushes Luke in his stroller

Jared is now two years and three months old.  He has definitely reached the full flower of toddlerhood and all of its glory.  He is the typical two-year-old who wants to be held and cuddled one moment, and then wants to do everything “by Jared self” the other.  And he’s a very possessive brother in his relationship to Luke.

The moment I put Luke in the stroller, Jared wants to push the stroller alone…even though the stroller handles still reach over his little head.  If I try to help him push, he’ll push my hands away and tell me, “No! No, Mamma help….Jared help.”

Of course, Jared’s language tends to get a little mixed up between what he is hearing in English and Spanish.  He usually speaks to Stephen and I in English and speaks a mixture of the two with Marina, the lady who cares for our children while I’m teaching classes. 

He’ll form sentences like “Esto is my auto.” (Which is a combination of the languages to say, “This is my car.”

When he plays with his playdough or rice, he calls them “masa” and “arroz.” That is probably because I usually don’t pull out those toys unless he’s going to be spending some time with Marina.  He also has a little sandbox full of “arena” (the Spanish word for “sand.”

One day I heard him telling her that the cat says “meow, meow” in Spanish.  He’s not quite figured out that there is a difference between the two languages.  Sometimes he’ll stubbornly refuse to call an object by both its Spanish and English name and will want to use just one or  the other.

Jared likes to see his cars roll down the front walk way to our home.

Jared likes to see his cars roll down the front walk way to our home.

He still can’t pronounce the hard “C” or “K” sound.  That creates a whole list of cute phrases that bring smiles to our faces.  His brother Luke is now called “Baby Oot.”  When he wants cookies, he’ll say, “Jared want tooties, please.” One of his babysitters is “Kristina” and he’ll call her “Thirstina.”

He’s a talkative boy with a strong desire to repeat everything he hears.  Stephen was flipping through channels one day and stopped on a channel where a lady was randomly screaming, “Stop it! Stop it!”  Jared went running around the house repeating that phrase for the next several minutes.  Ever since then, he’s known to tell his Mamma to “stop it” if she is tickling him too much. 

Although we don’t know when he’ll learn how to pronounce everything correctly, we do know one thing.  Jared is not going to be a shy boy as he grows up.

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