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No Spanglish Allowed

In raising bilingual kids, one of the things they tell you is that you shouldn’t mix up languages. Kids need to be able to learn proper vocabulary and grammar rules, without having to figure out abominations like, “El baby tiene diaper rash.” My husband and I are raising our 21-month-old son, Diego, in English and Spanish, so we decided to keep things crisp by having each person in his life speak either one or the other.  For the most part, that’s been easy: Rob, my Nebraskan husband, speaks English; my family speaks Spanish. The problem: Me, of course. I’m supposed to stick to English because, let’s face it, after 30 years in this country my Spanish is rusty to say the least.  But I just can’t do it. I’m like a Spanglish junkie—I swear off and next thing you know, there I am, saying “Diego, vamos afuera? Do you want to go afuera?” and offering a galletita. I mean, I’m a mom and a wife—I’m able to restrain myself from doing things I want to do several times a day. So why not this? Then today, it struck me. Spanish is the language of my childhood; it’s the language I was loved in, and obviously the one I’m instinctively going to when I want to express love. Awww. Speech delays, here we come!

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