I used to take great pride in the fact that I could speak four languages. *Yes,I’ll pause a minute while you gasp in awe* I have loved languages since I was a small child. I grew up in a household that spoke two and as I grew, I had a voracious appetite not only for the written language but for the spoken one as well. As soon as I could take a language, I did. I took Spanish, which was the other language spoken in my home.This was, obviously, very easy for me to pick up.After a few years of Spanish, I added French to the mix. The grades were so good in Spanish that a teacher volunteered to tutor me French.I was allowed to split the period. By the time I graduated from High School, I was fluent in English, Spanish and French. This all fit very nicely into my master plan. You know, the one where I was going to move to New York, work for a big firm as an International lawyer and travel the world. Once I began university, again I added another language..Italian. I had to.How was I supposed to understand the sweet nothings my hot Italian husband ( that I would surely pick up on one of my summers in Italy) was whispering into my ear as we lingered in bed under the Tuscan sun. I loved my languages. But then life happened, as it tends to do. Here I am, many years later, A Work at Home Mommy and my passport has not been used since high school.The languages I learned may as well be Sanskrit, no more than I use them.Sure, I can watch most foreign films without the subtitles but without practice ( other than Dora cartoon explanations) I’d say “fluent” would be pushing the term a bit.I just don’t think I have the Mommy brain space available to speak more than 4 languages, and so I think I have maxed out my quota.
But, there is a bright side. After all, I am Ms. Glass half full (Most days). I have acquired two new languages in the last 5 years that I believe, in my circles, is much more valuable than Spanish, French, Italian or even English. I am absolutely fluent in baby and gibberish. You heard me right. NOW, you are envious right? Yes, both my girls tried to talk way early and both were very frustrated when I couldn’t understand them so I decided I had to learn.Good thing because BOTH still talk baby talk.Don’t get me wrong, they have an extensive and impressive vocabulary but they still have that baby speech.You know “Sure” is “Shua”, Gabs has issues with “S” consonant blends so “Spoon” is “poon”, etc. I paid attention to everything they said, what they were doing, what they were looking at, where we were at and then the context clues ( NEVER thought I’d need that skill in real life) provided me with what exactly in the hell they were saying. Now.I have a very working knowledge of Bella and Gabisms.Thank God. I think all those years of listening to my father intermingle his Spanish and English and trying to decipher what he was saying have played a huge part in this capability…super power if you will. (No, I don’t think calling the ability to understand baby talk and gibberish a super power is an overstatement.I think I am spot on with this one.) See this is a usable skill. I should offer a class to all Mommies. This could be my ticket to fame and fortune. Who’s in? Classes registering now. Forget about “my baby can read”. Who cares if your baby can read.The question is can you understand the words that are coming out of his/her mouth?