90 Percent in Spanish

My sixth grader is in a Spanish class where the teacher conducts 90 percent of class in Spanish, and the students are expected to aim for the same. He seems to be enjoying the challenge and often blurts out what he wants or what he did at school en Español.

There’s only one problem.

He says things like “Moi no comprendo!” and “Moi tengo hambre!” and “Moi gusto futbol!”

So we had to let him know that “moi” is “me”, not “I” and, more importantly…. French.


“It’s not Spanish. It’s French.”

But it’s so fun to say!”

Too bad you can’t get points for enthusiasm.

Talking Smack: A Lesson for My Son

During the inaugural week of our family fantasy football league, my husband and I realized that our almost ten-year-old son lacks a fundamental skill for a successful boyhood – the art of smack-talk.

Our four and eight year old sons were gleefully bantering non-stop from the third row seats of our car:

“Mom, I’m going to kick your butt next week!”

“I have the best kicker in the league!”

“Your quarterback is too old! I mean, a 36-year-old football player! You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“Remember that dumb trade you made last week…”

My husband chimed in with “You’ve got no chance, pipsqueak.”

And even I chanted, “Mom is the best!”

The nine year old, however, was smiling, enjoying it all, but responding to claims against his team with “hmmm… yeah, you’re probably right”, like Charlie Brown getting verbally squashed by Lucy.

I realized he is missing the smack-talking skill required of all boys.

So, while he studies long division, creates a relief map of the United States out of dough, and completes a poster for his The World According to Humphrey book report, he also has a new assignment. Probably more important than any other.

Nightly smack-talking drills.

Oh yeah. One day, my son is going to kick your son’s butt in…. whatever he decides to smack-talk about. Because I’m on it!

Just try to keep up.

Soon, Forever and Never

My four year old has different ways of saying “soon”:

1) The next day after yesterday
2) Next summer
3) The next day after summer

For example, he asks, “Can we have a playdate the next day after summer?” No problem!

“Is my birthday the next day after yesterday?” Well, if that means October…sure!

And I always get a big, content, four-year-old grin.

My eight and nine year old kids, on the other hand, have similar phrases for the words “forever” and “never”:

1) Next weekend
2) In an hour
3) For ten minutes

If they have to play their song on the piano for ten minutes, for example, that’s forever. “Mom, you are so mean!” If they have to wait until next weekend for their playdate, that is forever and is never going to happen! And…drumroll…. “Mom, you are so mean!”

I think I like soon.