As her mother, I’ve been having “conversations” with Bilingual Baby since she was six months old. At first we communicated back and forth with our eyes, and then with baby babble, which slowly turned into parts of words and then whole words and now full sentences.
As we sat on the floor to draw this morning and conversed back and forth I thought about how anyone (who spoke Spanish at least) would be able to understand us clear as day.
“Mama!” she calls to me from the living room. “Dibuja (draw)!”
“Me preparo el cafe y después voy (I’m making myself coffee and then I’ll be there)”
“Yo busco (I find),” she walks into the kitchen with her hand outstretched.
“¿Tu me vienes a buscar (you’re coming to find me)?”
“Si,” we smile at each other as she takes my hand and leads me to the living room.
“Sientate aqui (sit here),” she directs me to the floor next to a large piece of paper with crayons spread all around. “¿Rojo (red)?” she offers, passing me a red crayon.
“Si, gracias, rojo esta bien (yes, thank you, red is good).”
“Triangle!” she says to me in English.
“Ok, te dibujo un triangulo rojo (alright, I’ll draw you a red triangle),” and I do.
“¿Circulo azul (blue circle)?” she says, handing me a blue crayon. I’m impressed—she seems to be getting all the colors right first thing this morning with no hints or clues from mama.
Then, she lines up three crayons and says, “¿Cual quieres (which one do you want)?” I love this. She’s echoing a question I ask her all the time.
“Ummm….” Before me she has displayed thre colors: morado (purple), azul (blue) and amarillo (yellow). “…morado, por favor,” I say.
She looks down at her stash and hovers her little hand over them as she thinks. And then she swoops in on morado and hands it over to me.
“Bravo!” I say, “morado!” And then, pushing a little further, I say “pásame el verde por favor (pass me the green, please).”
She looks down and doesn’t see green in front of her so she turns to the large pile of crayons behind her, carefully picks out the bright green crayon, and hands it over.
Colors and conversations are coming together nicely.